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Inflammation is a defence mechanism to pathogens, damage or any irritant.

Anything that the body responds to in a protective way. It works to eliminate what is harming the body. Inflammation can be hot, red, aching and swollen. Potentially with loss of function to the area. There is increased blood flow to the damaged area as the small arteries enlarge to get more blood to the area, inflammation can occur in various areas of the body. It can occur due to tonsillitis, sprained ankle, high intensity exercise, appendicitis, etc.

Acute inflammation is usually from tissue damage or bad bacteria and only lasts a couple of days. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a virus or pathogens and can last months or years if the body fails to defend against whatever is causing the inflammation. Inflammation can be sore, painful or uncomfortable as the swelling can push sensitive nerve endings.

Inflammation can be treated by figuring out the underlying problem and treating that. Minor injuries can be treated with a cold compress to reduce swelling; ibuprofen can reduce inflammation as well as certain foods such as fatty fish, blueberries, nuts and olive oil. Aloe Vera gel and Sudocrem or similar products can be used to reduce redness and inflammation on bites, minor burns or similar ailments that have become inflamed. Some causes of inflammation such as tonsillitis may require antibiotics so would require a doctor’s assessment. Any inflammation which isn’t healing and lasts longer without any sign of healing or begins to get worse should also be assessed by a doctor to ensure there is not something more serious going on.

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