How to know if our body suffers inflammation?

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?

Obesity occurs with a low-grade inflammatory state, that is, it alters the body’s normal metabolism.

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?

Chronic inflammation has no obvious symptoms. One way to detect this abnormal state of the organism is through blood tests.

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

anti-inflammatory properties inflammation markers
Summary of the meaning of inflammation and how it is determined in scientific studies. It is necessary to know this information to understand why a substance is called “anti-inflammatory”.

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:

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.

punto rojo More information on natural anti-inflammatories

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

23 May, 2019

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.