Do You Know How Much Harm Inflammation Does to Your Health?

Inflammation comes from the Latin word “inflammare,” meaning to set on fire.

It was coined by Roman physician Cornelius Celsus in the first century A.D., who then described inflammation as: “Notae vero inflammationis sunt quatuor: rubor et tumor cum calore and dolore.” These words spoke of the four major signs of inflammation: redness and swelling with heat and pain.

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However, not all types of inflammation are bad. In fact, inflammation is essential to our body’s healing process and injury repair.

According to Cleveland Clinic, “When your body encounters an offending agent (like viruses, bacteria or toxic chemicals) or suffers an injury, it activates your immune system. Your immune system sends out its first responders: inflammatory cells and cytokines (substances that stimulate more inflammatory cells). These cells begin an inflammatory response to trap bacteria and other offending agents or start healing injured tissue. The result can be pain, swelling, bruising or redness. But inflammation also affects body systems you can’t see.”

Gong back to the different types of inflammation, there are two of them: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the body’s response to sudden damage like cutting a finger while you’re peeling a fruit. On the other hand, chronic inflammation happens when the body keeps on sending white blood cells and cytokines even though there’s no existing threat or damage. As a result, it’s the healthy cells, tissues, and organs that get attacked by the immune system.

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Symptoms of Acute inflammation:

  • Flushed skin (site of injury)
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Heat
  • Swelling

Symptoms of Chronic inflammation:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness or joint pain
  • Skin rash
  • Sores in the mouth
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How much harm does Chronic Inflammation do to the body?

  • It could lead to a heart attack. The immune system sends inflammatory chemicals when the body detects a build-up of fats on the walls of the heart’s arteries, interpreting it as an injury. As a result, a blood clot may form and cause a stroke or heart attack.
  • It’s connected to type 2 diabetes. According to experts, chronic inflammation is triggered by obesity, which makes it more difficult for the body to utilize insulin.
  • It’s linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Even though experts have not yet determined if this condition causes Alzheimer’s, they have observed chronic brain inflammation in many people with this type of dementia.
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  • It can harm your gut microbiome. Chronic inflammation is associated with the inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It occurs when inflammatory chemicals attack the gut’s good bacteria, and there’s prolonged inflammation. Among its symptoms are diarrhea, belly pain, and cramps.
  • It worsens rheumatoid arthritis. In this case, the inflammatory agents of the immune system attack the joints of the body. It may result in inflammation that damages these parts, including the heart. Among its symptoms are redness, warmth, pain, stiffness, and swollen joints.
  • It may be connected to fibromyalgia. According to PubMed, fibromyalgia is a “chronic (long-lasting) disorder that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body, as well as fatigue and trouble sleeping. Scientists do not fully understand what causes it, but people with the disorder have a heightened sensitivity to pain.” Indeed, more research is needed on this disease, but it may be linked to brain inflammation.
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To help prevent chronic inflammation, experts recommend the following:

  • Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, whole grains, oily fish, and healthier types of oil. Foods with probiotics are also beneficial. Avoid processed foods and saturated fats while limiting your consumption of high-fat dairy products and meats.
  • Use spices and herbs in cooking. These contain a lot of antioxidants that help fight cell damage.
  • Lead an active lifestyle and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Don’t smoke.

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