We've all experienced inflammation in the form of pain, swelling, and redness. Inflammation, essentially, is our body's primary defense mechanism. It aids in fighting off infectious agents such as bacteria, as well as repairing tissue damage. If inflammation is so important in the healing process, why does inflammation get such a bad reputation? It's really important to understand the difference between acute inflammation, which is a normal and effective healing process versus chronic inflammation, which is more longstanding and can have a lot of negative health effects.
Acute inflammation occurs following an injury or an infection. After the injury, chemicals are released into our system, which recruit white blood cells to neutralize, clean up and heal the area. Acute inflammation plays its course out within a matter of hours or days.
To help manage acute pain, which can be associated with inflammation following an injury. There are many natural anti-inflammatories, such as ice and turmeric. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, begins very similarly to acute inflammation. However, it becomes a persistent state and it does not resolve within hours or days. Our system does not shut off the inflammation process, and this leads to a lot of issues. Disease such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, as well as dementia. Unhealthy lifestyle such as smoking, poor diet, sedentary behavior, stress can all promote chronic inflammation.
In summary, acute inflammation is effective and it's a welcomed process for healing. Chronic inflammation poses more health risks and can be much more difficult to manage.