by Dr.Manvir Bhatia/ Ananya-24th June 2023

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a very natural way in which the body protects itself from any sort of harm. There are two types of inflammation: chronic and acute. The acute type happens when we are hurt badly or get cut. This is the time our immune system sends soldiers to the site of injury to surround and protect the area. This is visible as redness and swelling.

On the other hand, chronic inflammation is a result of the unwanted toxic substances in the blood. These may be pathogens like bacteria or viruses, chemical radiation, etc. Acute inflammation if untreated can turn into chronic inflammation.

Inflammation might not necessarily occur in response to an infection or injury. It might start working without a reason. As a result the cells that normally heal and protect us start to destroy the healthy arteries, joints, and organs.

Causes of inflammation:

  • Inflammation occurs as a result of various factors such as:
  • Pathogens – like viruses, bacteria, etc.
  • The reaction to some chemical or radiation.
  • External injuries such as a cut, bruise, or a needle prick.
  • Autoimmune disorders

Signs of inflammation:

The symptoms of chronic inflammation in the early stages are not very clear. The signs are so subtle that it might go undetected for quite some time. A person might just feel a bit tired or nothing at all. However, the following are the typical symptoms of inflammation:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain or tenderness
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Sometimes, there are also flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headaches, chills, muscle stiffness, etc.
  • Chest and abdominal pain

What happens during inflammation?

The symptoms of chronic inflammation in the early stages are not very clear. The signs are so subtle that it might go undetected for quite some time. A person might just feel a bit tired or nothing at all.

In the case of inflammation, many different immune cells are involved. They release various substances. We call them inflammatory mediators. They include bradykinin and histamine which cause the blood vessels to dilate. This allows more blood to reach the injured area making it red and hot. As a result of this, more immune cells can flow to the inflammation site to help with the process of healing.

The inflammatory mediators have the ability to irritate the nerves and cause a pain sensation. This is a protective mechanism so that it hurts and the person pays more attention to the affected part of the body. They also make it easier for the immune cells to pass out of the small blood vessels and reach the affected area. These cells cause more fluid to enter the cells of the affected area which causes the swelling. Once the root cause is addressed, the fluid flows out and the swelling goes down.  

Inflammation if taken care of is not a matter of concern. However, if it goes unattended and stays, then it can serve to be a cause of various ailments such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, asthma, etc. Thus, it is very important to address and take care of inflammation to avoid any such risk.

One can take the following members to deal with excessive inflammation with the body:

Eat a lot of food with anti inflammatory properties:

Appropriate food along with medications and supplements works the best in dealing with inflammation. One should add a lot of fruits, vegetables and food rich in omega3 fatty acids. These include fish such as salmon, tuna, walnuts, tofu, flaxseeds and soybean. Also, limiting the intake of sugar is recommended to deal with this condition.
It is best to cut out inflammatory food from the diet. These include red meat, deep fried food, processed food, margarine, etc. It is best to avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs to manage inflammation well.

Lifestyle changes:

Exercise regularly:

Exercise is a great way to keep the body away from inflammation. A workout of 35 to 40 minutes per day is a great way to stay healthy. Increasing weight and obesity is a major cause of inflammation. Exercise helps in maintaining an ideal body weight. Thus, 

Find effective ways to manage stress:

Stress is a major factor that causes a number of mental health issues. Therefore, it is very important for a person to deal with it in the best possible way. One can go for various relaxing activities like yoga, meditation, some hobbies, etc. It is also very important to connect and spend ample time with nature. It is advisable to consult a therapist or counselor if excessive stress or anxiety kicks in.

Get a good quality sleep regularly:

Sleep is a very important factor for maintaining good mental health and managing inflammation. One should follow a sleep routine that helps them fall asleep easily. Thus, it is best to keep the bedroom away from all sorts of disturbances. It is best to stay away from electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, etc. at least two hours before going to bed. Get some exercise regularly and avoid large meals and caffeine before bedtime.

Thus, we can conclude that we can take the steps mentioned above to manage inflammation at a personal level. If one can not manage it in a few days, then it is best to consult a medical professional to get to the root cause of it. Once we identify it, the treatment and further management become focused and easier.  


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Translate »