What’s All This Talk About Inflammation?

man waking up holding head and stomach because of inflammationWe yap around here about swelling, and a few of you have actually raised excellent concerns (and responses) concerning what we’re actually getting at. A continuing thanks for your remarks and thoughtful reactions.

So, what do we suggest by swelling when we harp on the evils of sugars, grains, trans fats and other dietary fiends? Ah, the lots of sides of swelling: abscesses, bulges, distensions, engorgements, boils, blisters, bunions, oh my! Do inflamed ankles and puffy black shiners actually have anything to do with the swelling of arterial walls? Can flossing perhaps assist avoid heart problem? Let’s check out.

What is swelling?

Swelling is your body’s action to infection and injury. When your body sets off an inflammatory action, the body immune system musters immune cells to the website of the injury or infection to separate the location, eliminate hazardous or broken tissue, and start the recovery procedure.

Behind the scenes, your body releases your body immune system. For an injury, you can experience any mix of soreness, discomfort, swelling or heat. For an infection, you might experience a few of the very same things, at a bigger scale. Fever is a swelling action. Stuffy nose is swelling.

Anybody who has ever, state, strolled into a door understands that with injury comes swelling (and a little embarrassment). We may be frightened at the visual impacts that take place, however it’s simply the body’s natural and necessary action to protect itself from infection or injury. In reality, the swelling starts the recovery procedure itself. Remember, the body doesn’t care what you look like as long as it can regain your good health.

Acute Inflammation vs. Chronic Inflammation

Acute Inflammation

Walking into that door is an example of “acute inflammation,” a localized response characterized by compression of the surrounding nerves (ouch!) and collection of fluid in the area that helps bolster an immune response. The microscopic trainers are busy shouting orders, notifying the brain of wounded status, calling in the clotting response and going to work to reset things and get you taped up. They take care of business, you avoid all human contact for two weeks out of embarrassment, and you come out basically no worse for the wear.

Acute inflammation circumstances tend to be pretty run of the mill: sprained ankles, cuts and scrapes, bumps on the head, etc. In certain cases, however, inflammation takes on much larger significance, such as in the case of the major trauma of a car accident, significant burns, major allergic reaction or a previously localized infection that spreads to other parts of the body. Major and/or multiple sites of trauma and infection initiate a larger, systemic response.

In cases of severe trauma, the body elicits a massive inflammatory response. The immune system kicks into high gear, and white blood cells, among others, migrate to the injured areas. Receptors that sense the sweeping call to inflammatory action get in on the action. The blood supply to major organs, such as the lungs, is compromised. If left unchecked, organs failure can ensue.

Chronic Inflammation

Ongoing health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders can instigate what’s known as chronic, low-grade inflammation. This kind of inflammation doesn’t result in the immediate, sweeping response of trauma, but it keeps the body in a constant state of repair response. Immune cells (macrophages, monocytes, and lymphocytes) take charge, and a recurring, destructive procedure of tissue destruction and repair effort develops and continues until the source of the chronic inflammation is removed.

And there are serious consequences to this unchecked, ongoing inflammation. Neutrophils, one of the cells involved in inflammatory response, attack what they perceive as outside damage or invaders with the massive production of free radicals. They and other cells will keep pumping and spreading these free radicals throughout the body as long as they sense the inflammation. As you know by now, free radicals also destroy healthy cell walls and DNA, so there is collateral damage, too. The body’s general immune response (the ability to deal with daily exposure to bacteria, virus and fungus) is compromised because the system is kept busy tending to the incessant, active inflammation. Long-term effects of chronic inflammation can influence the development of many other conditions from Chrohn’s disease to cancer. And, of course, countless studies have connected chronic inflammation with the development of atherosclerosis (and, increasingly, insulin resistance). Keep in mind we spoke recently about the devastation caused when arterial walls are inflamed and the body responds with a “cholesterol band-aid“? Yep, chronic systemic inflammation is a big factor there, too. Even to the extent that chronically inflamed gums might be a tangential cause of heart disease – and if not a cause, at the very least an accompanying symptom of systemic inflammation.

Frightening scenario, eh? The good news is that a CRP or C-reactive protein test can offer you and your doctor a better sense of your inflammation picture. Another test called hs-CRP may offer a detailed picture of inflammation as it relates to heart disease risk. If you get these tests, be sure to do so when you don’t have a recent injury or illness, since CRP can linger from the acute response, too.

Swelling FAQs

How can you reduce swelling?

You can reduce swelling by going for walks, spending time in nature, eliminating seed oils high in omega-6 fats, eating more seafood or taking fish oil, losing excess body fat, exercising regularly, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, and eating plenty of protein.

What foods cause inflammation?

Whether a food is inflammatory depends on many factors, such as a person’s genetics, health status, exercise and sleep habits, gut health, and underlying baseline nutrient status. Foods that cause inflammation in almost everyone are refined grains, refined sugar, and refined seed and vegetable oils.

Other people may have concerns with specific foods or food categories, like nightshades. It’s highly individual, though.

What causes swelling?

Any insult or injury. Every cut, every bug bite, every scrape and scratch, every broken bone or sprained ankle causes swelling. Every time you eat food you’re intolerant of or allergic to causes inflammation. If you breathe in pollen and you have seasonal allergies, that causes inflammation.

How to reduce inflammation in the body fast?

To reduce inflammation quickly, high dose fish oil can help. Turmeric with black pepper can reduce inflammation quickly as well. Black seed oil is another good option for reducing body inflammation fast.

Do tomatoes cause inflammation?

Some individuals are intolerant of nightshades, which include tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Common symptoms of nightshade or tomato intolerance include joint pain, stomach upset, nighttime tremors, and other reactions typical of allergy.

We’ll say what we’ll always say. (Systemic) inflammation sucks. Get rid of simple carbs. Eliminate stress. Get some exercise (however not excessive). Accept a Primal anti-inflammatory diet plan. Inspect ’em out in the archives, and share your remarks.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.