Saturday, January 7, 2017

What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is the local reaction of our body that occurs after a trauma, an illness or irritation, an injury or infection (germs).

An Inflammation is a local reaction of living tissues to various harmful factors. It is one of the body's self-healing mechanism since the increase of the blood circulation in the infected area contributes to the cure of the problem. The situation may become life-threatening if the condition becomes chronic and cannot be treated. Indeed, according to surveys chronic inflammations are related to various diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Inflammation is divided into:

- Acute (observed in the first few hours after injury) and

- Chronic (prolonged beyond the initial reaction acute inflammatory tissue response). The main symptoms of an inflammation, among others, are the redness that tends to occur in the affected area, swelling, pain and an intense heat. It is important to understand that an inflammation is not the problem but it is instead the attempt of the body to solve a problem. Damages can occur suddenly and sharply (acutety) or gradually and on a consistent basis (chronically). If our body has all the requirements needed to heal the affected area and so complete the process, the evolution of the inflammation stops. If not the progress of the inflammation becomes a long, drawn-out issue  and the effort our body makes to heal it becomes THE problem itself.

The list of things that cause inflammation are relatively small:

- Poor nutrition. Mainly the one that includes consumption of sugar, refined flour, processed foods, and foods high in inflammatory fats , such as trans and saturated fats

- Lack of exercise

- Stress

- Concealed or chronic infections from viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites

- Hidden allergens (allergenic substances) from food or the environment

- Toxins such as mercury and pesticides

Toxins and allergens – Medical Tests:

1) The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is a non-specific test for inflammatory and necrotic conditions. The ESR can also be increased even in normal situations, such as pregnancy.

2) The C-reactive protein (CRP) is a pathological serum glycoprotein produced by the liver during acute inflammation. It is the best indicator of the severity of pancreatitis when measured 48 hours after the onset of symptoms. The C-reactive protein has been associated with metabolic syndrome, a group of signs including abdominal obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, low levels of HDL( good cholesterol) , hypertension and high fasting glucose levels in blood. Nowadays, it is believed that chronic inflammation, as demonstrated by the chronically elevated levels of C-reactive protein, may be an additional component of the metabolic syndrome. The measurement of CRP may be used as a "tool" for the evaluation of patients with moderate risk of developing heart disease.

Which foods fight inflammation:

- Choose foods that will not raise blood sugar levels. Take care not missing roughage and fiber from your diet. It is advisable for this purpose to choose foods high in roughage and fiber such as cereals, fruits and vegetables.

- Limit animal fat that can trigger an inflammation choosing to eat lean meat. Consume olive oil, in your food, that has antioxidant action and is healthier than other types of fat.

- Avoid the so-called "bad" that is saturated fat. Specifically you receive the "good" fats that your body needs by eating fish. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which according to surveys help to prevent blood clots and reduce any inflammation. The "thick" fish such as sardines and herring are high in these fats.

- If you like chocolate choose black: contains flavonoids prevents the formation of clots, which reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack.

- Apples and onions reduce swelling and inflammation as are foods rich in quercitin. The Quercetin is an antioxidant that helps fight inflammation and belongs to the flavonoid family (namely flavonols).

- In cases of inflammatory diseases supplementation with vitamin C and natural antioxidants such as resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, quercetin and phenols in green tea can according to studies help and significantly reduce inflammation.

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