The Domino Effect of Inflammation on Your Health.
Have you ever noticed alongside your HS ‘flares’ that they can sometimes be accompanied with a feeling of exhaustion? Headaches? Even shortness of breath?
Systemic or chronic inflammation has a domino effect that can seriously undermine your health. So how does it all begin?
When you catch a virus, come into contact with bacteria or even sprain your ankle, your immune system switches into gear. Infection or injury trigger a chain of events called the inflammatory cascade.
Inflammation begins when pro-inflammatory hormones in your body call out for your white blood cells to come and clear out infection and damaged tissue.
These agents are matched by equally powerful, closely related anti-inflammatory compounds, which move in once the threat is neutralized to begin the healing process.
Acute inflammation that ebbs and flows as needed signifies a well-balanced immune system, however, symptoms of inflammation that don’t recede are telling you that the “on” switch to your immune system is stuck. It’s poised on high alert — even when you aren’t in imminent danger. In some cases, what started as a healthy mechanism, like building scar tissue or swelling, just won’t shut off.
With an inflammatory response like this, if there are no foreign invaders to fight off, the body’s normally protective immune system can cause damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.
Bouts of these repeated or even constant ongoing ‘stuck’ inflammatory responses within in your body can potentially start to cause damage in other areas too,
Once the inflammatory cascade begins your body will start to respond in various ways, and the way it effects the body is highly associated with flu like symptoms,
*Fatigue/loss of energy
*Loss of appetite
Constant re-occurrence of these raised inflammatory level symptoms in chronically ill patients can usually lead to a condition such as Fibromyalgia.
Inflammation can also affect internal organs too. The type of symptoms depend on which organs become affected. For example:
*Inflammation effecting heart may cause shortness of breath or fluid retention.
*Inflammation of the small tubes that transport air to the lungs may cause shortness of breath.
*Inflammation effecting kidneys (nephritis) may cause high blood pressure or kidney failure.
Pain may not be a primary symptom of an inflammatory disease, they can effect internal organs for a long time before causing any noticeable pain since many organs do not have many pain-sensitive nerves.
Inflammatory skin diseases are the most common problem in dermatology.
The process of skin inflammation is complex and is still not completely understood. When the skin is exposed to a “triggering” stimulus, such as UV radiation, an irritant (e.g. soaps or fragrances), or to allergens, the cells in the skin produce a variety of inflammatory “hormones” called cytokines and chemokines. The inflammation can even begin by a fault within these “hormones” themselves, and these “inflammatory messengers” bind to specific receptors on target cells and stimulate the production of additional inflammatory signaling “hormones”. Some of these cause vasodilation while others activate nerve cells. Other cytokines cause immune cells to leave the blood and migrate into the skin where they then produce more inflammatory hormones, as well as enzymes, free radicals, and chemicals that damage the skin. The end result of the initial triggering event is the amplification of a large inflammatory response that, while designed to help the skin fight infection from invading bacteria, actually causes considerable damage to the skin too.
Once inflammation starts and causes pain in one area of the body, that is when the more physical domino difficulties become more noticeable, for example if you have pain in your lower right-side, due to the pain you will, maybe even unknowingly, put more pressure on the left side to substitute the lack of ability to use the right side, since neither side would usually be used like this your body will internally notice the change. the extra pressure on the joints of the left side could again trigger an inflammatory response within the joint sending the whole thing into a vicious cycle that will inevitably pull in other areas of your body.