Warning signs of inflammation
The trouble with inflammation is that when it hangs around it can lead to incredibly dangerous types of disease. Protect yourself by knowing these warning signs.
Inflammation has been called both a friend and a foe. Acute inflammation is the body’s normal and complex reaction to a threat, whether bacteria, a burn or a sprain. “The body marshals its defences to prevent injury or infection,” says Alan Mensch, a doctor. Signs of acute inflammation include swelling, dilated blood vessels, heat, redness and pain. “Once the threat is gone, there are factors in the bloodstream that quiet things down again.”
The chronic form of inflammation may not be as severe as the acute type, but it is dangerous: It’s related to many illnesses, ranging from bursitis, colitis, phlebitis and rhinitis to asthma, cardiac disease, liver disease and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. It can be difficult to know whether you have chronic inflammation in your body, Dr. Mensch says: “It depends on where and how chronic inflammation manifests itself. And it’s not the same in every person.” Here are some subtle signs to watch for.