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What Is Inflammation?

Talk of inflammation seems to be everywhere these days. Learn more about what inflammation is and how it can affect your health.
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When you hear the word "inflammation," you might think of something being red, swollen or hot to the touch and you're on the right track. But do you understand just exactly why inflammation occurs? Your idea of inflammation may not be complete.

The Basics of Inflammation


Inflammation is our body's way to protect itself against toxins, pathogens, carcinogens and other threats to our health. This reaction is carried out throughout the body in many different ways, all the way down to the cellular level.

To keep it very simple, let's think about the two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. For example, if you bang your knee on the corner of the coffee table and get a scrape on the skin, what happens next? The wound bleeds, swells up and hurts a lot, right? That swelling is acute inflammation and it's meant to bring internal fluid to the area and to help facilitate the healing process. It may take a few days, but that swelling will go away and the skin mends.

Chronic inflammation is also a protective response, but it's long term in nature and is often due to some sort of chronic irritant, an autoimmune issue or by the body being unable to get rid of the cause of acute inflammation.

For example, someone has poor oral hygiene and it leads to gum disease. Initially, there would have been acute inflammation all along the gum line, but since the condition progressed to a condition such as periodontitis, it causes persistent, chronic inflammation of all the oral tissue.

If left to its own devices, chronic inflammation can lead to diseases like arthritis and cancer.

Symptoms of Inflammation


The symptoms of inflammation may not always be obvious, but they include pain, swelling, discoloration, immobility and heat.

When you notice these symptoms, it's important to consider what the underlying cause of the inflammation might be. If you've injured yourself, it may be a wise idea to see a doctor right away, depending on the severity. Though inflammation is meant to help and heal the body, it isn't always wise to let the body take care of things on its own. As previously stated, the acute inflammation can become chronic and the inflammation can lead to other medical issues.

Supplements and Diet


For anyone dealing with chronic inflammation, it's important to consider a diet and supplement routine that can reduce the irritation and swelling. A diet that contains a lot of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals is often good for reducing the impact of inflammation.

Supplements to consider include the vitamins AC and E as well as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), coenzyme Q10 and calcium. These nutrients provide antioxidant protection against free radicals that can cause inflammation. Turmeric root is a naturopathic treatment for inflammation as well.

Keep track of your symptoms and talk to your doctor about your treatment options. Pick up the supplements discussed in this story today at eVitamins!

Legal Disclaimer:
eVitamins recommends that you do not rely on the information presented in this article as diagnosis for treatment to any health claim. Content and information on this site is for reference purposes and is not intended to substitute for advice given by a physician, pharmacist, or other licensed health-care professional. You should not use this information as self-diagnosis or for treating a health problem or disease. Contact your health-care provider immediately if you suspect that you have a medical problem. The information and statements in this article have not been evaluated by the US Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. eVitamins assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements.
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eVitamins is a registered trademark of eVitamins, LLC. Statements made about specific vitamins, supplements, procedures or other items sold on or through this website have not been evaluated by eVitamins or by the United States Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. As always, please consult with a licensed doctor or physician before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program, before taking any vitamin or medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a problem.

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