Inflammation is more dangerous than you think

Most people associate inflammation with the typical visible features, such as redness, swelling and pus. This type of inflammation is easy to diagnose and usually subsides quickly. However, more and more people are afflicted by inflammations of a completely different kind. They spread unnoticed and insidiously in the body, affect health immensely and can trigger serious diseases, such as autoimmune diseases or cancer.

Acute inflammation

Almost every organ and every area of the body can become inflamed. Acute inflammations include, for example, appendicitis, sinusitis, cystitis, renal pelvic inflammation and tenosynovitis, as well as many other inflammations.

How does inflammation occur?

With any type of tissue injury or irritation, an inflammatory reaction of the body begins – no matter where it occurs. The body reacts to an injury or irritation of the internal organs with inflammation as well as to damage to the joints or the outer skin.

If, for example, the appendix is irritated by fecal matter or worm infestation, it becomes inflamed and appendicitis is present. If bacteria rise from the bladder into the renal pelvis, they can irritate the kidney tissue, causing inflammation here as well.

The situation is similar with sinusitis. It is often preceded by a cold. If problems then arise with secretion (due to the swelling of the mucous membranes), as a result of which the secretion contaminated with bacteria, allergens or viruses collects in the paranasal sinuses, then the tissue there becomes inflamed and the symptoms of a sinusitis – headache, pressure behind the eyes and fever – become noticeable.

Possible triggers

Inflammation can have different causes. What these triggers have in common is that they irritate or damage the tissue and ultimately inflame it:

  • Bruises, strains, or bruises from bumps or falls
  • Physical stimuli such as heat, frost or radioactive radiation
  • Chemical substances such as poisons and acids
  • Foreign bodies (e.g. wood splinters or similar) that penetrate the body or metabolic degradation products (e.g. uric acid crystals) that are produced in the body itself
  • Pathogenic microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or intestinal parasites and their toxic excretions
  • Allergens (= allergy-triggering substances) such as pollen, animal hair, food, etc.

The symptoms

A localized, acute (sudden) inflammatory reaction is accompanied by characteristic symptoms. The affected area generally reddens, becomes hot, swells and hurts. Often Fever is added ( 1 ).

If the inflammation does not occur directly in or under the skin, but in an organ, the symptoms mentioned are not always visible. However, the inflammation itself does not initially constitute a disease. Instead, it indicates that the body has initiated a defensive reaction of the immune system with the onset of inflammation and that the healing process is in full swing.

After all, “ignition” means that a fire is lit in the form of a great heat to burn bad things and initiate a deep cleansing, so that the body can emerge stronger from the crisis – which, of course, does not always succeed.

This is because acute appendicitis carries significant life-threatening risks and the risk that acute inflammation will become chronic if it is not observed should not be underestimated.

What happens in the body?

As soon as a tissue is injured or irritated, there is a lot for the body to do. If blood vessels have been damaged, the first thing to do is to seal the wound. This task is performed by the blood glue fibrin ( 2 ).

It pulls up a kind of net at the injured area, in which the platelets and red blood cells get stuck so that the blood clots. As soon as the vessels are sealed, special enzymes ensure that clotting is stopped again.

Excess clotted blood, invading bacteria and injured or dead tissue require the appearance of specialized defense cells (macrophages or also called phagocytes). Their task is to kill intruders and dispose of cell and tissue debris.

To ensure that the macrophages and other immune cells can reach the site of action as quickly as possible, special messenger substances ensure that the permeability of the vessels in the inflammatory area is immediately increased.

This leads to a greatly increased blood flow in the immediate vicinity of the injury, which is responsible for both the redness and temperature increase as well as the swelling.

While the macrophages are still busy cleaning up, other immune cells are already beginning the first repair measures: damaged small blood vessels are sealed and new cells form through cell division, which are an exact copy of the destroyed cells.

Inflammation triggers pain

The pain associated with inflammation can be caused by direct injury to the nerve cells. Or because the resulting swelling presses on nearby nerves.

However, the main cause of pain in inflammation is the release of certain pain messengers ( 3 ). They are released by immune cells and are called prostaglandins, histamine, bradykinin, etc.

These substances perform important tasks. In this way, they unmistakably draw attention to the damage of the tissue and ensure that the person or animal in question keeps the inflamed part of the body as still as possible.

This way, the tissue injury is not unnecessarily expanded. Instead, the healing process can be tackled undisturbed. As soon as the inflammation heals, the messenger substances are dissolved with the help of enzymes and the pain subsides automatically.

Measures for acute inflammation

In some cases, it is extremely important to intervene therapeutically immediately. For example, acute pneumonia, acute appendicitis or a similarly severe inflammation must of course never go untreated. In the case of less life-threatening inflammations, it is often sufficient to support the body in the best possible way during the healing process.

Of course, these measures are also useful as an accompaniment to therapeutic treatment.

  • Cool the inflamed areas.
  • Give your body plenty of rest.
  • Relieve your digestive system by eating only a little, and eating only healthy, nutrient-rich foods.
  • In addition, drink more water – 50 ml per kilogram of body weight.
  • Consume part of your daily fluid intake in the form of alkaline teas so that the waste products caused by inflammation can be excreted as quickly as possible.

However, some acute inflammatory processes do not heal as desired. In particular, a weakened immune system can lead to inflammation not healing and possibly becoming chronic.

Many influences weaken the immune system

An unhealthy lifestyle and diet, constant stressful situations, toxin accumulations in the body, existing diseases and much more contribute to the immune system losing strength. It cannot fully fulfil its tasks, so that inflammation can no longer subside completely.

Although the “fire” no longer burns brightly, the embers never go out completely, so that the inflammation can permanently smolder or flare up again and again and spread further in the body. Doctors now speak of secondary chronic inflammation.

Secondary chronic inflammation

Secondary chronic inflammation therefore occurs when the healing inflammatory processes are too weak or unsuccessful for other reasons and are therefore inefficient.

At this stage, the inflammatory symptoms become weaker – including the pain. But the inflammation persists without ever completely healing. Chronic inflammation of the tonsils (tonsillitis), the nasal mucosa (sinusitis), the conjunctiva (conjunctivitis), the bronchial mucosa (bronchitis), the gums (periodontitis) or the skin (dermatitis) are examples of chronic inflammation as soon as they do not heal after the acute phase.

Measures for chronic inflammation

A weakened immune system can hardly prevent the development of chronic inflammation. Therefore, it is now up to you to strengthen your immune system by relieving and supporting it in the best possible way – see previous link. This often seems easier said than done. But there are actually many ways to actively contribute to strengthening your immune system, regardless of the type of treatment you choose.

  1. The first and perhaps most important step is to change your usual diet. Opt for an anti-inflammatory diet and change your drinking habits as described under “Recommendation for acute inflammation”.
  2. At the same time, you should perform a colon cleanse. This allows your body to remove a large part of the stored toxins and other pollutants through the stool.
  3. In order to counteract the hyperacidity of your body (explanation follows below), which is often accompanied by inflammation, you should also take deacidifying measures. This includes the intake of alkaline minerals (e.g. base citrates or Sango Sea Coral) in combination with alkaline full or foot baths. In this way, many harmful acids can be drained out through the urine and through the skin.

All these measures together contribute to a very effective relief of the immune system, so that it can now again take strong action against the smoldering inflammatory processes.

Overactivity of the immune system is particularly dangerous

Inhibition of the inflammatory reaction, as described above, can also lead to another type of immune system disorder in the complex interlocking of blood clotting, macrophage activity and regenerative measures. What we mean is an overactivity of the immune system.

In this situation, it can happen that far too many macrophages arrive at the site of inflammation at the same time. Either they hinder each other in carrying out their task or they do not stop working, so that they end up attacking healthy tissue.

This development leads to another form of chronic inflammation, the so-called primary chronic inflammation.

Primary chronic inflammation

This type of inflammation is far better known under the term autoimmune diseases. In these diseases, the immune system attacks and destroys the body’s own tissue. This creates a vicious circle of recurring inflammatory reactions that damage the affected organ.

The best-known autoimmune diseases include Crohn’s disease ( chronic intestinal inflammation ), multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (chronic inflamed thyroid gland), rheumatoid arthritis (chronic inflamed joints or rheumatism ) and type 1 diabetes ( 4 ).

The conventional treatment method for autoimmune diseases is the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs, e.g. cortisone or immunosuppressants. These are drugs that dampen immune system activity. Unfortunately, the list of side effects of both drugs is long and if taken for a longer period of time, the consequences for the body can be serious.

However, if taking medication cannot be avoided, your goal should be to be dependent on taking the medication for as short a time as possible and to implement holistic measures at the same time. These naturally help your immune system to find the right balance again or at least enable you to delay flare-ups and reduce your medication intake.

In order to achieve this goal, it is imperative to apply all the tips recommended under “Measures against secondary chronic inflammation” in parallel to therapy (in consultation with the doctor). This increases the chance of getting your immune system back on track, quite extraordinarily.

In addition, there are many factors that can intensify chronic inflammatory processes in the body. If these factors apply to you, it helps to take the appropriate measures, which we describe below:

Chronic inflammation due to abdominal fat

Not just overweight people can have a chronic inflammation in the body without knowing it, hidden where no one normally suspects it: in abdominal fat ( 5 ) ( 6 ).

In contrast to normal fat cells, the fat cells located in the abdomen are bulging and therefore remarkably large. In addition, abdominal fat is an extremely active adipose tissue, because it produces pro-inflammatory hormones in addition to various messenger substances.

These can repeatedly spark latent inflammation in abdominal fat. They eventually reach other areas of the body via the blood. Due to the proximity of the abdomen to the heart, liver and pancreas, they pose a particular danger to these organs.

Metabolic disorders, diabetes and diseases of the cardiovascular system can also be the result of inflammation, which is originally due to excessive fat accumulation in the abdomen.

By the way: Not only overweight people can have large fat accumulations in the abdominal area. Even visually slim but untrained people can have relatively high abdominal fat percentages.

This is because abdominal fat initially forms around the abdominal organs, so that it is not even visible at first. Only when the fat no longer has room there does the abdomen visibly swell.

Reduce belly fat, relieve inflammation

Losing weight is the first commandment here. In this case, a 4-week detoxification program offers an ideal introduction to changing eating habits, which shows visible and noticeable results within a very short time.

After completing the program, a plant-based alkaline-surplus diet is optimal so that a healthy weight can be achieved and the immune system is strengthened. With this diet, you relieve your cardiovascular system as well as your immune system and unnoticed inflammation no longer has a chance to continue to exist. You can find out which foods and supplements you can use to lose belly fat in the previous link.

Allergies trigger inflammation

Allergies do not “only” lead to the well-known, typical allergic reactions. Allergies can also spark chronic inflammatory processes in the body (7).

In the case of an allergic reaction, in addition to the formation of antibodies, other substances are released immediately after allergen contact, which lead to inflammation in the body tissue. Here, too, the inflammation naturally serves to combat the harmful stimulus of the allergen as quickly and effectively as possible.

Just as the allergy itself is an overreaction of the immune system, inflammation can also lead to an excessive reaction in which the macrophages work more than would be useful. This leads to inflammatory diseases that damage, for example, the tissue of the eyes (conjunctivitis), the nose (sinusitis), the bronchi (bronchitis) or the skin (dermatitis).

If the allergy persists over a long period of time, the corresponding inflammatory processes can take on a chronic course and thus also spread to other areas of the body.

Strengthen the intestines and reduce inflammation

As mentioned earlier, allergic reactions are triggered by an overreaction of the immune system. Often, the cause of this abnormal reaction is due to a completely overloaded intestine, in which 80 percent of our immune system is located.

There are a lot of toxins and other pollutants in the intestine, the elimination of which simply overwhelms the immune system. In this situation, it suddenly attacks substances that are normally completely harmless. An allergic reaction occurs.

In order to curb allergic reactions and the associated inflammatory processes, it is important to remove the pollutants that overload the immune system from the intestine. For this purpose, colon cleansing, which you can do yourself at home, or colon hydrotherapy, which is carried out by a specialist, is particularly suitable.

In addition, an alkaline-surplus, nutrient-rich diet is highly recommended so that your immune system regains strength as quickly as possible.

Hyperacidity promotes chronic inflammatory processes

The immunocompromised influences already described above (unhealthy lifestyle and diet, stress, toxins, etc.), which lead to chronic inflammation, also contribute to hyperacidity, i.e. to a shift in the acid-base balance.

In the case of chronic inflammation, therefore, not only the inflammatory processes as such should be the focus of treatment. Instead, attention should also be paid to the hyperacidity that may be present. If only the inflammation were to be taken into account, it would be almost impossible to achieve a permanent cure. For this reason, carrying out a deacidification programs, which flushes excess acids out of the body as quickly as possible, is a good measure. At the same time, you should change your eating habits. A plant-based alkaline-surplus diet would be optimal in this case.

Baking soda regulates the immune system and relieves inflammation

A well-known agent that is often used is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). It is a popular and very inexpensive powder that is available in almost every drugstore and supermarket. Scientific findings from April 2018 showed that baking soda can apparently regulate the immune system in such a way that within a few weeks the pro-inflammatory immune cells decrease in number and at the same time the anti-inflammatory ones increase. The researchers in question even went so far as to describe baking soda as a remedy that could be used in the future for autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.

Free radicals fuel inflammatory processes

In all inflammatory processes, more free radicals are produced in the body ( 8 ). They take action against pathogens and support the body in containing inflammatory processes. In this case, free radicals are desired and useful.

In the number produced by the body, free radicals are therefore quite helpful – if it weren’t for the countless unwanted free radicals that enter our body through food, smoking, environmental pollution, toxic loads, prolonged stress, etc.

Taken together, the free radicals achieve an excess of presence compared to their counterparts, the antioxidants, making them extremely dangerous.

Now they no longer fight pathogens or contain inflammatory processes. Quite the opposite: Now they attack the body’s own tissue and thus trigger new inflammatory processes again and again.

Normally, antioxidants prevent free radicals from multiplying excessively. In this way, they automatically also curb chronic inflammation, which can lead to considerable cell damage and thus to a wide range of serious diseases.

Antioxidants help fight inflammation

To put an end to the destructive drive of free radicals, your body depends on the supply of as many high-quality antioxidants as possible ( 9 ). You can cover part of its needs in the form of a diet rich in antioxidants ( 10 ).

In general, choose foods from controlled organic cultivation if possible, because they contain a significantly higher proportion of antioxidants than conventionally grown foods.

Eat fresh salads with wild plants, fresh herbs and sprouts regularly, as they provide plenty of antioxidants. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also good sources of antioxidants. For this reason, they should be integrated into their diet every day.

Use only natural oils and fats for the preparation of your dishes. Oils with a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids have a targeted anti-inflammatory effect. These include, in particular, linseed oil and hemp oil.

In order to compensate for the deficit of antioxidants as quickly as possible, it is advisable to take them additionally in the form of a high-quality dietary supplement. Astaxanthin, the plant substances from the group of anthocyanins, e.g. from aronia berries, blueberries, blackberries and many other dark blue fruits and vegetables, have a particularly strong antioxidant effect.

But many endogenous substances also have an antioxidant effect, e.g. glutathione, the sleep hormone melatonin, the enzyme SOD (superoxide dismutase), the protein albumin or coenzyme Q10.

Smoldering inflammation is often difficult to diagnose

Unfortunately, not all inflammations are accompanied by clear symptoms, so that it is almost impossible for those affected to consider an inflammatory event. The diagnosis of inflammation is just as difficult if the process develops insidiously and is initially completely symptom-free.

In both cases, the inflammation usually remains untreated for a long period of time, so that it can spread unhindered in the body.

Diagnosis in the blood

If an inflammatory event is suspected, a blood test can provide information, because inflammatory processes change certain blood parameters. This significantly increases the leukocyte concentration in the blood. This increased white blood cell count is usually a sign of an acute infection ( 11 ).

In addition, certain proteins, so-called CRP (stands for C-reactive proteins), can be detected in the blood ( 12 ). The body produces these proteins in larger quantities during inflammation (even chronic ones). The task of these proteins is to activate macrophages (phagocytes).

Therefore, CRP can be measured at a very early stage of inflammation. The level of the CRP value can also be used to estimate the severity of the inflammatory processes.

The ultrasound examination

If inflammation is accompanied by non-specific organ complaints, such as those affecting the pancreas, intestines or joints, an X-ray is usually taken first. If it does not show a clear result, an ultrasound examination can often provide information (13 ) ( 14 ).

Ultrasound is usually used as the first imaging procedure and often makes the use of more expensive examination methods such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography) or scintigraphy, superfluous.

Conclusion: If you have an inflammation, change your diet consistently

Now you know some of the most important reasons that can contribute to the development of chronic inflammation. You now also know that an untreated inflammation can spread throughout the body and thus result in serious health complications.

The longer an inflammatory process lasts, the more acidic the body becomes and the immune system’s defenses become weaker and weaker. Cell damage increases to the same extent. Therefore, take every inflammation seriously and act accordingly! If inflammatory diseases are suspected, consult an experienced holistic therapist so that action can be taken as quickly as possible. Our respective recommendations will help you to quickly leave the time of chronic inflammation behind you.

Of course, our recommendations also represent excellent prevention. If you don’t want to give inflammatory processes a chance in the first place, you should consistently opt for a healthy diet and lifestyle and cleanse every now and then (e.g. deacidification, detoxification or colon cleansing) so that the important excretory organs such as kidneys, intestines and skin can continue to contribute to maintaining your health.

Inflammation

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