If your body had a burglar alarm to warn you of intruders, its siren would be inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong with it and it needs attention to resolve. Inflammation occurs when the white blood cells in the body detect an abnormality and therefore try to protect the health of the body. Now when certain autoimmune diseases manifest in the body, this will trigger a “false-alarm” inflammatory response, which is certainly unwelcome and harmful to the body.
The body’s ordinarily defensive qualities of the immune system begin causing damage to its own tissues. The system responds as though normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal. A common example of this is readily seen with arthritis. Inflammation of the joints is misdirected, causing them to breakdown and crippling pain is often experienced by patients.
Acute vs Chronic Inflammation
There are two types of inflammation that may occur, acute and chronic inflammation. Neither one is a good experience, but both manifest with different symptoms. Acute is usually associated with a healthy immune system that combats real diseases, while chronic is anything but. Chronic inflammation has subtler symptoms, which can be a bad thing since those symptoms are often overlooked for longer periods of time, resulting in further progression of the underlying disease.
Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation sometimes has very subtle symptoms that may go overlooked for years, before manifesting pain or inflammation that requires a visit to the doctors. For this reason, many autoimmune diseases go untreated for too long at the expense of your health. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, mouth sores, rashes, chest and/or abdominal pain. These symptoms can also be mistaken for other diseases like the flu or indigestion, but may point to an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis. The eventual progression breaks down healthy cells and DNA and may result in cancers, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or obesity. A test of the inflammatory response is key to determining and reversing the effects of any underlying autoimmune diseases.