Inflammation

Inflammation is a localized reaction, which produces warmth, redness, swelling, and pain due to an infection, injury, or irritation; it can be internal or external. It is a natural way of the body to provide self-protection with the aim of removing harmful stimuli including irritants, damaged cells, or pathogens and the start of the healing process. When irritants or something harmful affects part of the body, a biological response is triggered to try to remove it. Inflammation may not necessarily mean infection, even if an infection causes the inflammation. It may be acute meaning occurring suddenly, or chronic meaning occurring progressively for a long time.

Inflammation Symptoms

Inflammation may cause symptoms in an individual. The symptoms may be mild, moderate, or even severe. Presence of inflammation can make most individuals disease perceptible or detectable. It can occur immediately or may take a long time to reach a level that is clinically significant. An inflammation that occurs without an obvious cause may need a medical examination to determine its cause. Below are the common signs and symptoms of inflammation. Some individuals may not show all the typical signs of inflammation.

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Warmth sensation or heat
  • Swelling
  • Loss of function
  • Flu-like symptoms like chills, fever, headaches, or fatigue

Inflammation Causes

Inflammation may be caused by an injury, a disease, irritant, or abnormal response of the body’s immune system. If you have an infection or injury, inflammation is triggered to help in protecting and healing the body. White blood cells and some other chemicals in the body are sent to the inflamed tissue through a series of biochemical reactions in order to fight off the foreign bodies. Below is a list of possible causes of inflammation. There are more possible causes than listed here.

  • Trauma
  • Burns
  • Physical injury, penetrating or blunt
  • Stress
  • Infection
  • Immune reaction or hypersensitivity
  • Chemical irritants
  • Alcohol
  • Toxins
  • Arthritis

Inflammation Diagnosis

Diagnosis of inflammation is based on different factors. Doctors may interview a patient to get crucial information that may give cues to help determine the cause. Some causes are obvious, for instance, when a person is injured. However, underlying disease conditions can cause inflammation. A complete medical or physical examination may be conducted including X-ray and blood tests to help find out the cause.

Inflammation Treatment

Drugs used to treat inflammation are aimed at reducing pain and swelling or progression of an inflammatory disease. Treatment of inflammation depends on the cause. The goal of treatment is to correct, slow or control the underlying cause. It also helps maintain the movement of joint and muscle through physical therapy. Inflammation treatment helps relieve pain through the use of medicines such as anti-inflammatory drugs. Patients may receive treatment to avoid or modify the activities that increase pain. Inflammation whether in the brain or other body parts is always a secondary response to an event such as injury or a disease-causing substance. Although inflammation is perceived as a secondary response, it is a mechanism that can protect or even damage cells depending on the length of occurrence and severity. Sometimes, inflammation can occur in a different way. In autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, the immune system triggers inflammation without the presence of any foreign invader to fight. This kind of inflammation causes self-damage to body tissue. The body responds as though normal tissues have been invaded or are abnormal. This is called a misguided inflammation. When prescribing medicines for inflammation, doctors and physicians examine the causal factors, the extent or severity, and where the pain occurs.