Your Quick Guide to Understanding Inflammation
When people think about inflammation, they typically think of a fever, muscle or joint pain. That’s why inflammation is often perceived as something bad that damages your body and negatively impacts your health. Inflammation is an essential response of your immune system that helps your body fight an injury or illness. Without that vital process, your body wouldn’t be able to heal itself. In essence, there are good and bad variants of this biological response. People who embrace intentional and purposeful movement into their days will be all too familiar with the self-inflicted variant of this response. In this piece, we’ll explore both good and bad types of inflammation and what you can do to manage both.
Defining InflammationInflammation is a process that protects the body from an infection or helps it heal after any sort of tissue damage. Your body triggers it when something harmful like bacteria or toxins damage your cells. For those of you who pursue physical improvements, you’ll be all too familiar with the inflammation that accompanies the ‘intentional’ tissue damage we inflict in order to induce positive adaptation. In the presence of this type of foreign body, a signal is sent to your immune system, which activates an immune response to fight off the foreign invader or heal an injury. Your immune system stimulates the production of white blood cells in the affected area, thus causing inflammation to contain and combat the infection.
What Causes Inflammation?The most common causes of inflammation include external injuries and pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. If you suffer a joint injury, for instance, or any kind of tissue damage, such as cuts and bruises, your body triggers inflammation in the localised area to help it heal. The same goes for pathogens that enter your body and cause an infection or illness. Certain medications can also cause inflammation, as well as autoimmune diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Other causes include chronic stress, lack of physical activity, insufficient sleep, smoking, excessive alcohol, and certain inflammatory foods. Foods that are typically refined and, or processed.
What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?There are many different symptoms of inflammation, depending on what causes it. That means you may not experience all of them when your body is fighting a foreign pathogen or trying to heal itself after an injury. The most common symptoms of inflammation include:
- Muscle and joint pain and stiffness
- Loss of function
- Appetite loss
Types of InflammationThere are two types of inflammation:
- Continuous fatigue
- Mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression
- Weight gain
- Problems with your gastrointestinal tract