6 Common Causes of Inflammation

An inflammatory response is a component of the immune response in the human body. The reaction is typically triggered by internal and external factors, but the common trigger is when microorganisms venture into sites where they do not belong. In the inflammation process, the body’s immune system usually recognizes damaged cells, pathogens, and irritants as it embarks on the healing process. In response to pathogens, harmful microbes, and dangerous chemical reactions, the normal biological response from the body is that it will attempt to remove the pathogenic microbes. After the inflammatory response process is initiated, it often proceeds following a certain course of events up to the point where the source of inflammation is annihilated. Typically, the body would not have the ability to heal wounds, infections, or tissue damage without the occurrence of an inflammatory response.

In some cases, inflammation arises when the immune system fights against its own cells by mistake thus causing harmful responses. For example, there are conditions that cause inflammatory effects such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Crohn’s disease. The main symptoms of inflammation include immobility, pain, redness, heat, or swelling. Pain is usually caused by chemicals that stimulate nerve endings, and subsequently, cause a sensitive feeling in the area. Additionally, swelling is a factor caused by the accumulation of fluid. With the influx of blood to the affected area of the body, the blood causes a characteristic redness and produces heat.

During inflammatory responses, immune cells release different compounds known as the inflammatory mediators. The inflammatory mediators typically include tissue hormones such as histamine or bradykinin. Such compounds cause expansion of the blood vessels in the tissue and allow blood to reach the affected tissue. Inflammatory mediators also lead to an increase in permeability of the narrow vessels to allow more defense cells to enter the affected area. In the event that the inflammation worsens, then the result is sepsis. Sepsis arises when bacteria in the affected area multiply rapidly and increase in the bloodstream in large quantities. There are various causes of inflammation and this article delves into some of the common causes.

1. Bacteria in the Gut

There are inestimable types of bacteria found in the gut. Some of the bacteria are harmless while others are pathogenic. The harmless bacteria are essential in the digestion process while the harmful bacteria lead to various diseases. In optimum conditions in the gut, the good bacteria break down fiber such as inulin and pectin to produce short chain fatty acids. In such harmonious conditions, gut inflammation is suppressed and levels of multiple health biomarkers such as insulin and lipids stabilize.

However, bacteria overgrowth often results when the bacteria in the gut are compromised. In some cases, the bad bacteria overcome the good bacteria. One of the roles of normal/good gut flora is to act as physical barriers against foreign bacteria. Therefore, if the good gut bacteria are disrupted and destabilized, the pathogenic bacteria multiply and cause gut inflammation.