Inflammation is an immune response by our body against harmful stimuli such as bacteria or viruses. Learn more about inflammation in body and why it occurs. Inflammation is a natural process in our bodies that helps us fight off infections and heal wounds. However, when inflammation goes out of control, it can cause serious problems.
What is an inflammation in body?
Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defence system the immune system triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.
Some types of arthritis result from misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a general term that describes inflammation in the joints. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Gouty arthritis
Other painful conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system that may not be associated with inflammation include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain.
Inflammation in body signs
Symptoms of inflammation include:
- Swollen joint that’s sometimes warm to the touch
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of joint function
Often, only a few of these symptoms are present.
Inflammation may also be associated with general flu-like symptoms, including:
- Fatigue/loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle stiffness
Inflammation in body causes
When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection and may cause redness and warmth. Some chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint cause irritation, swelling of the joint lining and, eventually, wearing down of cartilage (cushions at the end of bones).
Inflammation in body effects
Yes. Inflammation can affect organs as part of an autoimmune disorder. The type of symptoms depend on which organs are affected. For example:
- Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis) may cause shortness of breath or fluid retention.
- Inflammation of the small tubes that transport air to the lungs may cause shortness of breath.
- Inflammation of the kidneys (nephritis) may cause high blood pressure or kidney failure.
- Inflammation may affect to your liver functions as well.
Pain may not be a primary symptom of an inflammatory disease, since many organs do not have many pain-sensitive nerves. Treatment of organ inflammation is directed at the cause of inflammation.
Inflammation in body diagnosis
Inflammatory diseases are diagnosed after careful evaluation of:
Complete medical history and physical exam with attention to:
- The pattern of painful joints and whether there is evidence of inflammation
- Presence of joint stiffness in the morning
- Evaluation of other symptoms
- Results of X-rays
- Results of blood tests
Inflammation in body blood test
- ESR (An erythrocyte sedimentation rate) Test
- CRP – C–reactive protein (CRP) is a blood test marker for inflammation in the body.
Risk of chronic inflammation in body
Inflammation plays a role in development and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels.
Inflammation in blood vessels promotes “vascular remodeling” that leads to a stiffness in arteries. This can raise blood pressure and make high blood pressure less responsive to medications aimed at controlling it.
Cancer risk is also linked with multiple studies to elevated hsCRP. There’s solid evidence of reasons for such a link. But it’s important to check how studies adjust for other influences on cancer risk, since factors like smoking and obesity can also raise cancer risk outside of effects on inflammation.
Type 2 diabetes risk may also increase with elevated hsCRP. Chronic low-grade inflammation is considered a key factor leading to insulin resistance. And frequent high blood sugars can contribute to oxidative stress that promotes more inflammation.
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