Most of us associate inflammation with a painful condition, which is commonly accompanied by swelling, fever and extreme fatigue.
In fact, inflammatory process is a normal response of our body to infection, wound or some other damage.
When something goes wrong in your body, injured cells release special chemicals, in order to signal the immune system that it's time to act. Immune system perceives these signals and sends inflammatory cells to fight off toxic substance or foreign agent.
At the same time, small arteries, located in the affected area, get enlarged that results in raised blood flow.
Maybe each of us experienced this acute reaction, when had trauma, acute bronchitis, dermatitis or appendicitis.
Acute inflammation lasts several days, ending in recovery or certain complications.
Sometimes acute inflammatory process can turn into the chronic condition, if underlying reason wasn't eliminated from the body.
Long-term inflammation is also related to autoimmune diseases, when immune system misinterprets body's own tissues as foreign things and starts to attack them.
Permanent exposure to low levels of certain irritants (like various chemicals) can eventually contribute to chronic inflammation too.
Those, who have rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, asthma or chronic hepatitis, have long-lasting inflammation in their bodies.
When your organism is on high alert for a long time, it may cause serious damage in your brain, heart and other vital organs.
For example, it was found that chronic inflammatory process can promote formation of potentially life-threatening plaques in the blood vessels. Immune system usually reacts on these new foreign substances and sends first-line defensive cells. With time, plaques grow big enough and can block blood flow, leading to heart attack or stroke.
The same trouble happens in the brain. Chronic inflammation was found to play a role in developing Alzheimer's disease.
There is a wide variety of medications, which are able to reduce inflammation. Although, all of them have their side effects and risks, especially if consumed for a long time.
Medical professionals recommend against long-term intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, as they may cause peptic ulcer, kidney dysfunction and make asthma symptoms worse.
If you suffer from autoimmune disorder, your doctor may prescribe you corticosteroids, which have ability to prevent numerous inflammation-associated mechanisms.
There are also some herbal supplements, like ginger, turmeric and hyssop, which are supposed to reduce chronic inflammatory process. Remember that even natural remedies may have unwanted effects. That's why it's important to consult with healthcare expert, before taking any supplements.
Maintaining healthy weight is also a good option to regulate inflammation in your body. Several studies show that obesity can trigger cascade of inflammatory reactions, resulting in insulin resistance and other health problems.
Try to avoid inflammation-friendly foods, like soda, margarines, refined carbs and fried foods. Adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish is a perfect way to decrease risks of chronic inflammation and its consequences.
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