Volume 3 Issue 5

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Page 22 of 55

Inflammation is a normal and necessary response of the body's immune system to fight invaders and aid in healing. "Inflammation" is the symptom of an injury or insult. When a stimulus occurs, chemicals are released that increase the blood flow to the area of injury or infection. The increased blood flow sends the body's defense cells (the white blood cells and immune proteins) to fight infection against foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, and to promote healing. In most circumstances, the body mounts the inflammation, the problem resolves and the symptoms of inflammation go away. There are two general phases to inflammation, attack and heal. The early stages of inflammation enlist the immune system to protect the body from an injury and to control infection, the attack phase. The later stages work to re-grow damaged tissue and start the wound healing process, the heal phase. Inflammation can be divided into acute and chronic. A cut may result in acute inflammation that lasts hours or days. The inflammatory response to the infection is redness, swelling, heat and pain as the body protects itself from the injury or infection. Skin allergies can be acute or chronic and are associated with itching, redness, rashes and sores. Ear infections may have swelling, pain and discharge and these too may be acute or chronic. Chronic inflammation is an unhealthy inflammatory over-response that can linger for months to years. Cancer is an end stage chronic inflammation with symptoms that range from pain, loss of appetite, weight loss and lethargy. Chronic inflammation may settle in bones, joints, blood vessels or organs. In the early stages it may not be apparent, having no outward signs, but on a cellular level massive damage is occurring. Inflammation Friend or Foe or Both Abby's Magazine - September/October 2015 | Page 23

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