All About Inflammation

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation isn’t always bad; It is the body’s natural defense against damaged cells, viruses, bacteria, etc. It aims to remove these harmful or foreign invaders and heal itself. 

Inflammation can sometimes be mistaken for inflection, but the two are not the same. Infection can, however, cause inflammation because infection is caused by harmful substances like bacteria or fungus. In fact, inflammation is the body’s response to infection.

 

In this way, inflammation is good.  During the process of inflammation, the body's natural response to the area of concern is to send, via the bloodstream, an over abundance of white blood cells to encapsulate the area and absorb any bacteria. This process is called The Inflammatory Response. It is a normal response.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To understand inflammation, think of a time when you may have cut or injured your finger. The effects of localized inflammation are seen by the swelling, redness, warmth and pain that occurs. The inflammatory response increases the amount of blood flow to the site of injury to get more nutrients and white blood cells to an area in need. To increase blood flow to the area, the blood vessels get wider (dilate). To help the white blood cells, proteins and other substances reach the cells, the blood vessels in the inflamed area get "leaky". This leakiness causes water to collect in the surrounding tissue, causing swelling. Inflammatory response also causes blood to clot. Eventually the process will do what it's designed to do, and the area will normalize, swelling, redness and pain will diminish. 

Quick Inflammation Facts!

  • Inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection to remove harmful stimuli and begin the healing process.

  • Inflammation is part of the body's immune response.

  • Infections, wounds, and any damage to tissue would not be able to heal without an inflammatory response.

  • Chronic inflammation can eventually cause several diseases and conditions, including some cancers and rheumatoid arthritis.

There are two different types of inflammation. One type is acute inflammation; The other is chronic. While acute inflammation starts quickly and generally disappears in a few days, chronic inflammation can last for months or years as a result of failure to eliminate the cause and minor, repeated exposure to the agent. A poor diet, stress, minor food allergies, a sedentary lifestyle and more can contribute to chronic inflammation. 

Disease and Condition examples of Acute Inflammation:
 

What is Chronic Inflammation?

This refers to long-term inflammation and can last for several months and even years.

 

It can result from:

  • failure to eliminate whatever was causing an acute inflammation

  • an autoimmune disorder that attacks normal healthy tissue, mistaking it for a pathogen that causes disease

  • exposure to a low level of a particular irritant, such as an industrial chemical, over a long period of time. 

Examples of diseases and conditions that include chronic inflammation:
 

Inflammation needs to be well managed.

Symptoms of Inflammation - vary depending on whether the reaction is acute or chronic.

 

Acute

The effects of acute inflammation can be summed up by the acronym PRISH. These five acute inflammation signs only apply to inflammations of the skin. They include:
 

  1. Pain: The inflamed area is likely to be painful, especially during and after touching. Chemicals that stimulate nerve endings are released, making the area more sensitive.

  2. Redness: This occurs because the capillaries in the area are filled with more blood than usual.

  3. Immobility: There may be some loss of function in the region of the inflammation.

  4. Swelling: This is caused by a buildup of fluid.

  5. Heat: More blood flows to the affected area, and this makes it feel warm to the touch.

 

Chronic

If inflammation occurs deep inside the body, such as in an internal organ, only some of the signs may be noticeable. For example, some internal organs may not have sensory nerve endings nearby, so there will be no pain, such as in certain types of lung inflammation. 

Symptoms of chronic inflammation present in a different way.

 

These include:
 

  1. fatigue

  2. mouth sores

  3. chest pain

  4. abdominal pain

  5. fever

  6. rash

  7. joint pain

Causes of Inflammation?

What researchers believe is that an overactive immune system results in the body being flooded with defense cells and hormones that damage tissues. Dietary and environmental toxins may build up in the body, turning the immune system on and keeping it highly reactive.

  • a poor diet

  • stress

  • minor food allergies

  • a sedentary lifestyle

  • and more!

Poor Diet:

  • Corn and soybean oils

  • Pasteurized dairy

  • Refined carbohydrates

  • Conventional meat

  • Sugars

  • Trans fats

Great Diet, Preventing Inflammation:

 

  • dietary fibre

  • fruits

  • vegetables

  • teas

 

The above list of foods (dietary fibre, fruits, vegetables and teas) have been used to combat cancer, and vitamin E, curcumin, acetylcarnitine and catechin have been shown to have a positive and preventative effect on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Foods high in antioxidants help to reduce damage caused by inflammation.

Research continues and UCLA professor Greg Cole has been looking at how to control inflammation and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease with food substances such as curcumin, fruit flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids and reservatrol.

The Mediterranean diet contains many anti-inflammatory foods and has been shown to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The diet has also been linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Although it isn’t the focus, most people who go on an anti-inflammatory diet also lose weight.

 

Tuft University's, Dr. Andrew Greenberg says, “There is no doubt that if you lose weight, inflammation is dramatically improved.” This is because excess fatty acids circulating in the blood promote the inflammatory immune response.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone is one of the leading proponents of the anti-inflammatory diet and has authored several books. He says that “all foods fit into three categories:

1) pro-inflammatory

2) neutral or

3) anti-inflammatory

Some of Perricone’s anti-inflammatory “super-foods” are:

  • Acai fruit

  • Allium vegetables (chives, garlic, leeks, onions, scallions and shallots)

  • Beans and lentils

  • Green foods

  • Hot peppers

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Sprouts

Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. has developed the Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Pyramid

Knee joint pain - inflammation
Anti-inflammatory Pyramid.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contributors of Medical information for my pages, provided by:

 

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. www.drweil.com

Medical News Today - Newsletter, 24 November, 2017

Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a certified doctor of natural medicine, doctor of chiropractic and clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people eat healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. In 2008, he started a functional medicine center in Nashville, which grew to become one of the most renowned clinics in the world.

Dr. Nicholas Perricone, MD, FACN, is a board-certified clinical and research dermatologist. Dr. Perricone completed medical school in just three years, graduating with distinction. He completed his internship in Pediatrics at Yale Medical School and his Dermatology Residency at Ford Medical Center. Dr. Perricone is regarded as the Father of the Inflammation Theory of Aging. He is the author of the three New York Times Best Sellers, The Perricone Promise (Warner Books 2004), The Perricone Prescription (HarperCollins 2002), and The Wrinkle Cure (Warner Books 1998).

Dr. Andrew Greenberg, graduated from the New York University School of Medicine in 1981. He works in Boston, MA and specializes in Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism and Internal Medicine. Greenberg is affiliated with Tufts Medical Center.

 

Greg Cole - Professor of Medicine and Neurology at UCLA Medical Center