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What is Inflammation? Everything You Need to Know and How to Reduce It

Inflammation is the body’s natural healing response to tissue damage – it helps to fight injury and infection, it can be caused by anything from bruised elbow to an aggravated gut barrier. However, inflammation can be both good and bad.

Inflammation, sparked by poor diet, toxic chemicals, and stress, is an inflammatory response that can cause a variety of health symptoms.

Research has shown associations between inflammation and heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more. You may even have symptoms like breakouts, joint pain, or digestive issues without being aware that inflammation is really the cause of it. Not all inflammation will have a major effect on your health, and not all inflammation is permanent, either.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is an immune response that protects your system from foreign particles, like a bacterial infection, for example. The body becomes inflamed so that nothing else can enter and do further harm. During an inflammatory response, your body boosts the production of white blood cells, cytokines that fight infection, and immune cells, like neutrophils.

The main source causing the inflammation could be an allergy, infectious bacteria, food intolerance, or autoimmune disorder.

Chronic inflammation vs. acute inflammation

Acute inflammation is something that happens to your body immediately, like an infection or injury. It acts as protection for your bones and joints when you have an injury—it may manifest itself as swelling around your knee cap, for example, but typically goes down within a couple of days as the injury heals.

Chronic inflammation is an inflammation that has been going on for a long time. It’s almost always associated with other conditions like autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis. This type of inflammation could exist in a number of places throughout the body—like the nasal passages, in those who have chronic sinus issues. The skin and gut, two of the largest organs in the body, are very common points of entry for inflammation.

Left untreated, chronic inflammation can damage your arteries, organs, and joints leading to chronic diseases including Irritable Bowel Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, leaky gut, and Crohn’s Disease.

These chronic diseases present a variety of negative symptoms ranging from gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea to aching or painful joints, nausea, extreme tiredness, and fever. All of these can seriously compromise your health and feelings of well-being.

What causes inflammation?

Chronic inflammation is often difficult to diagnose because it’s so closely associated with other medical conditions, but it is often a sign of an autoimmune condition. Any autoimmune disorder, where the body is building up antibodies against itself in certain areas, is likely closely related to chronic inflammation.

This includes conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis in the joints, which causes erosion in between the bones, Hashimoto’s disease in the thyroid, Eczema and Psoriasis in the skin, Asthma and Sinusitis in the sinuses, and leaky gut and Crohn’s, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the gut.

If it goes untreated, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of other issues, especially in the heart and brain. For the heart, chronic inflammation is linked with heart disease. In the brain, it can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

How do you know if you have chronic inflammation?

Common signals that inflammation is happening typically exist in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the skin, and the joints. You may experience any form of GI discomfort, like diarrhea or constipation, (you may also have an associated inflammatory bowel condition). Skin symptoms usually include breakouts, hives, or rashes that appear out of nowhere, because your body is having an immune response to something. Joint pain is also common because the areas around the joints become inflamed as a mode of protection from an inflammatory agent.

Mental health symptoms are also not uncommon. Brain fog is a major sign of inflammation, which includes lack of focus, not being able to think properly, and lack of mental clarity.

During your blood tests, you can measure markers of inflammation by looking at the levels of two key inflammatory markers: ESR, a blood sedimentation marker, and CRP, or C-Reactive Protein, a protein made by the liver in response to inflammation. When the levels of these are elevated, it means that there’s an inflammatory going on.

The connection between inflammation and mental health

One big driver of inflammation is stress. Stress is an enormous trigger of chronic inflammation—and it also gets worse with inflammation, which is why stress management is so important to reducing inflammation. Depressive symptoms may also appear. This is because serotonin, one of the body’s neurotransmitters regulating things like mood and sleep, is mostly produced in the gut.

90 percent of serotonin is released from the gut, and only the remaining 10 percent is released in the brain, so the link between gut health and mental health is very strong. When someone suffers from chronic inflammation, serotonin won’t be released properly, what might cause depressive symptoms.

Infusion Treatments for Chronic Inflammation at Vit&Drip Center, Puerto Banus, Marbella

At Vit&Drip Center we offer a variety of treatments that can help reduce discomfort and treat inflammation. We offer vitamin therapies, Glutathione IV, Antioxidant therapy, and more.

Contact us today if you have any questions about our treatments, or want to book your appointment.


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