INFLAMMATION: signs, causes, chronic inflammation, treatments

You find in this Youtube video and in this health, wellness blog post:

- What is inflammation? The definition of inflammation (inflammatory reaction)

- The 4 signs of inflammation, symptoms

- The causes of inflammation

- Acute inflammation and chronic inflammation, the different types of inflammatory diseases

- How to limit inflammation in the body? Factors that promote inflammation in our body

What is inflammation? The definition of inflammation (inflammatory reaction)

Inflammation is a phenomenon that occurs in our body in response to an aggression by different substances.

The 4 signs of inflammation

Inflammation is characterized by 4 well-defined signs which are redness, heat, swelling and pain. These signs can be of varying intensity depending on the case.

The causes of inflammation

Inflammation is a reaction of our immune system to defend our body against an aggression.

The aggressions are very diverse, it can be a trauma, a blow, a wound, a burn, a surgery, but also a bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infection.

It can also be a reaction to an allergy or an autoimmune disease (our immune system sets up defense mechanisms against our own cells) or cancer (multiplication of abnormal and immortal cells).

The cells affected by the infection or trauma send a warning signal that is picked up by the immune cells, which arrive at the affected area and release the substances that cause the inflammatory reaction.

The molecules that are released by the immune cells are mainly histamine and prostaglandins.

These chemical messengers cause the symptoms of inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory drugs counteract the action of these molecules to reduce the symptoms of inflammation when it becomes too severe and causes intense pain.

Inflammation allows the recovery of the structure affected by the trauma or surgery, but also the elimination of the microbe that may have caused the infection.

It is interesting to know that in the medical vocabulary, the ending "ite" means inflammation, for example pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas or tendonitis, inflammation of a tendon.

When the inflammatory reaction occurs in an organ or structure and lasts for a long time, it can degrade its function.

Acute and chronic inflammation, the different types of inflammatory diseases

There are 2 types of inflammation, depending on the cause of the inflammatory reaction: acute inflammation, which appears at a given moment, and chronic inflammation, which lasts throughout life.

The chronic inflammatory reaction does not always have an obvious cause. It is not due to an infection or a trauma, the inflammatory reaction escapes the immune system's regulation system, the inflammation persists over time which can cause long-term complications. This is the case with autoimmune diseases such as hemorrhagic rectocolitis or rheumatoid arthritis.

How to limit inflammation in the body? Factors that promote inflammation in our bodies

It is important to know that certain factors in our body promote inflammation, such as acidity, excess weight, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity or various diseases such as type 2 diabetes or gout, which is due to an increase in the level of uric acid in the blood.

The cells that store fatty acids (lipids) in our body are called adipocytes. When these cells become overloaded with lipids due to overweight and lack of physical activity, they send out a stress signal. This stress is recognized by the immune system, which triggers inflammation.

The level of vitamin D also plays a role in chronic inflammatory diseases. The vitamin D would allow to restore the dysfunctions of the immune system which causes the persistence of the inflammation.

To know if there is inflammation in the body, it is sufficient to take a blood sample and analyze the level of CRP (C-reactive protein) which is a marker of the inflammatory state of the body.

To limit chronic inflammation, it is advisable to have a balanced and varied diet in order to limit acidity and overweight.

The consumption of omega-3 allows the production of substances that will limit inflammation.

Antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables and spices prevent toxic substances from attacking the cells, which reduces cellular stress and inflammation.

It is also important to have a regular and adapted physical activity, to reduce stress with relaxation or yoga.

Indeed, permanent stress causes a continuous release of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

It is important to know that cortisol plays a regulatory role during the inflammatory reaction, it allows to control and reduce the inflammation when it has done its job to eliminate microbes for example.

When the person is permanently stressed, there is an increase in stress hormones and therefore in cortisol, the immune cells develop a resistance to cortisol which can no longer play its anti-inflammatory role, hence the increase in inflammation.

Finally, it is recommended to regularly check your vitamin D level.

Dr Noura Marrai (Doctor of Pharmacy, YouTuber Health, creator of the health well-being Pharmaquiz application),

Pharmaquiz YouTube channel:

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