Immune System and Inflammation
Chronic vs Acute

Inflammation is an immune reaction against pathogenic substances such as microbes, toxins, food, or an injury like skin puncture or an ankle sprain for example. Acute inflammation can happen temporarily or acutely until the cause has been taken care of and the body goes back to homeostasis. 

Chronic inflammation is more problematic and damaging to your health due to many reasons. Examples of causing chronic inflammatory response are like:

  • Gut Dysbiosis or abnormal gut flora
  • Consuming foods causing allergic or intolerance reactions
  • Tumor progression of cancerous cells (1)

Your Immunity and Inflammation

One of the defense tools your innate immunity uses is inflammation for a short time (a.k.a. Acute) to deal with, for example, an infection caused by a certain bacteria or virus. Once the immune cells complete their mission the inflammation (ex., fever) will subside and things go back to normal. The same thing when you cut your skin, pathogenic microbes will try to take advantage of this breach to penetrate the body however your immune cells will be there waiting for them and use chemicals to destroy them causing redness, pain, heat, and swelling via an acute inflammatory response. That is a reasonable and necessary process of your immune function to protect you.

Chronic Inflammation is to Worry About

Many if not most diseases are caused by inflammation that is long-term inflamed tissues in the body. Your adaptive immune system works differently than your first line of defense the innate system, where there is a learning curve for the adaptive system needs to go through to learn which are the bad microbes, beneficial bacteria, and other neutral organisms. 

For a healthy and balanced immune function, it is important to recognize the benign foreign substances and not to respond with inflammation except the bad ones that cause harm to us. 

However, millions of people have one type or another of chronic inflammation because of a confused immune system that is attacking benign and harmful invaders without distinguishing friend vs. foe but let’s take a closer look at this debilitating disease.  

Gut Flora, Immunity, and Inflammation

The infamous quote of Socrates that “All diseases begin in the gut” was more than two thousand years ago and it was and still very accurate. When you have a healthy immunity, your body will fight off microbial pathogens and get rid of them without you even noticing. Nevertheless, sometimes your healthy immune system can be overwhelmed and will deal with the invaders in your body through an effective weapon which is an inflammatory response. 

For example, the innate system will secrete chemicals triggering short-time or acute inflammatory response, and that will lead to symptoms of congestion, watery eyes, fever, and nose redness. But the good news it will be over within one to three days on average, and you are back to normal. 

But when you have an unbalanced immune system that is using inflammation frequently then you have a major health problem. The most critical reason for this to happen is because of digestive system disorder.

Many scientists in the field of immunology and microbiology now agree that 80 to 85% of the immune system resides in the gut, so your healthy gut is the primary source of the healthy immune system. 

Why is that? Will, because if you remember reading my probiotic article that the human body consists of about 10 percent of human cells and 90 percent are microbial cells (ex., bacteria, and viruses.) So there is a whole community, or a world of microbiota living on us and in us and they have the last word at the end of the day. 

Most of these microbes are beneficial and essential for healthy and balanced immunity leading to a healthy mind and body. And that is why Socrates was correct all that time and still is where the science now is validating his statement that most if not all sources of all kinds of inflammatory diseases coming from the abnormal digestive system. Dr. Campbell-McBride lists many of the diseases that are connected directly or indirectly to abnormal gut flora leading to imbalanced immune function. Here are only a few:

  1. Chronic Constipation
  2. Crohn's disease
  3. ADD
  4. Eczema
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Food allergy
  7. ADHD
  8. Allergy
  9. Ulcerative colitis
  10. Atherosclerosis
  11. Autism
  12. Chronic Depression
  13. Asthma
  14. Chronic Diarrhoea
  15. Digestive problems
  16. Autoimmunity
  17. Dysbiosis
  18. IBS
  19. Irritable bowel
  20. Mood swings

Get to the Root of the Problem

There is a direct relationship between healthy gut flora and healthy balanced immunity. Abnormal gut flora conditions vary from mild to severe. Therefore, inflammation can be more or less frequent but chronic regarding coming back and forth. 

One of the primary digestive diseases that many people suffer from is a leaky gut that needs to be sealed and healed through whole foods composed mostly of animal fats and protein and selective carbohydrates such as cooked vegetables and ripe fruits. Also, probiotics in the form of fermented foods can be very helpful in detoxifying the body and bring back beneficial bacteria back to your gut. 

Also, things you need to watch for is the abuse of using

Antibiotics, steroid medicines, birth control pills, and other over-the-counter medications can upset the microbiota in your body and particularly the bowel.   

When someone has inflammation in the digestive system that means there are foods (even if they are organic and natural) that can be too abrasive and cause inflammation in the damaged and hypersensitive tissues in the colon and intestine, for example. Therefore, selective foods can do more healing than others.

I talk about preventative measurement throughout the site such as foods not only to balance immune defense but also help the digestive system to be healed. However there are specific protocols for individuals to follow who suffer from abnormal gut flora and damaged digestive system, thus, I highly recommend this book to you.      

Wrap Up

Chronic inflammation is a way the body is trying to tell you something wrong going on in the body and specifically the immune system which is most likely being out of balance. And this out of balance probably coming from a primary source in the gut where the good bacteria are becoming less, and pathogenic microbes are becoming the majority in your digestive system thus secreting toxins and fighting off your immunity all day in and day out causing all types of inflammatory responses. 


  • Source (1)
  • Source (2) : Campbell-McBride, N.  (2010) Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia. Cambridge, England. Medinform Publishing.