Some days, I feel as if I'm being slowly roasted alive. Rosacea, arthritis and elevated body temperature. Inflammation is what ultimately kills most of us.
What is it that goes wrong within our bodies as we age that causes our bodies to consume themselves?
Among my many age related chronic conditions, I count rosacea and arthritis. Both are caused by systemic inflammation. As I understand it, the buildup of bacteria and detritus in the tissue causes the body to launch an inflammation attack as a method of defense. In other words, the body thinks it is defending itself when it is actually destroying itself.
My dermatologist has treated my rosacea with antibiotics, both internal and external. The results have been mixed. This has slowed the spread of the disease, but it hasn't stopped it. I see no hope for reversal of the condition.
I treat my arthritis exclusively with yoga. Yoga makes the most obvious symptoms disappear. I'm not in pain and I can engage in normal physical activity and sports. But, yoga does not stop or reverse the gradual hardening of my body caused by inflammation.
From Science Daily, a definition of the problem:
As animals age, their immune systems gradually deteriorate, a process called immunosenescence. It is associated with systemic inflammation and chronic inflammatory disorders, as well as with many cancers. The causes underlying this age-associated inflammation, and how it leads to diseases, are poorly understood. New work sheds light on one protein's involvement in suppressing immune responses in aging fruit flies.
Knowing what causes systemic inflammation doesn't do much to solve the problem.
The only general advice I've received is that I should live like a nun. Avoid red meat, liquor and spices. I figure I might as well be dead as follow that advice. I've cut down a lot on drinking because the negative outcome, i.e., pain, is immediate.
Folks on FB have suggested everything from antihistamines to steroids to slow the process of systemic inflammation.
Maybe we're just meant to die. We live by transforming energy into heat, a destructive process.
I'll be visiting my general practitioner soon and I'll have a lot of questions to ask him about systemic inflammation. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.