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INFLAMMATION

Questions

INFLAMMATION

Inflammation happens in everyone, whether you’re aware of it or not. Your immune system creates inflammation to protect the body from infection, injury, or disease. There are many things you wouldn’t be able to heal from without inflammation. Sometimes with auto immune diseases like certain types of arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells.

Inflammation is classified into two main types:

  • Acute inflammation usually occurs for a short (yet often severe) duration. It often resolves in two weeks or less. Symptoms appear quickly. This type restores your body to its state before injury or illness.
  • Chronic inflammation is a slower and generally less severe form of inflammation. It typically lasts longer than six weeks. It can occur even when there’s no injury, and it doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune disorders and even prolonged stress.

Causes of inflammation include

Inflammation happens when a physical factor triggers an immune reaction. Inflammation does not necessarily mean that there is an infection, but an infection can cause inflammation. When inflammation happens, chemicals from your body's white blood cells enter your blood or tissues to protect your body from invaders. This raises the blood flow to the area of injury or infection. It can cause redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause fluid to leak into your tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may trigger nerves and cause pain.

Acute inflammation can result from:

  • Exposure to a substance, such as a bee sting or dust
  • An injury
  • Fractures
  • Muscle Tear
  • Ankle  Sprains
  • An infection

Signs of acute inflammation can appear within hours or days, depending on the cause. In some cases, they can rapidly become severe. How they develop and how long they last will depend on the cause, which part of the body they affect, and individual factors. Some factors and infections that can lead to acute inflammation include:

  • Acute bronchitis, appendicitis and other illnesses ending in “-itis”
  • An ingrown toenail
  • A sore throat from a cold or flu
  • Physical trauma or wound

Chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can develop if a person has:

Sensitivity: Inflammation happens when the body senses something that should not be there. Hypersensitivity to an external trigger can result in an allergy.

Exposure: Sometimes, long-term, low-level exposure to an irritant, such as an industrial chemical, can result in chronic inflammation.

Autoimmune disorders: The immune system mistakenly attacks normal healthy tissue, as in psoriasis.

Auto inflammatory diseases: A genetic factor affects the way the immune system works, as in Behçet’s disease.

Persistent acute inflammation: In some cases, a person may not fully recover from acute inflammation. Sometimes, this can lead to chronic inflammation.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase the risk of chronic inflammation include

  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • A diet that is rich in healthful fats and added sugar
  • Smoking
  • Low sex hormones
  • Stress
  • Sleep problems

Long-term diseases that doctors associate with inflammation include:

  • Asthma
  • Chronic peptic ulcer
  • Tuberculosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Periodontitis
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Sinusitis
  • Active hepatitis

Inflammation plays a vital role in healing, but chronic inflammation may increase the risk of various diseases, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.

Preventive measures for inflammation

You can control — and even reverse — inflammation through a healthy, anti- inflammatory diet and lifestyle. People with a family history of health problems, such as heart disease or colon cancer, should talk to their physicians about lifestyle changes that support preventing disease by reducing inflammation. Follow these six tips for reducing inflammation in your body:

·    Load up on anti-inflammatory foods. Your food choices are just as important as the medications and supplements you may be taking for overall health since they can protect against inflammation.

·    Control blood sugar. Limit or avoid simple carbohydrates, such as white flour, white rice, refined sugar and anything with high fructose corn syrup.

·    Make time to exercise. Regular exercise is an excellent way to prevent inflammation. Make time for 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise and 10 to 25 minutes of weight or resistance training at least four to five times per week.

·    Lose weight. People who are overweight have more inflammation. Losing weight may decrease inflammation.

·    Manage stress. Chronic stress contributes to inflammation. Use meditation, yoga, biofeedback, guided imagery or some other method to manage stress throughout the day.

When to seek medical help?

Most of the inflammation conditions are related to injury, ankle sprain, muscle tear or any other infection. All these can be treated at home by consulting home remedies or can be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines. However seek immediate medical help if the inflammation symptom persists for more than few days along with other symptoms like pain, redness and itching. Inflammation related to inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis need immediate assistance for medical expert in examination, diagnosing and treatment of inflammation.

Treatment Overview

There’s no single test that can diagnose inflammation or conditions that cause it. Instead, based on your symptoms, your doctor may give you any of the tests below to make a diagnosis.

Blood tests There are  few so-called markers that help diagnose inflammation in the body. However, these markers are nonspecific, meaning that abnormal levels can show that something is wrong, but not what is wrong.

·        Serum protein electrophoresis (SPE)

·        C-reactive protein (CRP)

·        Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)

·        Plasma viscosity

·        Other diagnostic tests

If you have certain symptoms — for instance, chronic diarrhoea or numbness on one side of your face — your doctor may request an imaging test to check certain parts of the body or brain. MRIs and X-rays are commonly used.To diagnose inflammatory gastrointestinal conditions, your doctor may perform a procedure to see inside parts of the digestive tract. These tests can include:

  • Colonoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Upper endoscopy

Home remedies to reduce inflammation

Sometimes, fighting inflammation can be as simple as changing up your diet. By avoiding sugar, Trans fats, and processed foods, you can put yourself on the path to feeling better. There are also foods that can actually fight inflammation.

Other treatment options for inflammation

If your inflammation is due to an underlying autoimmune condition, your treatment options will vary. For general symptoms of inflammation, your doctor may recommend several options:

NSAIDs and aspirin

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually the first line of defence in treating short-term pain and inflammation. Most can be bought over the counter.

Common NSAIDs include:

  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol)
  • naproxen (Aleve)

Corticosteroids .Corticosteroids are a type of steroid commonly used to treat swelling and inflammation as well as allergic reactions. Corticosteroids typically come as either a nasal spray or oral tablet.

Topical analgesics and other creams

Topical analgesics are typically used for acute or chronic pain. They may have less side effects than an oral counterpart. Topical creams and products can contain different medications. Some are prescription only, so it’s best to get advice from your doctor. This is especially the case if you’re treating long-term inflammation, like with arthritis.

Physiotherapy treatment

Physiotherapy can help with the symptoms of swelling and inflammation through their experience and knowledge. Physiotherapists can help by reducing the swelling, speeding the inflammation process and reducing pain. Physiotherapy treatment for inflammation when done by expert also helps in improving joint range of movement and providing self-management strategies
There are a number of treatments available from Physio.co.uk for swelling and inflammation. The experienced Physiotherapists will make a clinical judgement from the initial assessment on which treatments are best suited. Some of the treatments may include:

  • Ice therapy
  • Compression
  • Range of movement exercises
  • Electrotherapy (PSWD, Interferential, TENS
  • Massage