By: Nikki Nies

The underlying causes and impact of inflammation is exhaustive.  While I can’t account for every known reason that inflammation occurs, it’s worth noting some of the most common causes of inflammation, in addition to possible treatment options.  Nonetheless, no matter situation that inflammation unfolds, it is part of the body’s way of healing.

Inflammation is the body’s immune system response to a stimulus.  The particular response can be to due to an interaction with bacteria, virus, fungi, effects of chemicals or radiation, external injuries or scrapes, bronchitis, otitis, dermatitis and/or cystitis.

Signs of local acute inflammation: redness, itching, swelling, pain and/or loss of function. 248423-wrist-inflammation

Specifically a loss of function can be to a particular limb that can no longer do it’s proper movement or an altered sense of smell when someone has a cold.  Contrary to popular belief, inflammation is already present in the body once a wound has become infected by bacteria and/or fungi.

When inflammation occurs, inflammatory mediators are released, such as histamine and bradykinin.  These mediators expand blood vessels that have been narrowed and allows increased permeability so more defense cells can enter inflamed area.  Expansion allows an adequate amount of blood to reach the injured tissue, which explains why an inflamed area becomes red and hot.  These hormones also send signals to brain that a specific body part needs to be monitored and somehow treated.


Acute inflammation: rapid onset; signs and symptoms are present from a couple days to a several weeks; i.e. acute bronchitis; infected ingrown nail; sore throat; acute appendicitis; acute sinusitis, etc.; primary mediators: eicosanoids, vasoactive amines; causative agent: bacteria or injury to tissue
Chronic inflammation: can last from several months to years; can result from the failure to eliminate whatever is causing acute inflammation, chronic irritant of ow intensity that persists, an autoimmune response to an antigen; i.e. asthma, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and/or chronic hepatitis, etc.

Treatment:Depending on the part of the body inflamed, cause of inflammation and perspective on how things the inflamed area will be treated.  There’s an area of treatments, ranging from natural remedies to prescribed medications and surgery.  Also, the adaption of an anti-inflammatory diet, that includes phytochemicals, has been sworn by many!

A lot of people gravitate to consuming anti inflammatory foods, which is great!  Be sure to check with your physician before you start consuming certain foods in case there may be a reaction that occurs.  Hope this information helped!

Photo Credit: Bikram Yoga Vancouver 



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