Inflammation is your body's natural response to injury or infection. It's the process by which your immune system recognizes foreign or damaged cells and triggers healing. There are two types of inflammation:
Why is inflammation important?
In many cases, inflammation is a protective process that removes pathogens and damaged tissue components so your body can heal. It kickstarts tissue repair and helps injuries mend properly. But prolonged, excessive inflammation can damage healthy tissues over time.
What causes inflammation?
Inflammation starts when the immune system recognizes cell damage or the presence of hostile pathogens or irritants. Specialized receptors detect these threats and set off signaling cascades that drive widening blood vessels, fluid leakage, and white blood cell infiltration – the hallmarks of inflammation.
Inflammatory triggers range widely, from splinters and bacteria to toxins, allergens, and faulty genes linked to autoimmunity. Even lifestyle factors like sleep deprivation, stress, smoking, and a poor diet can spark chronic, low-grade inflammation.
How is inflammation treated?
For acute inflammation, basic home treatments like rest, ice, compression, and elevation usually help reduce discomfort as the body heals. Over-the-counter pain relievers may also provide relief.
But for persistent, chronic inflammation, more advanced medical interventions may be needed. Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs can help autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Lifestyle measures like regular exercise, stress reduction, and an anti-inflammatory diet can also ease unwanted inflammation. Consider specialized testing from Equilibrium Hormone Institute(/) to uncover potential hormonal drivers of inflammation as well.
I hope this gives you a helpful overview on inflammation! Let me know if you have any other questions.