What is inflammation?
It is a local, short-lived immune response to cell damage. During this process, blood flow increases, which provides an intensive supply of substances needed for repair. Depending on the factor causing the damage, specific tools are activated to remove the threat. Increased blood flow also allows for quick cleaning. Renovation and the struggle to restore homeostasis is a large amount of dead tissue and metabolites that require disposal. It usually lasts 3-7 days (depending on the size of the problem and the efficiency of the systems it can take up to several days).
Symptoms associated with inflammation:
- Loss of organ function (if necessary).
IMPORTANT – our body causes inflammation for a specific purpose – it is not a disorder or disease.
Sometimes it happens that the body is not able to fully repair the damaged tissue, or remove the damaging factor. There may then be a situation in which acute inflammation becomes chronic, which can last for many days, months, and even years.
Inflammation – costs:
- Energy (we usually don’t lack that).
- Building blocks (amino acids).
- Nutrients (they play a lot of roles at different levels of inflammation).
Lack of ingredients means that the repair process is not full-fledged or even cannot be completed.
IMPORTANT – the quality and speed of processes that occur during inflammation depend on the efficiency of the immune system and the resources our body possesses.
What causes inflammation?
- Cell damage.
- Cell consumption.
- Toxins (external, internal).
Cell damage – an example of such a condition is injuries accompanied by tissue damage. Our body immediately goes to work. Increase’s blood flow provides water, and ingredients needed for reconstruction. Specialized cells remove damaged or dead tissue. A new one is being created in its place. The quality and speed of this process depend on whether we have everything we need in our bodies.
Cell consumption – in this case, the damaging factor is our activity. Each cell in our body can do a specific job. When it is worn out or damaged, it must be replaced by a new cell. It is a permanent mechanism that allows you to maintain the structure of tissues at an appropriate level. It depends on whether the tissue will perform its function for a long time. So why does our body not repair continuously used cells, but rather make us suffer, causing inflammation? It does, when can afford it. If, for some reason, the tissue is intensively used for a long time, without the possibility of regeneration, or there is a lack of components for reconstruction, our body is not able to maintain its consistent quality. When the rest comes, or we provide the necessary ingredients, it gets to work. It usually has a lot of it. The only way out is inflammation.
Toxins – compounds that, to a greater or lesser extent, harm the functioning of tissues, or damage them. The role of inflammation is, therefore, to repair damage and get rid of toxins. It usually requires sacrificing valuable substances to neutralize, or if it is impossible to expel, safely (if possible) stored.
Microorganisms – A lot of bacteria live in our bodies. According to research, there are more than our body cells. The vast majority of them are necessary for us to live. They break down dead tissue, produce chemicals that we cannot otherwise obtain, and protect us from harmful microbes. Our immune system oversees the number of bacterial populations (beneficial, conditionally beneficial, and dangerous). If the situation requires fast action, our body starts inflammation. If there is a lot of work or the area of activity is extensive, it may be generalized inflammation, i.e., fever.
Parasites, fungi – Whenever possible, our body fights parasites and fungi. However, it is difficult, because they fight for life very effectively (we are their source of food). Inflammation, which our body activates to remove unwanted companions, is often too little. The primary condition here is the quality of our body environment — its chemistry, the state of the immune system, and bacterial flora.
I am far from telling anyone not to take painkillers, anti-inflammatory, or antipyretic drugs. There are certain situations when such action is necessary. However, it is crucial to be aware of the consequences of stopping inflammation. The task behind it, most often damage repair, is not completed. And you have to be mindful that since the body has decided to turn up the temperature, it means that it can no longer be effective regularly. It’s easy to imagine where to, multiple blocking of these processes, leads. An extensive tissue degeneration, and at a later time, break in function.
Nutrition and inflammation.
After what I wrote, it is easy to guess that the diet plays a vital role in the course of inflammation in our body.
I recommend a low-processed plant-based diet.
- A wealth of nutrients.
- It helps to keep the digestive tract in good condition
- It regulates the intestinal flora.
- No artificial food additives.
- Essential antioxidants.
I want to add that I am not in favor of calling diets anti-inflammatory. Of course, it plays a significant role in reducing the amount of inflammation. But, it works like this, because it affects the quality of processes that occur during inflammation. So it works pro. Pro-health 😉