What Can Cause Inflammation In The Body – When your body activates your immune system, it sends out inflammatory cells. These cells attack bacteria or heal damaged tissue. If your body sends out inflammatory cells when you are not sick or injured, you may have chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a symptom of many chronic diseases, such as arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.
Acute inflammation can cause skin flushing, pain or sensitivity, swelling and heat. Chronic inflammation can be more difficult to notice with a wide range of possible signs.
- 1 What Can Cause Inflammation In The Body
- 2 What Causes Inflammation In Body & How To Fight It?
- 3 Does Sugar Cause Inflammation? What The Research Says
- 4 Effects Of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Skeletal System, Immune, More
- 5 Inflammation And “inflamm Ageing”
What Can Cause Inflammation In The Body
When something foreign enters your body (such as viruses, bacteria or toxic chemicals), or you are injured, your immune system activates. Your immune system sends cells to capture bacteria and other offending agents or initiate healing of injured tissue.
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This is the inflammatory response. The result may be pain, swelling, bruising or redness. But inflammation also affects body systems you can’t see.
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Symptoms of chronic inflammation can be more difficult to show than symptoms of acute inflammation. Signs of chronic inflammation may include:
Some lifestyle factors also contribute to inflammation in the body. You may be more likely to develop chronic inflammation if you:
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Inflammation does not always require treatment. For acute inflammation, rest, ice and good wound care often relieves discomfort within a few days.
You can choose to eat more foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Some research shows that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have lower levels of inflammation in their bodies.
Eating too much of certain foods can increase inflammation. If you have chronic inflammation, you may feel better if you avoid foods that cause inflammation, including:
You can reduce the risk of chronic inflammation by developing healthier lifestyle habits. Some of these habits include:
Tips To Reduce Inflammation
Check with a health care provider if you experience a worrisome injury. Also talk to a provider if you have ongoing pain, swelling, stiffness or other symptoms. A health care expert can narrow down the cause and find ways to help you feel better.
Inflammation is an essential part of your body’s healing process. This occurs when inflammatory cells travel to the site of injury or a foreign body such as bacteria. If the inflammatory cells remain too long, it can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a symptom of other health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Your healthcare provider may recommend medication or home management. You can reduce inflammation by eating anti-inflammatory foods and managing stress. Sometimes you can see it. Sprain your ankle, and it swells. Burn your hand while cooking, and it will turn red.
Another inflammation, you can’t see. Eat food that does not agree with your digestive system, and your stomach hurts. Inhale smoke or other toxins, and your throat will burn or you will have trouble breathing.
“At some point, everyone has inflammation, whether it’s acute or chronic,” said Kathleen Meade, APRN, family nurse practitioner for OSF HealthCare.
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Inflammation is part of your body’s response to things that cause harm. When your body is attacked by an external or internal force – such as an injury or illness – your system fights back and inflammation occurs. As it heals, the inflammation subsides.
The symptoms you feel from the inflammation tell you that your body is working. But the symptoms are not comfortable. These include aches and pains, digestive issues, bloating, stuffy nose, heartburn, headaches and more. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and last from a few days to several months or more.
Acute inflammation is usually caused by a sudden and specific injury. A physical example would be cutting your finger. But the cause can also be biological, chemical or even psychological.
Your body responds with pain, redness, swelling or loss of mobility in the area where the injury occurred. Control of those symptoms may include medication, hot or cold treatments, rest or rehabilitative exercise.
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Acute inflammation can be severe, but tends to dissipate over a few days. However, if left untreated, acute inflammation can become chronic.
Chronic inflammation develops over time and then persists. Some chronic inflammation, such as arthritis, can appear when your joints swell. But it is often more internal.
We can’t see internal inflammation, but we can definitely feel it. Signs include abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, dry cough, fatigue, fever, headache, indigestion and more.
Obesity is a major cause, because fat tissue triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals in your body. Smoking or inhaling toxins stresses your cardiovascular system. Alcohol use can overtax your liver and slow down the vital process of breaking down toxins in your body. And as we age, our immune system tends to weaken and we become more susceptible to inflammation.
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Do not ignore signs of chronic inflammation. It can affect your heart health, damage your DNA and lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
“Typically, we advise people to see their primary care provider if the symptoms of inflammation don’t go away,” Kathleen said.
“Standard treatments for chronic inflammation vary depending on the cause. For example, if you have asthma, you may have chronic inflammation of the lungs. Then we can prescribe steroids in the form of an inhaler that helps to reduce the swelling of the lungs. If you have rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, there are other options, including steroids.
Long-term use of steroids can cause other problems, but they are effective for certain chronic conditions. The use of steroid medications should be closely monitored.
What Causes Inflammation In Body & How To Fight It?
Accidents happen, so many incidents of acute inflammation are inevitable. Or at least inevitable. But chronic inflammation is another story.
“One of the biggest steps you can take to prevent inflammation is to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle,” said Kathleen.
A healthy diet is essential to reduce inflammation naturally. Eat foods that are high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as flaxseed, salmon and tuna. Choose whole fruits and vegetables while limiting refined carbohydrates, fried, processed foods and red meat. Benign inflammation occurs in response to a viral or bacterial infection or injury. The immune system sends white blood cells to fight infection or heal the injured area. As white blood cells collect at the site, the area becomes red and swollen, which can be painful as the body fights infection or mobilizes an injury.
Acute Inflammation allows the body to heal and become stronger. It is associated with good inflammation, injury, and viral or bacterial infection and is short-term, usually lasting two weeks or less.
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Bad Inflammation happens when the immune system is stimulated but it shouldn’t be. Bad Inflammation Triggers are exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals or causes such as chronic stress, auto-immune disorders, and obesity. These conditions further overstimulate the immune response resulting in prolonged Inflammation. They can lead to health problems such as arthritis, dementia, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression.
Chronic inflammation is long-term inflammation that lasts in the body for months or years. Chronic Inflammation is associated with bad Inflammation and is linked to more than 90% of all diseases.
In our clinic, we see many patients suffering from different degrees of inflammation. Below is an infographic showing the most common causes. If you study the list, you will see that there is a lot that a person can do on their own to reduce inflammation.
Standard Western Diet – Unfortunately, the Western diet is rich in refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, artificial preservatives, flavors and colourings, with minimal fruit and vegetables, which starve the body of anti-nutrients -essential inflammatory. This type of diet, over time, distorts the immune system to become pro-inflammatory, bypassing the anti-inflammatory safeguards that the body has in place. When inflammation is allowed to run unchecked in the body, it destroys tissue, suppresses immune function even more and allows disease to take hold, especially where our body is weak.
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Chronic Stress – Our bodies are not designed to live in a constant state of stress. When we are under stress, our body goes into a flight or fight response, which causes an increase in adrenaline and cortisol. Both are important in the short term because they keep us out of harm’s way. Prolonged activation of adrenaline and cortisol lets the body know that the emergency is still happening; the body, in turn, suppresses all non-essential functions (in an emergency), including immune and digestive functions. A suppressed immune system cannot fight pro-inflammatory mediators, nor can the digestive system adequately absorb the nutrients from the food we eat. In addition, cortisol increases the release of glucose, suppresses insulin and narrows the arteries, making the heart work harder.
Dysbiosis – Dysbiosis is the overgrowth of harmful organisms in the digestive system compared to beneficial ones. Many factors can cause Dysbiosis, including;
Leaky Gut Syndrome – It is a condition in which microscopic holes appear in the intestinal wall. These holes occur for many reasons including;
Poor sleep habits – causes the body to produce excess amounts of inflammatory markers, including cytokines, Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein. A standard theory for why this happens is that when we sleep, our blood vessels relax, and blood pressure drops. If you don’t sleep, our constricted blood vessels produce these inflammatory molecules.
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Improper detoxification of the liver – One of the prominent roles of the liver is to remove toxins and waste.
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