While pain is one of the common complaints in inflammation, the others include swelling and loss of function. Inflammation is the cause of many diseases, including cancer and arthritis. It is a natural defense mechanism when one is suffering from a medical condition like an auto-immune disease. Lupus, MS, eczema, psoriasis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis are auto-immune diseases that can result in chronic inflammation. Blood tests are done by physicians to confirm the presence of biomarkers that indicate inflammation.
Types of inflammation
Inflammation can be chronic or acute. Acute inflammation lasts for a brief period. Chronic inflammation is common in certain types of medical conditions like asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, sinusitis or rheumatoid arthritis. Acute inflammation is the result of injury, a bee-sting, or an allergic reaction. Chronic inflammation is due to the imbalance of immune function.
How does inflammation affect us?
Inflammation can cause localized pain for a brief period. In cases where it is chronic, it can cause fever, joint pain, skin rash, mouth sores, fatigue, and chest pain.
What causes inflammation?
An unhealthy lifestyle like smoking and consuming alcohol can trigger an inflammatory reaction in the blood vessels and nervous system. Arthritis can result from the inflammation of joints due to wear and tear. Obesity and old age can also increase the risk of inflammation due to the imbalance of hormones and the immune systems. Stress is also known to increase the risk of inflammation because your adrenal gland becomes weaker.
Treatment of inflammation
Treatment of inflammation may require medications, rest, exercise, or relaxation such as Tai Ji, acupuncture, and Qi Gong. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used for the treatment of inflammation. Over-the-counter medication like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) can also lower the inflammation. Corticosteroid injections can reduce inflammation generally. However, steroids can have side effects that can result in muscle weakness and osteoporosis, especially for menopause women.
Traditional Chinese Medicine can treat the root cause of inflammation
Acupuncture help in releasing the tightness in the muscles, improving circulation, and stimulate the release of endorphin, serotonin, and dopamine that help reduce pain, anxiety, and stress. Acu-points are activated using needle therapy, triggering nerve signaling that relieves pain in other parts of the body. Herbs can also be effective in reducing inflammation. Compared to western medicine, TCM uses multi-herb therapies to take care of the inflammation. In addition to this, it does not have any side effects if herbs are prescribed by a well-trained herbalists.
Research on herbs and inflammation and asthma:
An article was published in Am. J. of Chin. Medicine 2015 by Dr. Li, Jin Yu reviewed 400 literatures about how herbs can reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activation and migration of inflammatory cells and by regulating the balance of two kinds of T lymph cells: Th1 and Th2, just like Yin and Yang. Furthermore, the research also indicated that herbs can suppress allergic hyperactivity by inducing regulatory T Cells and reducing the function of the dendritic cells, one of the major antigen-presenting cells to induce immune responses by T cells. When people have less inflammation, they have fewer chances to develop asthma, sinusitis, cancer, and arthritis.