Inflammation can be a painful nuisance. It can make even the most mundane daily activities unbearable. Understanding what inflammation is can help us understand why we’re dealing with it. This article will go over what inflammation is, the inflammation symptoms, and the different types of inflammation.
What Is Inflammation?
When we hear the term ‘inflammation,’ we immediately think about the term’s negative connotations. While inflammation can be very unpleasant, it’s a system our body has in place to protect us. It’s a process by which our body’s white blood cells and the things they make defend us from bacteria and viruses.
It doesn’t feel good, but it’s a sign that our body and our immune system are doing their job. However, diseases like arthritis trigger inflammation when there are no harmful invaders to fight off. When battling these diseases, our immune system acts as if normal tissues are indicted or somehow unusual, which can cause damage.
What Are the Signs of Inflammation?
Understanding inflammation signs can help you know when something’s not right with your body. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that your body is fighting off bacteria. It could also be a sign that you’re dealing with arthritis. Here are some inflammation signs:
- A swollen joint that may be warm
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
We should note that many of these symptoms are also symptoms of other illnesses and diseases. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor. Your doctor will help you get to the root cause of the symptoms.
What Are the Types of Inflammation?
There are several different types of inflammation, but the two main types are acute and chronic. Acute inflammation is the type that most of us are familiar with. This type of inflammation comes with redness, warmth, swelling, and pain around tissues and joints that respond to an injury or illness.
While acute inflammation is mainly considered a good thing, chronic inflammation is when there’s too much of that good thing. When inflammation gets turned up too high and lingers for a long time, it’s known as chronic inflammation. When dealing with chronic inflammation, our white blood cells will react as if the body is constantly under attack.
What Are the Stages of Inflammation?
Understanding the stages of inflammation can help us understand where our body is in the process of fighting off harmful invaders. Understanding the stages can also help recognize if we’re developing chronic inflammation. Here are the three stages of inflammation:
- Phase 1: Inflammatory Response - This is the acute swelling stage. The symptoms of the inflammatory response are the symptoms of inflammation that we’re familiar with
- Phase 2: Subacute - This is also known as the repair and regeneration stage. Our body’s start building new tissues in the area of the damaged tissue
- Phase 3: Chronic - This is also known as the remodeling and maturation stage
A good case history is needed and assessment to determine if the injury’s condition is in the acute, subacute, or chronic inflammatory stage. The evaluation should include a visual scan, functional muscle testing, passive range of motion testing and resisted isometric muscle tests and palpation of the structure involved.
What Does Chronic Inflammation Feel Like?
One of the reasons why chronic inflammation is so dangerous is that its symptoms are often subtle. In fact, they’re so subtle that you may not even notice. While the signs of acute inflammation are more noticeable, it’s essential we know the subtle symptoms of chronic inflammation. Here are some of those symptoms:
- Mouth sores
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
These symptoms can last for several months, or they can last for years. Symptoms can be mild, or they can be severe.
What Are the Signs of Inflammatory Disease?
Inflammatory diseases occur when the immune system attacks the body’s tissues. This can lead to long-term health issues if left unchecked. Here are some of the symptoms of inflammatory disease:
- Redness in the affected area
- Joint pain
- Joint stiffness
- Loss of function and movement in the affected area
Inflammation also can affect the body’s organs. The symptoms depend on where the inflammation is located.
What Foods Cause Inflammation in the Body?
You may not think about the effect our diets have on our immune system. The foods that you eat can significantly affect inflammation in your body. Here are some of the foods experts believe can cause inflammation:
- Sugary food - Added sugar--table sugar and high fructose corn syrup--can increase inflammation and lead to disease. Eating foods high in sugar can increase your risk of obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and cancer
- Artificial trans fats - Experts believe artificial trans fats are some of the unhealthiest fats you can eat. These fats can cause inflammation and increase your risk of disease
- Vegetable and seed oils - Vegetable oils like soybean oil can promote inflammation. This is due to their high omega-6 fatty acid content
- Refined carbs - Carbohydrates aren’t inherently bad, but refined carbs can drive inflammation. Refined carbs have had most of their fiber removed and are generally found in candy, bread, pasta, pastries, and sugary soft drinks
- Excessive alcohol - Moderate alcohol consumption can have some health benefits, but high consumption levels can be dangerous
A healthy, well-balanced diet can help us keep inflammation in check. You don’t have to avoid these foods for the rest of your life, but limiting these foods’ consumption can help you lower your risk of developing chronic inflammation.
What Is the Most Effective Anti-Inflammatory Supplement?
Experts believe that exercise, good sleep, and stress management are the best ways to combat inflammation. However, additional support from supplements can be helpful. Here are some supplements that reduce inflammation in the body:
- Alpha-lipoic acid - This acid plays a crucial role in metabolism and energy production
- Curcumin - Curcumin can help decrease inflammation in diabetes, heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer
- Fish oil - Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce the inflammation associated with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and many other conditions
- Ginger - Ginger contains gingerol and zingerone, which can reduce the inflammation linked to colitis, kidney damage, diabetes, and breast cancer
We should note that supplements shouldn’t replace a nutritious diet. The best way to get the nutrients your body needs is through your diet.
Supplements Can Help
One supplement that can reduce inflammation is spermidine. This is because spermidine helps induce something called autophagy. This is the body’s process of replacing old and potentially damaged cells with newer, healthier cells. Autophagy means ‘self-eat.’
This process helps keep you feeling and looking young while also dramatically lowering your chances of developing aging diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. While it is possible to get your recommended daily intake of spermidine through your diet, it’s recommended to take supplements so you ensure you get the correct dose. Simply taking your supplements with your dinner is a great way to remember to take spermidine supplements every night.