Unmasking the hidden symptoms of inflammation

When I was living with autoimmune disease and chronic inflammation, I didn’t realise that many of my symptoms, such as joint pain, fatigue and headaches, were driven by inflammation. Inflammation is often associated with redness, swelling, and pain. While these are indeed signs of inflammation, there is a hidden side that affects daily life in more subtle ways. Understanding these concealed symptoms and learning how nutrition and lifestyle can reset inflammation is crucial for our overall well-being.


And as inflammation can be a driver for autoimmune disease, once you get your inflammation in sync, you may also find your autoimmune symptoms improve. 

The hidden symptoms of inflammation

There are many hidden symptoms of inflammation, but some of the ones I see most commonly in my clients are fatigue, joint pain, and headaches. But remember, sore gums, aching muscles, brain fog and skin issues are likely to have an inflammatory component. 


Have you ever felt like you're running on empty despite getting enough sleep? Chronic fatigue can be a sneaky symptom of inflammation. When your body is in a constant state of low-grade inflammation, it can disrupt your energy levels, leaving you feeling perpetually tired. 

I experienced this for years and would blame myself, my lifestyle, and my habit of overworking, but the truth was that inflammation was at the heart of my chronic fatigue syndrome. Once I started resetting my inflammation with an anti-inflammatory diet and focused more on calming my nervous system, I saw my energy levels improve. 

Joint pain

While joint pain is an obvious sign of inflammation, it's often dismissed as part of the ageing process. Inflammation can wear down cartilage, leading to joint discomfort that can be mistaken for everyday wear and tear.

Joint pain is typically my first sign that something is out of balance in my body, so the moment I feel it, I focus on increasing antioxidants in my diet and prioritising sleep, as I know both will help prevent a flare.

If you would like to learn more about my 5-day reset plan for preventing an autoimmune flare, you can find out more on my website.


Frequent headaches, especially migraines, can be linked to inflammation. Inflammatory compounds can affect blood vessels and nerves in the brain, triggering painful headaches. I spent years living in pain with headaches and migraines. By understanding the link with inflammation, I now mainly live headache-free. 

Resetting inflammation through nutrition and lifestyle

When you discover that your symptoms are linked to inflammation, addressing them with the proper nutrition and lifestyle remedies is easier. 

As someone susceptible to inflammation and autoimmune disease, I need to be ahead of the game when it comes to symptoms. If I ever feel an inkling of pain or inflammation, I have some go-to strategies for getting my immune system back in balance. 

Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet

Opt for a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, fatty fish (rich in omega-3 fatty acids), nuts, and seeds. Avoid or limit processed foods, sugars, and trans fats, which can promote inflammation.

Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is essential to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation. Drinking water, herbal teas, and adding lemon or cucumber for flavour can help.

Use stress management techniques to manage stress

Chronic stress can contribute to inflammation. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises into your daily routine.

Move regularly

Physical activity can reduce inflammation by promoting the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals in the body. Aim for a mix of cardio, strength training, and flexibility exercises, such as Pilate or yoga.

Get adequate, good-quality sleep

Ensure you're getting enough quality sleep. Sleep is when the body repairs and regenerates, helping reduce inflammation.

Consider adding antioxidants

Supplements like resveratrol, curcumin, and fish oil are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. However, always speak to a health practitioner before starting a supplement protocol to ensure it’s right for you.

Eat mindfully

Pay attention to how your body reacts to different foods. Keep a food journal to identify potential inflammation triggers and adjust your diet accordingly.

Inflammation isn't always as visible as you think. It can lurk beneath the surface, causing a range of hidden symptoms that impact your daily life. Fortunately, through mindful nutrition and lifestyle choices, you have the power to reset inflammation and pave the way for a healthier, more vibrant life.

Start small, stay consistent, and watch as these hidden symptoms gradually fade away, leaving you feeling better than ever. Your journey to wellness begins with a single step towards understanding and addressing inflammation in your life. 

And if you are ready to take this journey with me, why not sign up for my free group challenge, The Inflammation RESET, which starts on 9th October? In the challenge, I will share with you diet and lifestyle strategies to reset inflammation in your body, including a meal plan with recipes so it is easy for you to stay on track. 

And as with all my group challenges, the winner of the challenge will receive an exciting healthy prize. You can learn more about the challenge on my website.

If you would like to take your health to the next level with nutritional therapy and functional medicine, why not book a free 15-minute consultation with me?

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

Share this article with a friend
London W1G & Harrogate HG1
Written by V. J. Hamilton, Autoimmune Disease Expert | BSc (Immunology), DipION, mBANT
London W1G & Harrogate HG1

VJ Hamilton is a qualified Nutritional Therapist and member of BANT, focusing on autoimmunity including inflammatory skin disorders, fatigue and neurological issues as well as gut health.

VJ has a BSc in Biochemistry and Immunology which she uses in her practice, using only evidence-based nutritional therapies to support chronic conditions.

Show comments

Find a nutritionist dealing with Chronic fatigue syndrome/ME

All nutrition professionals are verified

All nutrition professionals are verified