While everyone’s body is different, we usually respond to inflammation in the same type of way. We just don’t feel well. Some of us experience pain, swelling, or redness. Others experience inflammation with more flu-like symptoms. When inflammation occurs, it’s usually an indication that there’s something foreign in our bodies. However, if you suffer from a condition like asthma, arthritis, allergies, or an autoimmune disorder, inflammation is just a normal part of the problem.
Now, treating inflammation can be just as varied as the symptoms it produces. Typically, inflammation can be dealt with in the following manners:
- Healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise.
- Medications as prescribed by a healthcare professional
- Anti-inflammatory supplements
- Lifestyle changes, specifically avoiding things that aggravate the condition
- Ice or cool water (for injury-related inflammation or pain management)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as NSAIDs (aspirin, naproxen, etc.) or ImSAIDs
- Corticosteroids, like prednisone
- Herbs, such as willow bark, turmeric, and ginger
Depending on your specific needs or preferences on treatment, you may deal with inflammation using a variety of these methods. The key to treating inflammation is to recognize when it’s happening and then addressing it appropriately. Part of that process is understanding the difference between acute and chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli. It usually occurs within a few minutes or hours and gradually fades away or ceases as the harmful stimulus is removed. Redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function are usually the first and classic signs of acute inflammation, but the good news is that these often pass quickly. If they don’t, it’s best to seek out the advice of a medical professional.
Chronic inflammation is prolonged inflammation that can lead to a shift in the type of cells present in a specific area of inflammation. If one suffers from an autoimmune disorder or arthritis, this can be the typical type of inflammation that one experiences. When chronic inflammation occurs, it means that the body is both destroying and healing tissue at the same time. Over time, damage can be done to your body, especially damage associated with the natural aging process.
The keys to dealing with inflammation, both acute and chronic, is to reduce it naturally.