When an organism such as bacteria, virus, or pollen invades healthy tissue, it infects cells and cause damage, triggering the process of inflammation.
One of the most common indicators that something is wrong with our body is an inflammation. There are many ways that inflammation is manifested, whether it be conditions with pain and swelling such as rheumatoid arthritis or in some cases where the symptoms of inflammation are not as obvious, such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
For inflammations of the skin, there are five signs that are visible, summed up in PRISH, as explained in the article “Everything you need to know about inflammation”:
- Pain, caused by chemicals which have been released and are stimulating nerve endings
- Redness, the inflamed area has more than the normal amount of blood
- Immobility, within the area of the inflammation, “some loss of function” can happen
- Swelling, arising from fluid buildup
- Heat, owing to increased blood flow in inflamed area
For inflammations within the body, not all signs are noticeable or visible. Symptoms may include fatigue, mouth sores, chest pain, abdominal pain, fever, rash, joint pain.
While inflammation serves a purpose, telling us that a part of our body needs care and protection, when it persists or lasts longer this becomes a cause for concern.
Inflammations can be classified as acute or chronic, depending largely on how swift the symptoms develop and the duration of the symptoms. Acute inflammation is characterized as “one that starts rapidly and becomes severe in a short space of time”. The other type of inflammation is long-term or chronic, one that lingers and causes the body to be “in a constant state of alert”.
[i] Wonder How To. [2011, March]. How To Understand the Process of Inflammation. Retrieved from https://medical-diagonosis.wonderhowto.com/how-to/understand-process-inflammation-0126012/
[ii] WebMD.com [2019, February]. Does Inflammation Harm Your Health? Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/women/ss/slideshow-what-is-inflammation
[iii] Nordqvist, C. [2017, November]. Everything you need to know about inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
[iv] Nordqvist, C. [2017, November]. Everything you need to know about inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
[v] Nordqvist, C. [2017, November]. Everything you need to know about inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php
[vi] Santos-Longhurst, A. [2018, July]. Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation