Three Natural Ways of Fighting Inflammation
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Inflammation, as per the dictionary, is a physical condition where a body part gets reddened, hot, swollen and, in most cases, painful. This condition is mostly due to internal injury to that body part or as a result of infection. This is a form of biological response by the body tissues to stimuli that are harmful to them. Such harmful stimuli include pathogens, bacteria, damaged cells or irritant bodies.
Inflammation is a result of the body protecting itself by eliminating any causes of cell injury. This process involves the immune cells (mostly the white blood cells), blood vessels, and molecular mediators. This process hence helps reduce and prevent further cell and tissue damage. Too little inflammation might mean that the body isn't fighting the harmful stimuli effectively and might lead to compromise to the organism's health.
It is, however, important to note that inflammation does not directly imply infection, even in cases where the infection is present. Infection is as a result of the presence of bacteria, virus or fungus while inflammation is a self-protection response by the body to such infections of harmful stimuli.
The commonly known signs and symptoms of inflammation include:
Pain: The affected part of the body normally feels painful due to the accumulation of dead cells and unwanted substances. This causes pressure on the nerve fiber endings hence the pain.
Heat: Due to the increased metabolism caused by the high working rate by the immunity cells, and the pressure on the nerve endings, the affected area might feel hotter than other surrounding body parts.
Redness: The skin color of the affected part turns red. This is caused by the accumulation of liquid or semi-liquid unwanted substances under the skin.
Swelling: The accumulation of substances under the skin will also cause it to bulge outward thus resulting in swelling.
Loss of function: The body part where inflammation occurs might slightly or by whole lose functionality. This might be due to interference with the nerve network in that part or interference with the normal functioning of the muscle cells.
There are a couple of known inflammation causing diseases. Different diseases cause different levels of inflammation. There are two levels of inflammation: Acute Inflammation and Chronic Inflammation.
This is a form of inflammation that has a rapid start-up (onset) and becomes severe quite fast. The condition's signs and symptoms might persist for a few days, but at times may take as long as a few weeks to disappear completely.
There are several diseases and conditions that might result in acute inflammation. Such diseases and conditions include:
- Acute appendicitis
- Acute bronchitis
- Acute tonsillitis
- Acute sinusitis
- Acute Meningitis
- Acute dermatitis
- Infected ingrown toenail
- A blow to the body
- A scratch or cut on the skin surface
- Intensive exercise
- Sore throat from a cold or flu
Chronic, unlike acute inflammation, will persist for extended periods leading up to several months or even at times years. This condition may result if:
- The body is unable to eliminate the inflammation causing stimuli.
- The body mistakes healthy tissues for harmful pathogen, and by an autoimmune response, attacks them.
- A low-intensity chronic irritation that lasts for an extended period.
Just like acute, chronic inflammation might be caused by some diseases and conditions, of which include:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic peptic ulcer
- Chronic active hepatitis
- Chronic periodontitis
- Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Since some widely common diseases result in inflammation, it's important that everyone put emphasis on more natural, easily available and effective ways of reducing inflammation.
There are various pharmaceuticals means of reducing inflammation. Such medications and procedures are mostly expensive, and at times, not readily and easily available. In some circumstances, such pharmaceuticals means might also not be quite effective. This results in a low effectiveness to cost ratio leading to a loss on the part of the patient.
Alternative medications, however, is readily available and cheap, and in most cases, quite effective. These methods are also healthier since they have no negative effect on the body and nearly no side effects. The only situation where they would have a negative effect on the body is if the patient is allergic to the recommended substance.
Some of the alternative methods of reducing inflammation that are readily available and highly effective include:
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that is the main chemical in Turmeric. Turmeric is a yellow powder, a product of grinding roots of the Turmeric plant, a relative of the ginger family. Curcumin in turmeric was traditionally used by the Chinese and Indians. Curcumin reduces inflammation by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes. Also, Curcumin improves the body's immune response.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-2 fatty acids are commonly available in fish oils. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids function as anti-inflammatory substances and well-prescribed doses of the omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation. However, it is important to note that consuming more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids will increase the risk of joint inflammation and obesity.
Probiotics are live but helpful bacteria and yeast that have good health benefits, especially for the digestion system. However, recent research by the Arthritis Foundation shows that probiotics also help in reducing inflammation. It's, however, important to note that different strains of probiotics have different levels of ability in fighting inflammation. It is thus important to determine which strain will best aid in a specific situation or condition.
It is also important to note that a healthy diet and regular exercise reduce inflammation. This is yet another form of alternative treatment to inflammation that most people overlook. It is important to take a well-balanced diet and keep fit by regularly exercising, not only to reduce inflammation effects but also for a better general body health. Expensive pharmaceuticals often offer little more benefit or pain relief than placebo sugar pills. It is thus recommended to consider one of the above Easy, Cheap and More Natural Ways to Fight Inflammation.