Though inflammation plays a critical role in healing wounds and infections, and defending itself against pathogens, when inflammation is chronic it increases the risk of developing potentially deadly diseases. Chronic inflammation has been linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, as well as autoimmune diseases like arthritis and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s.1 Even more, all symptoms of cold and flu are by-products of inflammation. But what causes inflammation and what can you do to reduce it? Find out the classic signs of inflammation, how it affects your overall health, and what you can do to reduce inflammation in the body.
Classic Signs of Inflammation
According to The Journal of Inflammation, there are five cardinal signs of inflammation. These are: redness, swelling, heat, pain, and loss of function.2 While these visual changes are helpful when it comes to identifying acute inflammation, like an injury, joint pain, colds, and flus, the signs of chronic inflammation are more complex and may be harder to identify.
What is Chronic Inflammation?
Lasting for prolonged periods of several months or years, chronic inflammation occurs when the body’s inflammatory response goes haywire. The causes of chronic inflammation are extensive, and may include:3
- Failure of eliminating infectious organisms causing acute inflammation
- Exposure to irritants and chemicals
- An autoimmune disorder that attacks healthy tissue
- Defective cells
- Lifestyle factors like lack of exercise, the consumption of unhealthy foods, drinking, smoking, and chronic stress4
Signs of chronic inflammation:5
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Constipation, diarrhea, and other stomach issues
- Weight gain
- Skin rashes
How Inflammation Affects Overall Health
When tissues are damaged, the body’s inflammatory response is initiated.6 Distressed cells alert the immune system, which then sends inflammatory cells to trap the substance, pathogen, or other foreign invader and heal the tissue. As this process unfolds, blood vessels send fluid into the site of the injury, causing the classic signs of swelling, redness, and pain. Though these symptoms are vital for the healing process, when they run rampant, chronic inflammation can put the body at risk for a number of harmful diseases and conditions. These include:7
- Heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
- Type 2 diabetes
- Skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis
There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce inflammation in the body, from following an anti-inflammatory diet to reducing your stress levels. To reduce inflammation in the body, try the following:
- Eat a healthy diet of fresh whole foods: These include green, leafy vegetables, berries, spices like turmeric, olive oil, nuts, and probiotics
- Avoid inflammatory foods: These include saturated fats, fried foods, red meats, and sugar
- Exercise: Just 20 minutes of exercise can act as a powerful anti-inflammatory8
- Manage stress: Prolonged stress leads to hyper physiological levels of cortisol, which alters its ability to regulate both the inflammatory and immune response9
- Quit smoking: Smoking triggers an immunologic response to vascular injury, which is associated with increased levels of inflammatory markers10
Controlling Inflammation Associated with Colds/Flus
All symptoms of colds and flus are byproducts of inflammation, as well as allergy flare-ups. One way to reduce this kind of inflammation is by using Brillia Health products, which use antibody science to target the macromolecules in your system that help respond to illness. Since both histamine11 and bradykinin 12 are considered to be “inflammatory mediators” that play a major role in generating symptoms like sore throat and congestion, Brillia Health strategically uses antibodies to these molecules in our products to effectively reduce these symptoms and control the body’s inflammatory response. Here is what you should know about how these active ingredients work:
- Lapine Histamine immune globulin: This antibody targets histamines in the body, which are responsible for initiating the inflammatory response, causing a sore throat, stuffy nose, wet cough, and fluid buildup in the lungs. Lapine Histamine immune globulin locates histamines, attaches to them, and is extremely targeted to control the source of the symptoms.
- Lapine Bradykinin immune globulin: This antibody targets bradykinin, another molecule notorious for initiating the inflammatory response and causing a cough. By attaching to this molecule, the antibody effectively reduces inflammation in the respiratory tract and controls the cough response.
This efficient targeting process effectively eases inflammation and other symptoms of your cold/flu like sore throat and cough without harsh chemicals, drowsiness or contraindications. These two medications are clinically proven to also shorten the duration of your illness, so you will get better faster and feel better in the process. Find out more about how Brillia Health products work.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and a certificate in Narrative Therapy. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women's Health, and VICE.