Have you ever experienced one of the following?
Insect bites, allergies, sprains, wounds, impact injuries, rashes, sore throats, sore eyes, acne, styes or other infections all result in inflammation in one way or another.
Inflammation is experienced in one of four ways. redness, heat, swelling and pain. You have probably felt this for yourself. Take a pimple for example. It starts out as a red patch, the soon becomes a warm red patch. In time it begins to swell, and if the swelling gets bad enough, it hurts. In very severe cases, a fifth step, loss of use of the inflammed area can occur. This is the typical process of inflammation. But why does it happen?
Inflammation is a response of our immune system. Basically it is the immune system isolating and attacking the threat in the area, whether bacterial, viral or anything else.
When a threat is recognized, your interferons (proteins that alert your immune system) start the immune response. It begins with dilation of the blood vessels in the area, bringing macrophages and other members of the innate immune system to act on the threat (redness). Heat is caused by the increased activity in the area as your body begins to activate cytokines and neutrophils, alerting the rest of your immune system and adapting to the threat. Swelling is caused by the accumulation of fluids as lyphocytes and antibodies begin to kill off the infection, and finally the pain is there because the tissue begins to stretch to a point where it presses on nerve endings.
External inflammation is easily observed and treated. Therefore it is not usually that serious. Internal inflammation however can be deadly.
Internal inflammation goes through the same steps, but remember the fifth step is loss of function. While losing the feeling in your arm or face can be troublesome, losing the function of an essential internal organ will quickly lead to death. In COVID infections, it has been found that many of the severe and fatal symptoms are attributed to cykotine storms . This is internal inflammation caused by an immune system that is overwhelmed by the virus. It begins to create large amounts of inflammation in an attempt to defeat the virus, but the internal damage it causes does much more harm than good.
That is why one of the most important steps for treating COVID patients is controlling inflammation! There are many ways to do this, and we have outlined a few in our article which you can find below.
Aside from this, simply maintaining a healthy immune system is sufficient to reduce inflammation from becoming irregular in the first place. Taking care of your gut bacteria is the best way to do this. Studies have shown that a healthy gut microbiome completely eliminates the likelihood of having severe COVID symptoms. You can cultivate your good bacteria by consuming probiotic foods like yoghurt and kefir, as well as prebiotic (bacteria food) rich foods like Okra.
There are several foods that cause inflammation, and also a number of foods that are anti-inflammatory. You can check out the whole list in this article here. It is the source of the image below.
Sugar, White Rice, and other starchy foods also cause inflammation.