Inflammation – Inflammatory Response – What Is Inflammation In The Body?

In this video I discuss what is inflammation in the body, including acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. I also discuss the inflammatory response and how the immune system and white blood cells respond to inflammation.

Transcript (partial with notes).

What is inflammation?

Basically, inflammation is a protective response by the body to something harmful. So, for example if you cut yourself, or get a burn, your body will produce an inflammatory response to this harmful action.

Inflammatory responses are not only limited to physical harm, other inflammatory response triggers include toxins, bacteria, viruses, allergies, stress, and even some foods such as fried foods, foods with high amounts of added sugar, and refined carbohydrate foods, just to name a few.

Let’s look at one way the body provides an inflammatory response. Let’s say you get a splinter in your arm. Nearby white blood cells start to take action by releasing chemical called histamine, which tells nearby capillaries to open up.

As this happens, blood plasma enters the tissue area, slowing down any foreign invaders that may have entered with the splinter. This also causes some swelling. Other white blood cells in the area release chemicals called cytokines, which signal more white blood cells to the area.

With the capillaries being open, the arriving white blood cells can enter the tissue and help fight any foreign invaders. The result of the inflammatory response is the destruction of any foreign invaders, and any damaged tissue.

So, inflammation is good, the body protecting itself? Well, yes, acute inflammation can be good, but there is a bad type of inflammation called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation can develop several ways, with the most common being in the form of an autoimmune disorder.

This occurs when the immune system goes into action to fight off a foreign substance, but there is no foreign substance, resulting in damage to non-infected tissues. As this happens over time, it takes its toll on the tissue being attacked.


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