WHAT IS IT:

The bodies self-protection functions.  A local response to an injury or perceived threat that involves the dilatation of capillaries, white blood cell (leukocyte) activity, redness, heat, and pain and which is a means of the body ridding itself of toxic agents and damaged cells. 

Redness, swelling, pain and warmth are all signs that inflammation is happening but some inflammation is “silent” without any obvious symptoms. Sepsis is a more serious inflammatory response. Inflammation is a lifesaving and protecting function that can sometimes backfire and has collateral damage. 

It can be caused by germs, viruses, and fungi, a physical injury to any part of the body, chemical or radiation exposure, or normal cells or substances that the body falsely identifies as a threat. Heat and dilation of blood vessels can increase inflammatory activity in an area.  

Inflammation can be short lived (acute) or long term (chronic). Acute inflammation can often activate healing and strengthen body functions whilst chronic inflammation is erosive. Aesthetic treatments sometimes use acute inflammation to help rebuild skin or tissue to a healthier more youthful state. 

Lifestyle factors and general health may influence unhelpful chronic inflammation. 

WHAT IS IT:

An unofficial term to describe ageing related to chronic inflammatory actions in the skin or body. 

Chronic inflammation can damage DNA and erode tissue over time. Not only does inflammation accelerate and form an important part of ageing but ageing itself is inflammatory. The two are inseparable and it is possible inflammation forms a big part of internal ageing processes. 

Chronic inflammation is affected by lifestyle choices, medical conditions, stress levels and genetics. Becoming older can mean that chronic immune activity increases and that minor common infections and stresses on the body reactivate the immune system in a way that isn't helpful. 

Inflammation is our bodies’ life-protecting means of protecting themselves but sometimes collateral damage ensues. Addressing chronic inflammation may keep us younger and healthier.

WHAT IS IT:

General Systemic inflammation is when low level immune responses are chronic and long term rather than short lived and targeted. Essentially, the defence system switch is stuck in the ‘on' position. Low level chronic inflammation is erosive and may be related to a lot of different disease formation as well as accelerating ageing. 

Certain factors may set off or contribute to systemic inflammation and include stress, immune disorders, ageing, genetics, diet and lifestyle, obesity, exposure to chemicals, medical conditions and changes in the bodies’ microbiome. Nutritional deficiencies such as protein, essential fatty acids and vitamin D may also may have an impact.  

Measuring C-reactive protein levels in the blood can indicate body levels of inflammation but measuring low level chronic inflammation can be difficult. 

MORE INFORMATION:

Illnesses that may be associated with systemic inflammation:

  • Heart disease

  • Some types of dementia

  • Allergies 

  • Immune disorders 

  • Skin conditions 

  • Arthritis and chronic pain disorders

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

Lifestyle, nutritional improvements, management of medical conditions, well-being and stress management

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