- 1 Blood markers characteristics
- 1.1 How to know that the organism is inflamed?
- 1.2 Why is inflammation harmful?
- 1.3 How is inflammation diagnosed?
- 1.4 What are inflammation markers?
- 1.5 Why are inflammation markers important?
- 1.6 What can increase inflammation markers?
- 1.7 Types of biomarkers of inflammation
- 1.8 Diseases that occur with inflammation
- 1.9 Natural anti-inflammatory remedies
Blood markers characteristics
How to know that the organism is inflamed?
Inflammation is a natural response of the body that performs the immune system to provoke reactions of protection and repair of a damage or injury, or to fight infections. Normally, these reactions are punctual, an acute and transient state of the organism, and represents a healthy and necessary reaction to regenerate tissues.
Why is inflammation harmful?
Most people think that inflammation is synonymous with “swelling,” redness, heat and pain, but in scientific language, inflammation may have nothing to do with this idea.
It has been discovered that many diseases present with chronic inflammation, that is, the body continually produces “warning signals”. Chronic inflammation is a breeding ground for many diseases, because the body does not work normally.
For example, one characteristic of obesity is that it occurs with low-grade chronic inflammation, and this metabolic state increases the risk of fatty liver, high cholesterol, diabetes, arteriosclerosis and heart disease.
How is inflammation diagnosed?
It is evident that there is inflammation when an area of the body presents heat, redness, swelling and pain in response to trauma, which would be an acute inflammation. However, many other times many times, inflammation is not visible and can only be seen in blood tests.
For this reason, doctors, and scientists in their research, use, in addition to physical examination, blood values that can warn of inflammation. These indicative values of inflammation are known as “markers or biomarkers of inflammation.”
What are inflammation markers?
The markers of inflammation are substances, produced mainly by the immune system or by an altered metabolism, whose high levels usually indicate inflammation (acute or chronic, requires an assessment).
If we wanted to be more precise, scientists know that each substance is more related to certain immune reactions, such as allergies or infections.
Why are inflammation markers important?
The advantage of inflammation markers is that they can sometimes warn of a disease before it evolves or produce evident physical symptoms, which allows a better prevention or treatment.
It should be mentioned that, on their own, the inflammation values are not a diagnostic reason for any disease: a medical evaluation of the symptoms, of the clinical history and, often, other complementary tests is necessary.
What can increase inflammation markers?
There are tow types of factors that can increase inflammation:
- Specific health circumstances: There are specific health circumstances that naturally increase the inflammatory biomarkers, such as intense exercise, an infection, an injury or a blow.
These values will be normalized after a few hours, days or months (when the repair is resolved), or when applying a treatment, and do not pose a health problem.
- Chronic inflammation: Other times, the inflammatory state is prolonged due to some pathology, an inadequate diet, smoking, high cholesterol levels, poorly controlled diabetes, high homocysteine levels, etc.
Types of biomarkers of inflammation
The markers of inflammation of the organism that appear elevated in blood tests when there is inflammation are:
- Cytokines: TNF- αand the interleukins IL-6, IL-8, IL-10
- Prostaglandins: cyclooxygenase COX2
- C-reactive protein (CRP): The liver produces it in response to an inflammatory state.
- Free radicals: In scientific studies, free radical levels are sometimes measured. The excess of free radicals also alerts the immune system generating inflammatory “warning” reactions. These “free radicals” have chemical names, such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radical (OH-).
Diseases that occur with inflammation
In pathological cases, the increase of inflammatory markers in blood may indicate another health disorder or disease:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Obesity and diabetes (low grade inflammation, which is considered a characteristic of the metabolic syndrome)
- Disorders or diseases where there is inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, menstrual pain, intestinal diseases, Crohn’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel, etc.
- Many diseases, almost the majority, can produce an increase in the markers of inflammation, so it is necessary to perform complementary tests and an assessment of the physician.
Natural anti-inflammatory remedies
Anti-inflammatory plants and anti-inflammatory diet help considerably to diminish the biomarkers of inflammation, thus reducing the symptoms of these diseases.
In addition, any phytotherapy treatment must be framed within a healthy diet and lifestyle. A bad diet, with bad fats, excess flours and sugars, insomnia, sedentary lifestyle and stress, are inflammatory and can block the beneficial effect of anti-inflammatory plants.
More information on natural anti-inflammatories