Inflammation

Inflammation is the activation of the immune system in response to infection, irritation, or injury. It is associated  with an influx of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling, pain, and if sustained can lead to dysfunction of the organs involved, inflammation has different names when it appears in different parts of the body.

For example: rhinitis (inflammation of the nose), sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), and asthma (inflammation of the airways), but inflammation is also behind arthritis (inflammation of the joints), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin), and so on.  In the case of allergies, the immune system responds to the presence of an allergen, a normally harmless substance to which it has become overly sensitive. Allergens bind to antibodies, which trigger the release of chemicals like histamine that result in allergy symptoms. In the case of asthma, inflammation causes the airways to swell, making breathing difficult.  As the initial response that fires up the immune system, inflammation is the crucial first step in fighting off infection and healing wounds. However, if inflammation persists – the immune system is always activated – this is known as chronic inflammation and can lead to chronic disease. 

 

 

OUTWARD MANIFESTATIONS OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION

 

The following diseases have been associated with chronic inflammation:

  • Coronary artery disease           
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer- certain forms of
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chrohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

 

How Chronic Inflammation Damages Our Bodies

Possible mechanism of chronic disease stems from chronic inflammation causing damage to the lining of the arteries and tissues involved, this can lead to conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Chronic inflammation can destroy nerve cells as in that brains of Alzheimer’s patients, and in the case rheumatoid arthritis patients inflammatory response destroys joints, in nephritis or inflammation of the kidneys, kidney damage occurs  leading to kidney failure, and in diabetes the pancreatic islet cells (that make insulin) can be destroyed due to inflammation and this that can lead to diabetes. The connection between obesity and inflammation is as follows, the fat cells are associated with biochemical activity resulting in production of inflammatory compounds. As the fat cells grow the level of inflammation increases and inflammation eventually leads to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the central feature of adult onset diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The figure below explains the mechanism of inflammation associated with the omega 6 fatty acids and how Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial and anti-inflammatory.

Figure. Mechanism of Inflammation.

Omega Metabolism 
 
In summary inflammation smoldering in the body leads to chronic diseases listed above, and this is well documented in the articles and sources cited in the references.
In future updates to Emedvisits.com, we will be going over in detail how inflammation is associated with each of these diseases.  We will also be focusing on how to reduce inflammation and help you live a healthier life.