The human body has been made with a series of complex and defensive systems that ensure the best for smooth functioning. Most importantly, our immune system is responsible for it all. In case of any medical problem, the human body triggers a series of actions to provide cure and relief. Due to these set of actions, inflammation occurs.
What is Inflammation?
Before we move on to why we get inflammation, let’s evaluate what inflammation is. Inflammation is a part of the body’s defense mechanism and occurs only because a set of healing reactions have been triggered. While a person believes that they are suffering from pain after injury, it is inflammation that is occurring because the body’s immune system is triggering reactions for a cure. Inflammation is common and in the majority of cases, it is not something you should be worried about quite a lot.
In medical terminologies, inflammation can be defined as a process in which the human body’s white blood cells start a protective action for the body to be protected against infectious problems such as bacterias, and viruses. Sometimes, the human immune system starts to create antibodies against particular viruses which helps in curing the virus. During this action, a person may feel sick which can be called an inflammation effect.
Why Do We Get Inflammation?
Although inflammation is a part of the healing process, it creates certain undesirable effects in the human body. There are two main types of inflammation and each of them has a different reason for why it occurs.
The most common form of inflammation is acute inflammation which occurs for a short time. However, it may be quite painful because the body is taking rapid action against the problem that has occurred. For example, if you have been riding a bicycle and just fell. It might not be problematic or painful for you immediately but after a while, particularly after one sleep cycle, you might feel excessive pain. This is because the body has started the reactive process to make sure no infections or viruses enter the body and create bigger problems. This pain is a result of the immune system response and the chemical reactions occurring inside the body.
For about two weeks or less, you may feel one pain, redness, swelling, heat, and loss of function in a particular part of the body. Sometimes, you might be injured but just the heavy lifting of an object causes the muscle to swell. The body then takes corrective measures to ease out the muscle while during that time, the swelling keeps causing you pain.
If the body does not begin with the inflammation process, there are high chances that you would face a more permanent muscular problem that could not be resolved easily. If you have got yourself exposed to a harmful chemical, infection, excessive dust, or had an injury, you will be most likely to face inflammation. Another common example of inflammation is getting a sore throat from a simple problem like fever. This is because the body’s reaction as well as the medicine you might be taking are having a minor side effect of inflammation.
In medical terms, acute inflammation results when the immune system detects any kind of damage to the body tissues, cells, or pathogens. The body immediately sends plasma proteins to the affected area. Most of the time, tissues accumulate these plasma proteins which lead to the building up of fluid. Furthermore, the body also releases neutrophils which are specific white blood cells that can fight against pathogens. As a result, you could be having some pain lasting a few days only.
Treatment of Acute Inflammation
Acute Inflammation is quite easy to treat and you can get a wide variety of over-the-counter medicines that can help you out. From creams to tablets, all types of painkillers which can be bought without a prescription will be available at the nearby pharmacy. Sometimes, even antibiotics are advised by the doctors if you have a serious issue. For example, a minor cut due to a knife could be treated with an over-the-counter medicine but a major injury caused by an accident will require a proper course of antibiotics.
Find out more about the best anti-inflammatory creams over here – 5 Best Anti-Inflammatory Creams Over The Counter
Chronic inflammation is slower and less severe and many people don’t even feel that they are having any problems. For example, you might be feeling a headache or drowsiness due to chronic inflammation but you might not be regarding it as a seriously painful condition. Chronic Inflammation is not usually on the external parts of the body rather it creates an impact on the inside.
While most of the time, the response of our immune system saves us from deadly diseases and infectious problems, there are a few cases where the immune system mistakes the body’s own healthy cells as harmful agents. This triggers the immune system to send antibodies and plasma proteins to fight against the healthy cells. Such an inflammation might not be visible to a person because all else is healthy. This is all chronic inflammation is about. It does create problems in the long run.
Chronic inflammation occurs due to several reasons. Firstly, if a person is over-exposed to a particular climate, he or she may face chronic inflammation. Overexposure to sun, or the extreme cold, without protective gear or perhaps over-exposure to industrial chemicals may not provide any instant pain but would begin a series of chronic inflammation reactions.
Likewise, chronic inflammation may also occur if a person has a problem with sensitivity. If the body is sensitive to different items, any allergic reactions may follow which could cause chronic inflammation to occur. If the immune system is highly reactive and performs in a way that immediately triggers an inflammatory response, the body will then develop chronic inflammation.
Another important reason why chronic inflammation occurs is that when acute inflammation does not end. For example, if a person has been injured due to a road accident, the body will start to create antibodies to fight against infections and allergies as well as pathogens. However, sometimes, it may fail to completely win against these infections which may then enter the body and cause further problems. At this stage, most people are likely to see chronic inflammation symptoms.
Medical experts have concluded that there are certain people who are more likely to get chronic inflammation compared to others. These include elderly people, obese people, smokers, people with sleep disorders, people who regularly consume an unhealthy diet, and people who have any kind of sexual disorders as well.
Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation
While acute inflammation has a visible pain or mark on the body, chronic inflammation is the opposite. One might feel fatigued, excessive stress, sour mouth, rashes, pain in the abdominals, chest pain, anxiety, and related psychological problems as well. Depending upon the precise problem which you are facing, the inflammation may last for a few weeks to a few years as well. As these symptoms aren’t quite clear at times, spotting them is difficult as well.
Long Term Effects of Chronic Inflammation
Although inflammation plays a major role in the healing process, chronic inflammation has various problems associated with it as well. It is important to keep in mind that if chronic inflammation continues, the body will automatically be triggering many reactions that are not necessary but these actions will surely impact the healthy tissues as well as other organs in the body.
One of the main long-term effects of chronic inflammation is that it may activate the cancer cells in the human body. Other medical issues include asthma, chronic peptic ulcer, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontitis. One reason why it is highly recommended to get your medical checkup every few months is that chronic inflammation might be building up in your body and causing excessive problems. Only with the right medical tests can you figure out if the problem is there.
Type 2 Diabetes is also one of the main outcomes of chronic inflammation if it persists.
Related – How Do Anti-Inflammatory Gels Work?
Inflammation isn’t bad as it is a part of the healing process. Without inflammatory reactions in the body, we would be having several infections and viruses attacking us. With a little bit of pain and marks caused due to inflammation, we are saved from the future issues. However, excess inflammation can cause various problems which should be consulted with a doctor at first.