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Inflammation

Published on Mar 15, 2019   -  4 min read

Abstract

When some foreign organisms like bacteria or viruses enter the body, inflammation is the body’s immune response to such invasions. It is a vital part of the body’s immune system.

Contents
Inflammation

Inflammation

When some foreign organisms like bacteria or viruses enter the body, inflammation is the body’s immune response to such invasions. It is a vital part of the body’s immune system. During inflammation, the body produces white blood cells, antibodies, proteins, and other substances that protect the body from the infection, injuries, and toxins.

In some autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, the body’s immune system gets triggered without any foreign invasion, which results in inflammation. Such inflammatory response causes damage to the body’s tissue. Here, the body attacks their cells thinking they are abnormal.

How does Inflammation Occur?

During an inflammatory response, the sequence of events varies depending on the type, site, and cause of injury and the state of the body. The usual series of events is:

  1. The inflammatory response is initiated by injury or entry of pathogens.

  2. The small blood vessels in the area dilate to increase the blood flow.

  3. The vascular permeability to protein increases.

  4. Swelling results from the fluids moving into the tissues.

  5. Then the white blood cells like neutrophils and monocytes reach the tissue from the blood vessels.

  6. These white blood cells engulf and destroy the microbes.

  7. This initiates tissue repair.

What Causes Inflammation?

Many factors and conditions can cause inflammation. They are:

What are the Signs of Inflammation?

The cardinal signs of inflammation are:

  1. Dolor (pain) - As released chemicals stimulate the nerve endings in the inflamed area, the area is painful to touch.

  2. Calor (heat) - The warmth is due to increased blood flow to the area.

  3. Rubor (redness) - The inflamed area looks red as the capillaries in the area are filled with more blood.

  4. Tumor (swelling) - The fluid buildup causes swelling.

  5. Functio laesa (loss of function) - There might be some loss of function as a result of lack of use due to pain.

These signs are only seen in inflammation of the skin. Some of these signs might not be evident if the inflammation occurs in an internal organ.

Common Symptoms are seen during Inflammation

Apart from the signs, some symptoms are usually seen during chronic inflammation, which depends on the organ or body part affected. The symptoms are-

What are the Types of Inflammation?

The two types of inflammation are:

Acute Inflammation:

Inflammation that starts rapidly and lasts for a few days to weeks is called acute inflammation. It is usually seen after injury or bacterial infection. Some of the examples are-

Chronic Inflammation:

Inflammation that lasts for months or years is called chronic inflammation. It is usually seen in pathogens that cannot be broken down or viruses or foreign body that stays in the body or in cases of an overactive immune response or exposure to low levels of irritants over a long period. Some of the examples are-

How is Inflammation Diagnosed?

Inflammation is usually diagnosed on physical examination. The redness, swelling, pain, heat, and restricted motion are characteristics of inflammation. Inflammatory diseases are diagnosed on the basis of physical examination, signs and symptoms, blood test, and X-rays.

How is Inflammation Treated?

Medicines:

There are many medicines available that are used to treat and prevent the progression of inflammation. Some of the drugs used are-

Rest:

Strenuous activities should be avoided. Rest and give your body time to heal.

Exercise:

Physiotherapy and some exercises help maintain muscle strength and joint mobility. You can try,

What to Eat and Avoid During Inflammation?

  1. Foods to Avoid During Inflammation:

Food that causes or aggravates inflammation are-

2. Anti-Inflammatory Food:

Foods rich in antioxidants are helpful to reduce free radicals, which can cause inflammation. The following foods should be consumed-

Normally, acute inflammation gets better with rest and specific treatment of the cause. Chronic inflammatory disease is detrimental to health and needs prompt evaluation and management. To know more about inflammation and how it can affect your health, consult a doctor online today.

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

Which Foods Induce Inflammation?

- Vegetable oils.
- Oils produced from seeds.
- Artificial trans fat.
- Sugary foods.
- Foods that contain high fructose like corn syrup.
- Excess alcohol.
- Refined carbohydrates.
- Processed meat.

2.

How Can We Get Rid Of Inflammation in the Body?

- Reducing the intake of foods that induce inflammation.
- Increasing the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods.
- Controlling blood sugar level.
- Avoiding stress.
- Doing regular exercises.
- Maintaining ideal body weight.

3.

How Can I Reduce Inflammation at Home?

Cherries, salmon, turmeric, hot peppers, and garlic help overcome inflammation and manage pain associated with inflammation.

4.

What Foods Should Be Taken During Inflammation?

- Tomatoes.
- Green leafy vegetables.
- Fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries, cherries, etc.
- Almonds and walnuts.
- Salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, and other fatty fishes.
- Olive oil.

5.

How Do We Feel When We Have Inflammation?

Acute inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, and swelling, whereas chronic inflammation is often left unnoticed because of its subtle nature. Any pain which occurs without an injury can be suspected of inflammation.

6.

How Long Does an Inflammation Last?

Depending on the type of inflammation, duration varies. Acute inflammation lasts for less than two weeks, subacute inflammation lasts between two to six weeks, and chronic inflammation takes about months to years to subside.

7.

What Is the Most Potent Anti-Inflammatory Drug?

The most common and reliable anti-inflammatory drugs are the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), including Aspirin, Indomethacin, Naproxen, Meloxicam, Celecoxib, Ibuprofen, etc. Few of the medicines can be availed over-the-counter, whereas the rest need a prescription.

8.

What Is the Initial Sign of Inflammation?

Dolor (pain), calor (temperature), rubor (redness), loss of function, and tumor (swelling) are the four initial signs of inflammation.

9.

How Can We Detect Inflammation of the Body?

Inflammation is diagnosed by the presence of few inflammatory markers in blood with the help of tests like serum protein electrophoresis, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, plasma viscosity, etc. Based on the symptoms present, imaging tests like MRI and X-rays may also be used. In addition, gastrointestinal conditions can be diagnosed with the help of colonoscopy, endoscopy, and sigmoidoscopy.

10.

Can Bananas Cause Inflammation?

Bananas are anti-inflammatory foods that help in reducing inflammation. Furthermore, they aid in the optimal function of the cells of the immune system by an anti-oxidative effect.

11.

What Is Meant By Systemic Inflammation?

Systemic inflammation is characterized by whole-body inflammation and is a severe condition that requires immediate medical intervention. Causes of systemic inflammation include bacterial infection that has resulted in sepsis, pancreatitis, trauma, etc.

Last reviewed at:
15 Mar 2019  -  4 min read

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