Seems like everyone's talking about inflammation these days! More and more studies are coming out linking chronic inflammation to a vast majority of chronic diseases, even cancer.
But, is all inflammation bad?
Not at all! Some inflammation is absolutely necessary for our survival. It helps us overcome any acute insult or injury to the body. For example, if you cut your finger, cells are recruited to the wounded area, and through a very complex mechanism, the body heals itself quite efficiently. That's an example of inflammation working to heal you.
Similarly, if you contract a bacterial infection, the body quickly produces inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines, which help kill the foreign invaders. During this fight between the bugs and your immune system, you feel terrible, but only for a short time. Soon, you're up and on your merry way again with little long-term botheration from the incident.
It's only when this inflammation becomes chronic or long term—like a low-grade smoldering fire which does not die out—that it leads to major problems.
Normally, during a period of low-grade inflammation, the body tries to warn us that something is wrong. It does this by producing many nagging signs and symptoms, like: