Silent inflammation is a chronic, low-grade inflammation that exists in the body in such a way that you don’t really see it or feel it. When silent inflammation persists it can trigger a host of negative health effects. In fact, inflammation is involved in most, if not all, chronic disease.
A relatively recent discovery is the role silent inflammation plays in mental disorders such as depression. As it turns out, depression is not “all in your head.” In a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry researchers found elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a commonly used marker of inflammation. They also found increasing CRP levels were associated with increasing risk for hospitalization with depression.
The researchers state “The results also support the initiation of intervention studies to examine whether adding anti-inflammatory drugs to antidepressants for treatment of depression will improve outcome.” But I say, why not take a look at what might be causing the inflammation? Instead of throwing another medication into the mix, why not attempt to address inflammation at the source?
What causes silent inflammation? Well, the gut is the major source, either by way of a poor diet (too much sugar, too little omega-3 fat) and/or dysbiosis (gut imbalance). Can a poor diet and gut imbalance be underlying depression? Sure can. And is silent inflammation a likely explanation for this connection? Sure is.
Although the connections between digestive health and total body health are constantly emerging in medical science, it takes mainstream medicine 20 years, in general, to adopt new information. In the meantime, balance your gut to heal your body—and mind!