Inflammation is the body’s response to noxious stimuli and involves a complex mechanism that acts in response to the insult. The stimuli result in a systematic release of chemicals called inflammatory mediators and activation of inflammatory cells so that the body can attempt to heal itself. What are the types of inflammation and causes?
Types of Inflammation
Inflammation is divided into two main types acute and chronic.
|Feature||Acute Inflammation||Chronic Inflammation|
|Duration||Hours to days (2 weeks)||Months to years|
|Immune System||Innate immune system||Adaptive immune system|
|Cellular Involvement||Neutrophils and macrophages||Plasma cells and lymphocytes|
|Local and systemic signs||Prominent||Less prominent|
|Fibrosis||Mild to none||Usually Severe|
Causes of Inflammation
Inflammation can be caused by the following:
Viral, bacterial, fungal, and protozoal infections cause inflammation by triggering the immune system. The response occurs when the immune cells recognize foreign particles in the body and release cytokines that cause the blood vessels to dilate and allow more cells to be recruited to wall off the infection and fight it.
Example: Streptococcus pneumonia, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Hepatitis
Sometimes the body’s immune response attacks the normal healthy tissues and causes inflammation.
Example: Rheumatoid arthritis, Inflammatory bowel disease, Systemic lupus erythematosus
Hypersensitivity reactions are an immune system overreaction to antigens that normally do not trigger an immune response.
They can result in allergies to the particle that causes the inflammatory reaction. For example peanuts, dust, animal dander, pollen, etc.
Example: Allergic asthma, Eczema, Hay fever, Allergic conjunctivitis
Prolonged exposure to low levels of an irritant may sometimes result in a chronic inflammatory disorder.
Example: Radiation exposure, Asbestosis, Silicosis
Certain factors induce a pro-inflammatory state. The following factors can predispose individuals to develop inflammatory disorders.
- Old age
- Alcohol use
- Poor sleep quality
- High-fat diet
- Hormonal imbalance
Signs of Inflammation
There are five major signs of inflammation that make the inflammatory response noticeable and indicate disease or dysfunction. These signs are not always present at the same time and may also occur with other systemic symptoms.
5 Cardinal Signs of Inflammation
Inflammatory mediators cause vasodilation and increase the blood supply to the affected area making it appear red.
The inflammatory chemicals released by the body stimulate nerve endings and may cause the pain of varying intensity and may be of throbbing, pricking, burning, cutting, stinging, gripping, etc in character. The inflamed area also becomes sensitive to touch.
Inflamed areas may have a higher temperature as compared to other body parts due to increased blood flow and may feel warm to touch. Fever is the result of a systemic immune response.
The fluid that accumulates due to inflammation causes swelling of the affected tissues.
Loss of Function (Function laesa)
Inflammation can cause loss of function of the affected organ, for example, there may be a limited range of motion of joints, loss of sense of smell, difficulty breathing, etc.
Inflammation may also be present with the following:
- Generalized body aches and pains
- Fever and chills
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Loss of appetite
- Depression and mood disorders
- Loss of energy
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Brain fog (impaired cognition)
Chronic inflammation results in serious complications that severely compromise an individual’s quality of life. Severe infection may lead to sepsis followed by multiorgan failure and death. Other complications include fibrosis and may also progress to cancer of the involved organ.
Several laboratory investigations can diagnose inflammation and a detailed history and examination can guide us towards specific tests for the diagnosis of the exact disease. The following blood markers can help detect inflammation.
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
An increase in white blood cells (WBCs) may hint towards inflammation and the type of WBCs increased can point towards the etiology and the type of inflammation.
Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
It is the measurement of the time taken by the red blood cells to settle in a test tube and is a non-specific measure of inflammation. There is a rise in ESR during inflammation.
C-reactive protein (CRP)
CRP levels are increased during inflammation, it only confirms that there is inflammation but does not specify where. CRP levels can also be used to monitor anti-inflammatory treatment responses.
The treatment of inflammation depends on the cause. Lifestyle modifications can be used to support inflammation.
- The following changes to lifestyle can help reduce inflammation and prevent inflammatory disorders.
- Eating a healthy balanced diet.
- Maintaining a proper sleep schedule.
- Maintaining weight according to the body mass index (BMI).
- Quit smoking and alcohol abuse.
- Reduce mental stress.
CBD and Inflammation:
The human body contains a specialized system called the Endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response.
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.*Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce some ailments by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity and reducing inflammation.
If you have questions about our products or any other CBD-related questions, our friendly team at Heaven’s Organics will be pleased to assist you. We provide numerous contact methods for your convenience. So feel free to call, email, or fill out our online contact form, and we will address all of your questions in a timely fashion.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.