Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Inflammation Causes & Effects..

Inflammation is a process by which the body's white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses.
However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body's defence system -- the immune system -- triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body's normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.

What Diseases Are Associated With Inflammation?

Some, but not all, types of arthritis are the result of misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a general term that describes inflammation in the joints. Some types of arthritis associated with inflammation include the following:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriatic arthritis
  • Gouty arthritis
Other painful conditions of the joints and musculoskeletal system that may not be associated with inflammation include osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain, and muscular neck pain.



What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?

Symptoms of inflammation include:
Often, only a few of these symptoms are present.
Inflammation may also be associated with general flu-like symptoms including:
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle stiffness

What Causes Inflammation and What Are Its Effects?

When inflammation occurs, chemicals from the body's white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect your body from foreign substances. This release of chemicals increases the blood flow to the area of injury or infection, and may result in redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may stimulate nerves and cause pain.
The increased number of cells and inflammatory substances within the joint cause irritation, swelling of the joint lining and, eventually, wearing down of cartilage (cushions at the end of bones).



How Do I Know If Inflammation Is A Problem For Me?

EVERYONE WHO HAS HAD a sore throat, rash, hives, or a sprained ankle knows about inflammation. These are normal and appropriate responses—your body’s defense system—to infection and trauma. This kind of inflammation is good and we need it to survive. The trouble occurs when that defense system runs out of control, like a rebel army bent on destroying its own country.
Many of us are familiar with an overactive immune response and too much inflammation. It results in common conditions like allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune disease, and asthma. This is bad inflammation, and if it is left unchecked it can become downright ugly.
There’s a quick and easy blood test called a C-reactive protein test, and it measures the degree of HIDDEN inflammation in your body.
Finding out whether or not you are suffering from hidden inflammation is critical, because almost every modern disease (including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, depression, cancer, and even autism) is caused or affected by it. If your immune system and its ability to quell inflammation in your body are impaired, watch out. You are headed toward illness and premature aging.
Fortunately, addressing the causes of inflammation and learning how to live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle can dramatically improve your health. The first step is to understand what inflammation is and why it can become so dangerous.
Thankfully, the list of things that cause inflammation is relatively short:
Poor diet—mostly sugar, refined flours, processed foods, and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats
  • Lack of exercise
  • Stress
  • Hidden or chronic infections with viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
  • Hidden allergens from food or the environment
  • Toxins such as mercury and pesticides
  • Mold toxins and allergens
By listening carefully to a person’s story and performing a few specific tests, I can discover the causes of inflammation most people.
It’s important to understand that this concept of inflammation is not specific to any one organ or medical specialty. In fact, if you read a medical journal from any field of medicine, you will find endless articles about how inflammation is at the root of problems with the particular organ or area they focus on.
In the future, medicine may no longer have specialties like cardiology or neurology or gastroenterology, but new specialists like “inflammologists”.
But by understanding these concepts and core systems that are the basis of healthy living now, you don’t have to wait.
This is only part of the story. Read the full article on inflammation—also part of the 7 Keys to UltraWellness series— here: UltraWellness Lesson 2: Inflammation & Immune Balance.
Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below—but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

How Are Inflammatory Diseases Diagnosed?

Inflammatory diseases are diagnosed after careful evaluation of the following:
  • Complete medical history and physical exam with attention to:
    • The pattern of painful joints and whether there is evidence of inflammation
    • Presence of joint stiffness in the morning
    • Evaluation of other symptoms
  • Results of X-rays and blood tests

Some herbs have anti-inflammatory properties

Use of herbal supplements should be discussed with a doctor.
Harpagophytum procumbens - also known as devil's claw, wood spider, or grapple plant comes from South Africa and is related to sesame plants. Some research has shown it may have anti-inflammatory properties.
Hyssop Hyssopus - from the plant family Lamiaceae is mixed with other herbs, such as licorice for the treatment of some lung conditions, including inflammation. Beware of the essential oils of hyssop, as they can lead to life-threatening convulsions in laboratory animals.
Ginger - has been used for hundreds of years to treat dyspepsia, constipation, colic, other gastrointestinal problems, as well as rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) - also a plant of the ginger family. Current research is looking into the possible beneficial effects of turmeric in treating arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, and some other inflammatory conditions. Curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, is under investigation for the treatment of several illnesses and disorders, including inflammation.
Cannabis - contains a cannabinoid called cannabichromene, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.


Dr.Mark Hyman MD,
Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine.

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