Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - 55

Inflammation
and Heart Disease

While we know that many factors, like smoking,
high blood pressure and bad cholesterol, can take
a toll on heart health, it isn't just plaque buildup
that's cause for concern. It's your body's response
to it that's the issue. "Because plaque is abnormal
for arteries, your body responds to it like it would
any other foreign substance, with inflammation,"
says Jim John, MD, a cardiologist with GMG's
Gwinnett Consultants in Cardiology. "Even
though your body is attempting to heal itself,
it may inadvertently cause a blockage, or even
trigger a heart attack or stroke."

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

There are a lot of amazing things that your
digestive tract does, like allowing you to eat
delicious food and supplying your body with
nutrients. But when inflammation gets involved,
it can turn into a source of serious discomfort and
pain. This inflammation of the digestive tract is
known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
"When you have IBD, your immune system
may mistakenly identify certain types of
bacteria, fungi or even food as a foreign body
that should be attacked," says Tanya Rutledge,
MD, a gastroenterologist affiliated with Gwinnett
Medical Center. This chronic inflammatory
response may ebb and flow with periods of
remission and flare-ups. "Over time, though, IBD
can cause bowel injury and damage, increasing
the risk of developing ulcers, bowel ruptures, even
colorectal cancer," adds Dr. Rutledge.

Inflammatory Arthritis

When you hear the term arthritis, the first
thing to come to mind is likely osteoarthritis,
which is the gradual wearing down of
protective cartilage in your joints. But
that's just one type. "In addition to this
common form," explains Glenn Parris, MD,
a rheumatologist affiliated with Gwinnett
Medical Center, "there is also rheumatoid
arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, gouty arthritis
and lupus, all of which are categorized by the
presence of inflammation in the joints."
This inflammation is the result of the immune
system attacking healthy joint tissue-meaning
it's autoimmune-and causing swelling, stiffness,
pain and weakness.
"Over time, this inflammation can lead to
bone erosion, joint deformity or internal organ
damage," notes Dr. Parris.

Managing Inflammation

On the one hand, you have acute inflammation,
which causes the obvious symptoms of redness,
swelling and warmth. Then you have chronic
inflammation, which doesn't always cause clear
symptoms, especially in the early stages. On
top of that, these symptoms may vary from
person to person, and causes can be wideranging as well.
That's why working with your trusted
primary care provider is essential. As the health
expert who knows you best, he or she can more
effectively identify, diagnose and treat any
inflammation-related health issues. ■

WEBSITE

GMC Specialty Centers
To make expert medical care more convenient for you and your family, Gwinnett Medical
Center has specialty centers in Hamilton Mill, Peachtree Corners and Suwanee. From
cardiology to rheumatology, our specialty centers make it possible for your whole family
to receive complete care in one convenient location. To learn more about the location
near you, visit gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/locations.

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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC

Contents
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - Cover1
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - Cover2
Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Fall 2019 - GMC - Cover3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2020fall-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2020summer-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2019winter-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2019fall-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2018winter-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2017winter-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/manifest/vimvigor_2016winter-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2012fall-gmc
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2011winter-gmc
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcmurry/vimvigor_2011fall-gmc
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