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What is Screaming and Silent Inflammation?

 

Is there a difference between screaming and silent inflammation?

Is there a difference between screaming and silent inflammation?

Do we really need inflammation?

Yes, we do! We need inflammation to fight microbial invasions and to help damaged tissue repair itself from injury.  Once the healing process begins, inflammation decreases then vanishes, allowing the body to resume its normal functioning.

Without inflammation, there would be no way we could survive in this hostile microbial environment and we would never heal from even minor traumas.

So, if inflammation is necessary, when does it become bad?

The problem arises when there is a breakdown in communication. The inflammatory response does not turn itself off after a microbial invasion or injury making inflammation chronic rather than transitory.

To understand how the communication breakdown occurs, we first need to understand the key players in the inflammatory process.

Eicosanoids, tiny hormones, control the entire inflammatory process and can be divided into pro-inflammatory hormones and anti-inflammatory hormones.

When there is an attack on the body, eicosanoids work in conjunction with immune cells to conquer the immunological invasion. Immune cells constantly survey the body for any signs of invasion. If detection occurs, the immune system launches an attack. A cascade reaction occurs, starting with a burst of pro-inflammatory eicosanoids.

Pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are responsible for the classic, trademark signs of inflammation: pain, redness, heat and swelling.

All pain is ultimately due to inflammation. This kind of inflammation is referred to as screaming pain because it has surpassed the threshold and is now perceptible to your brain as pain.

Screaming pain sends you reaching for the anti-inflammatory pain medication like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or stronger prescription medication such as COX-2 inhibitors or corticosteroids.

When the battle is won, the body recalls the pro-inflammatory hormones and sends out anti-inflammatory eicosanoids. These hormones stop the pain and stimulate the healing process.

Inflammation becomes the biggest problem when pro-inflammatory eicosanoids are not recalled. They continue operate at low levels, maintaining itself below the threshold of perceptible pain. When this occurs, it is referred to as silent inflammation.

Silent inflammation does not trigger the intense inflammatory response that sends pain signals to the brain. But, over time, enough inflammation accumulates to cause long term damage to the body as it gradually wears away blood vessels, immune cells and brain cells causing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and neurological conditions.

Though driven by the same inflammatory response as screaming pain, silent inflammation remains hidden for decades. Since you can’t feel it, many people do nothing to change anything because they are simply unaware of the damage occurring.

So, how do you know if you have silent inflammation if you can’t feel it?

Come join Dr. Vera as she presents the Zone Anti-Inflammatory Diet Workshop.  Here you will learn more about silent inflammation, if you have it and what you can do to reduce levels.

 

Dr. Vera Baziuk

 

Your Chiropractic Lifestyle Doctor

 

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