What are the signs and symptoms of inflammation? This article will discuss the most important things you need to know.
What is inflammation?
What is inflammation anyway? Inflammation is a natural response by our body to any injury. It is the process wherein the white blood cells and the protective chemicals in the body are at play to fight off foreign substances such as viruses and bacteria, and infection.
How inflammation happens
When injury happens to any part of the body, the minute blood vessels that surround the affected tissue widen and dilate to increase blood flow in the area. The pore size or permeability of the tissues also increases allowing blood cells, blood protein, chemical mediators and fluids to rush towards the area.
This accumulation of fluids cause swelling and usually results to nerve compression that brings about pain.
As the blood cells and chemical mediators rush to the area, they bring about various components that function to protect the tissue. This is where white blood cells consume invading bacteria, or where the protein called fibrin starts the clotting process if there is bleeding.
The entire process of inflammation, specifically the increase in blood supply in the injured area causes the production of heat.
In some diseases called autoimmune diseases, the immune system inappropriate triggers an inflammatory response even if there are no foreign substances to ward off. When this happens, your immune system causes damage to your own cells and tissues.
Diseases associated with inflammation
There are many conditions that can be linked to inflammation. For instance, many types of arthritis are caused by inflammation that is misdirected.
Arthritis is a term that is generally used to describe joint inflammation.
Rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gouty arthritis and polymyglia rheumatica are some type of arthritis associated with inflammation.
Symptoms of inflammation
Inflammation is characterized by four cardinal signs:
3. Warmth or heat in the affected area
Some inflammations are accompanied by loss of function and joint stiffness. Oftentimes, only a few of the these symptoms are present when an injury occurs.
Inflammation may also be associated with chills, fever, headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite and other "flu-like" symptoms.
Treatment for inflammation
There are many known medications today for treating inflammation and relieving pain. They include:
- NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- Corticosteroids such as prednisone (steroid-based drugs)
- Anti-malarial drugs such as hydroxychloroquine
Although they work in relieving pain and discomfort caused by inflammation, most anti-inflammatory drugs are so strong that they might potentially cause unwanted side effects in certain individuals. These side effects may include nausea, headaches, diarrhea, as well as cardiovascular problems especially with long term use.
Fish oil supplement for inflammation
If you want relief you might want to ask your doctor about trying to get it the natural way through fish oil supplements. Omega 3 in fish oil has been found to have potent potential anti-inflammatory properties. Taking fish oil supplement daily might provide long-term relief from inflammation without the unwanted side effects for some individuals.
These statements are not medical advice and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.