inflammationInflammation happens in everyone, whether you’re aware of it or not. Your immune system creates inflammation to protect the body from infection, injury, or disease. There are many things you wouldn’t be able to heal from without inflammation. Sometimes with autoimmune diseases, like certain types of arthritis, thyroid conditions and inflammatory bowel disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells.

There are 2 main categories of inflammation acute and chronic. Acute inflammation usually occurs for a short (yet often severe) duration. It often resolves in two weeks or less. Symptoms appear quickly. This type restores your body to its state before injury or illness. • Chronic inflammation is a slower and generally less severe form of inflammation. It typically lasts longer than six weeks. It can occur even when there’s no injury, and it doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune disorders and even prolonged stress.

There are a wide range of symptoms that can develop over time and can be present itself differently depending on the cause or area of inflammation. Symptoms are heat, pain, redness, swelling, loss of function, body pain, constant fatigue and insomnia, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, gastrointestinal issues, like constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux, weight gain, frequent infections.

Blood tests are used to find inflammation. There are a few so-called markers that help diagnose inflammation in the body. However, these markers are nonspecific, meaning that abnormal levels can show that something is wrong, but not what is wrong. A few tests are:

Serum protein electrophoresis -SPE is considered the best way to confirm chronic inflammation.
C-reactive protein -CRP is naturally produced in the liver in response to inflammation.
Erythrocyte sedimentation rate – The ESR test is sometimes called a sedimentation rate test. This test indirectly measures inflammation by measuring the rate at which red blood cells sink in a tube of blood.
Plasma viscosity – This test measures the thickness of blood.

This may lead to having to do diagnostic testing such as x- rays, MRIs, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, upper endoscopy.

A few home remedies that can be used to fight inflammation can be as simple as changing up your diet. By avoiding sugar, trans fats, and processed foods, you can put yourself on
the path to feeling better.
There are also foods that can actually fight inflammation.

  • berries and cherries
  • fatty fish, like salmon or mackerel
  • broccoli
  • avocados
  • green tea
  • mushrooms, like portobello and shiitake
  • spices, like turmeric, ginger, and clove
  • tomatoes

You can further help reduce inflammation by doing the following:

  • Take supplements. Your doctor can help you decide which one is best and safest for you.
  • Use hot or cold therapy for physical injuries to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Exercise more often than not.
  • Manage and reduce your stress levels.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Treat and manage any preexisting conditions.

Things such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol), naproxen (Aleve) and topical creams can be used as well but should be taken as prescribed. As well as, prescribed medication under a physician’s care.

Inflammation is a normal and natural part of your body’s immune response. Yet, long-term or chronic inflammation can lead to damaging effects. It seems to be associated more often with autoimmune disorders. Acute inflammation is a normal part of the healing process and may occur when you’re experiencing a sore throat or even a small cut on your skin. Acute inflammation should go away within a few days, unless it’s left untreated. If you’re experiencing any signs of long-term inflammation, make an appointment with your doctor. They can run some tests and review your symptoms to see if you need treatment for any underlying conditions.

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