Inflammation: what needs to be known?
A lot of people have heard of inflammation but are not quite sure what it means. Inflammation is the defensive system of the body. White blood cells and chemicals defend the body from infections and foreign objects like viruses and bacteria.
In normal cases of inflammation, the chemicals from the blood cells are released in order to protect a person from any infection or foreign substance. In some cases, the chemicals from the white blood cells are known to cause damage to the tissue.
There are certain diseases when the immune system will trigger the white blood cells to release the chemicals when actually there are no foreign substances to be defended from. These diseases are known as autoimmune diseases. In case of these diseases the white blood cells will cause damage to the tissues.
Diseases associated with inflammation
Almost all types of arthritis are connected with misdirected inflammation. Most common types of arthritis which are associated with inflammation are rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gouty arthritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. Apart from these, there are certain conditions that cause joint pain but are not associated with inflammation like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, muscular low back pain and muscular neck pain.
Symptoms of inflammation
A person can know that he or she suffers from inflammation by some pretty common symptoms which occur in almost all inflammation situations. Some of these symptoms are redness, swollen joint hot to touch, joint pain and stiffness and loss of joint function.
A person may also experience symptoms which are usually associated with flu. These symptoms are fever, chills, fatigue, headaches, loss of appetite and muscle stiffness.
The causes of symptoms of inflammation
When the white blood cells release the chemicals which are supposed to fight off the viruses and bacteria, the blood flow to that area which is infected increases as well. In that cases, that place will become red and warm to touch. Swelling occurs when certain fluid leaks into tissues.
The results of joint inflammation
If there are too many inflammatory substances in the joint, a person will experience irritation, swelling and wearing down of cartilage.
The doctor will be able to diagnose an inflammation after certain tests like a complete physical exam and an X-ray. The doctor will also evaluate the location of painful joints, any stiffness in the morning and any other symptoms. People should also know that inflammation can affect organs as part of the autoimmune disorder. However, people need not worry much since there are ways a person can treat the inflammation like rest and exercise, medications and even surgery.