Inflammation is the body’s normal response of protection to outside invaders like viruses and bacteria. According to WebMD, some conditions that can be linked to inflammation are diabetes, cancer, asthma, heart diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. It also stated that some types of arthritis, such as gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis, result from inflammation.
“When inflammation happens, chemicals from your body’s white blood cells enter your blood or tissues to protect your body from invaders. This raises the blood flow to the area of injury or infection. It can cause redness and warmth. Some of the chemicals cause fluid to leak into your tissues, resulting in swelling. This protective process may trigger nerves and cause pain,” WebMD stated.
An updated study in 2020 stated that inflammation could be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation can be induced by tissue damage caused by the microbial invasion, trauma, and noxious compounds. It can be severe in a short span of time and may last for several days. Symptoms may include acute pneumonia and cellulitis. On the other hand, chronic inflammation refers to a long-term inflammation that can last for several months and even years. Its effects and extent vary based on the injury and the capacity of the body to repair the damage.
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) mentioned the following:
“Inflammation refers to a biological response to stimuli interpreted by the body to have a potentially harmful effect. While after injury or in certain conditions, inflammation is a normal, healthy response, inflammatory disorders that result in the immune system attacking the body’s own cells or tissues may cause abnormal inflammation, which results in chronic pain, redness, swelling, stiffness, and damage to normal tissues.”
What are Inflammatory Diseases?
As mentioned, inflammation is the body’s normal response to infection and illness. However, there are times when inflammation is misdirected. What happens is that the immune system attacks healthy tissues. This leads to pain and swelling.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammation?
The following are the common symptoms of inflammatory diseases:
- Redness in the inflamed area
- Joint stiffness
- Muscle stiffness
- Loss of movement and function of the affected area
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
Inflammatory diseases can also affect the body’s organs. Some examples of these include:
- Inflammation and the blood vessels’ loss of function
- Enlargement and the inability of the kidneys to function
- Loss of function and swelling of the muscles
The effects of inflammatory diseases can be short-term or long-term. When it lasts for several months or years, then the inflammation can be severe. One example of this condition is arthritis,
Some Common Examples of Inflammatory Disorders
You might be wondering what the most common types of inflammatory disorders are. Take a look at the following to learn more:
#1 Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS)
It refers to a rare type of arthritis that brings stiffness and pain to your spine. This long-term condition, also called Bechterew disease, commonly starts in the lower back area. It can spread and to other areas of the body like the neck and inflamed joints.
Gout is a type of arthritis causing too much uric acid in the bloodstream. The typical symptoms of gout appear to be caused by the development of uric acid crystals in the joints. This type of inflammatory disease usually affects the joints located in the base of the big toe.
#3 Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis refers to a long-term autoimmune problem that mainly affects the joints.
It usually shows swollen, warm, and painful joints. The stiffness and pain often worsen as days go by. The most commonly affected are the hands and wrists, as well as other joints in the body.
Vasculitis refers to a group of disorders that damage the blood vessels due to inflammation. In this condition, the veins and arteries are both affected. Lymphangitis, or the inflammation of lymphatic vessels, is sometimes also considered as one of the types of vasculitis. This inflammatory disorder is mainly caused by resultant damage and leukocyte migration.
Scleroderma is a skin disease that affects the internal organs, skin, and connective tissues. It occurs when the immune system forces the body to produce too much of the protein collagen. This results in the thickening of your skin. Worse, cars can develop on your kidneys and lungs.
Myositis pertains to the inflammation of the muscles that are used to move the body. It can be caused by an infection, an injury, or an autoimmune disease. There are two types of myositis: dermatomyositis and polymyositis.
#7 Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is considered an autoimmune disease, wherein the immune system mistakenly attacks some parts of the body. With this type of syndrome, the glands that make saliva and tears are damaged. This results in dry eyes and a dry mouth.
#8 Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
The systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is known to be the most usual type of lupus. It refers to an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system attacks its own tissues, resulting in widespread inflammation and damage to the body’s organs. It affects the skin, joints, lungs, brain blood vessels, and kidneys.
#9 Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome (APS)
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also called Hughes syndrome, refers to a disorder of the immune system that results in an increased risk of blood clots. Patients with APS are at higher risk of developing conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT), wherein a blood clot often develops in the leg.
Now, Can Your Work Contribute to the Risk of Inflammatory Diseases?
According to Healthline.com, inflammation diseases can be caused by the following:
- an autoimmune disorder
- Infections and injuries
- Long-term exposure to chemicals and other irritants own to be
- Other factors such as obesity, alcohol, smoking, and chronic stress
Your work can also contribute to the risk of inflammatory diseases. A sedentary lifestyle is known to be related to inflammation.
A part of a published post by Science Direct highlighted the following:
“Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), sometimes known as Hughes syndrome, is a disorder of the immune system that causes an increased risk of blood clots. This means people with APS are at greater risk of developing conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that usually develops in the leg.”
When your job requires repetitive muscle use, it can also cause inflammation. It can also happen when you need to sit or stand for long hours. A sedentary lifestyle at work can make you prone to inflammatory diseases; thus, proper ergonomics should be applied.