How Acute Inflammation Becomes Chronic: A New View

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In honor of March being Autoimmune Disease Awareness month, I am writing this post geared to the core of my mission. My goal is to shed light on what I believe could be the missing key to understanding how acute inflammation could transition into chronic inflammation.

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Current Chronic Inflammation Research

Researchers are looking into long COVID to hopefully shed light on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)—one of many autoimmune diseases.[i] Both illnesses are suspected of being triggered by viruses.[ii] A common characteristic of these health challenges is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with the body attacking itself.[iii] Researchers strive to find the solution to this problem. However, what if the body was not turning on itself? Could stopping the attack really fix the underlying problem? What if we are focused on the wrong problem and asking the wrong questions? It would explain why it has been so hard to find a solution.

A woman placing her hands on her kidneys

My Question About Chronic Inflammation

I would like to suggest the appearance of chronic inflammation is actually a warning light of something else having gone wrong. We know acute inflammation is present when the body is fighting a virus. Inflammation needs to be regulated for healing to occur. I think the answer lies in the regulating of this inflammation process. If the inflammation is at acceptable levels, the body does not go rogue. If it becomes too intense, the body appears to fight itself. Taking it even a step further, what could be happening during the intense inflammation that is not happening during milder forms of inflammation? And can it be regulated? Can we understand what might be causing this inflammation to go from acute to chronic? I believe something is occurring during this time to cause the switch from helpful inflammation to harmful inflammation. The immune system is designed to heal us. So why would it change its mind and stop its prime directive when needed most?

A woman placing her hands on her kidneys

My Understanding of Chronic Inflammation

I believe our bodies have a sorting system we aren’t currently aware of. I would like to suggest looking into this possibility as a key to the information we need to end autoimmune disease. I stumbled onto this idea of a sorting system as I struggled to regain my own health. At this time in my life, neither common medical practices had answers nor alternative medicine options gave results. I am confident this sorting system, which I have named Defensive Individual Shield Hypothesis (DISH), is present.[iv] I have tested it for several years. Whenever I would manually do this sorting job, the methods that did not work for me in the past would now work. It made it possible to progress in my health.

I believe our bodies are not going rogue. I think something is happening to our bodies that causes this sorting to temporarily halt. When this happens, the body has trouble differentiating between the Good Guys it needs from the Bad Guys hurting us. Why? The needed nutrient becomes grouped with the harmful virus that is attacking the body. When this happens, the body is still doing its job—attacking the virus, but with good nutrients in tow. The good nutrient who “got in the way” is now being removed with the Bad Guy. Since the body is removing these Good Guys, we think it is attacking itself. But it’s not.

A woman placing her hands on her kidneys

A Sorting System Could Be Automatic or Manual

I believe that our bodies automatically sort. The people who succumb to autoimmune challenges are the individuals whose sorting has malfunctioned. My workaround when this happens is to do the sorting manually. So, to find a cure for autoimmune disease, I think a better questions to ask would be, “How do we assist DISH during intense inflammation?” If we prevent the sorting from stopping, the Good Guys remain independent and can do the job that is expected of them. These are different questions—new questions.

For me, acknowledging the possibility of this sorting causing the problem shed light on what my body was doing, as well as what my body was failing to do. Realizing where the help was really needed, opened up many different questions. Questions I explored for a decade before coming up with this hypothesis of DISH. When DISH malfunctions, the result is misinformation. This misinformation causes deficiencies. These deficiencies cause missing information to happen. As a result, the body starts to fail to function properly. I believe the solution to chronic inflammation is viewing it from this different angle. I found the solution to this problem involved four steps: Stop the misinformation from occurring, replenish the deficiencies, insert the missing information, and avoid misinformation from happening again.[v]


Is it possible the reason we can’t currently beat the enemy is that chronic inflammation really isn’t the enemy. It is the warning light of sorting gone wrong. The real enemy is this sorting system shutting down. If we focus on preventing the shut down during intense inflammation, we prevent acute inflammation from transitioning into chronic inflammation.

To learn more about this system check out this blog post, Autoimmune Disease: Could this be the cure?


[i] National Institutes of Health. “Long COVID symptoms linked to inflammation.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. June 28, 2022. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/long-covid-symptoms-linked-inflammation

[ii] Komaroff, Anthony L. “Inflammation correlates with symptoms in chronic fatigue syndrome” National Library of Medicine. August 15, 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576849/.

[iii] Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School. “What’s the deal with autoimmune disease?” Harvard Health Publishing. February 15, 2021. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/whats-the-deal-with-autoimmune-disease.

[iv] Cyndi Whatif, Health Backwards: An Original Look from a Different Perspective (Alvin, TX: Purple Beaver Publishing, 2023), 77.

[v] Cyndi Whatif, Health Backwards, 13.

Be Brave Enough to Take One More Try

I know it sometimes hurts when hoping for something to finally work when struggling with health challenges.  But I want to give you hope anyway.  

Cyndi Whatif
Cyndi Whatif

I am a patient turned author and guide. I share my hypothesis of an overlooked complementary body system which I believe determines whether or not a person has the opportunity to be well.

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