The Inflammation Quiz
Concerned about your inflammation levels?
Take our Inflammation Quiz at the link below.
Learn what factors are attributed to high inflammation, and what you can do about it.
>> Continue to the Inflammation Quiz
About: We developed the Inflammation Quiz to help you assess your lifestyle behaviors and learn more about how to implement an anti-inflammatory diet for pain relief, weight loss, and overall health.
Q: How does inflammation cause pain and weight gain?
Inflammation causes swollen, painful joints and muscles.
It also puts you at a greater risk of becoming obese.
And worse yet, weight gain results in the release of more pain-causing hormones, and even more inflammation.
It’s a self-perpetuating system that’s nearly impossible to escape from.
Most people don’t realize the vicious cycle that these three variables lock you into.
And most doctors don’t address it, because it involves crossing over three specialty areas of advice with natural solutions… (Meaning prescription drugs won’t help.)
Not to mention, most doctors still subscribe to the old “if it hurts, don’t do it” mentality—which doesn’t help us when we’re trying to proactively solve a problem.
But we have a way to address this cycle. Head on.
More on that in a minute.
First, here is exactly how inflammation causes pain (and weight gain):
#1: Inflammation Causes Insulin Resistance
We know based on research from the American Diabetes Association that inflammation precedes weight gain. Using plasma protein markers, researchers can predict future weight gain based on inflammation levels.*
The mechanism isn't completely clear. But we know from animal studies that pro-inflammatory cytokines cause insulin resistance.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines are cells released by your body's immune system in response to inflammation.
Insulin is a type of storage hormone your body produces in response to high levels of blood sugar.
Why is insulin resistance a bad thing?
Because it prevents your body from using nutrients properly. And not only does insulin resistance lead to increased fat storage, it can cause to Type 2 Diabetes.
#2: Inflammation in Fat Cells Causes Oxidative Stress
Fat cells are often the first cells affected by inflammation.
The inflammatory process actually begins in fat cells.
As fat cells expand in response to weight gain, they produce inflammation.13
This causes oxidative stress (also known as "free radical damage").
Which leads to much bigger problems down the road.
Diabetes, neurological diseases, heart disease and arthritis are all exacerbated (if not CAUSED) by oxidative stress.
Reference Study: Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress as a major cause of age-related diseases
#3: Inflammation of the Brain Causes Appetite Dysregulation
Inflammation produces cells and free-radicals that circulate through your entire body.
So it doesn't just impact your fat cells and joints.
The worst effects are in your brain.
In 2010, neuroscience & obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet wrote an article explaining how inflammation causes leptin resistance.*
Leptin is your master appetite hormone. It tells your body when it's full, and when it needs more food.
When you become leptin resistant, your body doesn't know when it's full.
Your natural appetite shut-off valve is broken.
In my estimation, this is the most UNDERSTATED negative consequence of inflammation as it relates to weight gain.
#4: Inflammation Breaks Down Joint Tissue
Inflammation breaks down joint tissue.
This leads to joint pain, and often to full blown osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint cartilage and underlying bone. In addition to causing pain and stiffness (usually in the hips, knees and thumbs), it makes your bones weaker, exposing you to more risk of life-threatening injuries.
Studies show overweight women are four times more likely to develop osteoarthritis than those with healthy weights. Overweight men are five times more likely to develop osteoarthritis.7
This quote is from Eric Matteson, MD, chair of the rheumatology division at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota:
“Weight plays an important role in joint stress, so when people are very overweight, it puts stress on their joints, especially their weight-bearing joints, like the knees and the hips.”5
So not only does inflammation lead to arthritis.
It causes weight gain.
Which makes arthritis develop more quickly.
Again, not good.