Although usually associated with chronic conditions, inflammation is actually one of the many ways that our body protects us from harmful organisms. But what happens when our inflammation becomes misdirected, or it’s beginning to cause us pain? Believe it or not, our everyday activities can cause our body to develop symptoms of inflammation, which manifest in painful, frustrating ways. Thankfully, there are several ways that we can treat the symptoms of inflammation, as well as help reduce or prevent painful inflammation from occurring in the first place.
This blog will give you an in-depth look at the causes of inflammation and the symptoms and diseases associated with the spread of inflammation throughout the body. We'll also look at how you can use CBD products such as CBD oil and CBD lotion to reduce inflammation and prevent it from taking control of your life.
What Is Inflammation?
In order to understand how we can treat the symptoms of inflammation and reduce them from occurring, we must first understand what inflammation really is. According to Live Science, “Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system's response to injury and infection. It is the body's way of signaling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria.”
If our bodies didn’t have a system in place to alert us to infections, the germs would simply continue to spread throughout our bodies, ultimately killing us. Sounds pretty morbid, right? However, what happens when inflammation overstays its welcome? Or if it drops by without notice in locations it’s not needed? That’s when inflammation becomes a problem.
Symptoms of Inflammation
The symptoms of inflammation depend on whether the inflammation is acute or chronic. Symptoms of acute inflammation are easily identified by remembering the acronym PRISH, which stands for Pain, Redness, Immobility, Swelling, and Heat.
- Pain: The area experiencing the inflammation will most likely be painful to the touch. During an injury or infection, chemicals are released that stimulate the nerve ending, which increases the sensitivity of the area.
- Redness: Blood flow increases to the capillaries in the impacted area, which causes it to appear red.
- Immobility: Inflammation can cause you to lose function in the impacted area.
- Swelling: A buildup of fluid can occur during periods of inflammation, causing swelling.
- Heat: In addition to redness, additional blood flow to the area can cause it to feel warm to the touch.
These symptoms of acute inflammation are only applicable when the injury or infection is on the skin, such as a laceration or puncture. However, when inflammation occurs within the body, such as in the lungs or kidneys, only some of the symptoms may present themselves.
Chronic inflammation can display symptoms in a much different way. Someone suffering from chronic inflammation may experience symptoms of fatigue, chest pain, fever, mouth sores, abdominal pain, a rash, and joint pain.
Chronic vs. Acute Inflammation
As we mentioned earlier, there are two distinct types of inflammation: acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is typically caused by a tissue injury or harmful bacteria. The symptoms rapidly present themselves, but usually only last for a few days. Acute inflammation resolves itself in a variety of ways: the inflammation improves, the injury turns into an abscess, or the inflammation becomes chronic.
The following are diseases, conditions, and situations that can cause acute inflammation:
- Acute bronchitis: also known as a chest cold, acute bronchitis is caused by inflammation of the bronchi of the lungs. Symptoms include coughing, wheezing, expelling mucus, shortness of breath, fever, and chest discomfort.
- A scratch or a cut to the skin
- A sore throat caused by a cold or the flu
- An infected ingrown toenail
- High-intensity exercise
- Acute appendicitis: Acute inflammation of the vermiform appendix, typically caused by an obstruction to the lumen.
- Tonsillitis: Inflammation of the tonsils, the oval-shaped lumps of tissue at the back of the throat, is characterized by a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, swollen tonsils, and tender lymph nodes on the side of the neck.
- Dermatitis: a common affliction typically involving itchy, dry skin. In more severe cases, the skin can blister, crust, ooze, or flake off.
- Infective meningitis: Meningitis is the inflammation of the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord. In the United States, meningitis is most often caused by viral infections; however, parasitic, fungal, and bacterial infections have also been known to cause meningitis.
- Physical trauma
- Sinusitis: Your sinuses are located in your forehead, throughout your nose, and under your cheekbones. When your sinuses become blocked and fluid accumulates, an infection can occur that includes inflammation and swelling of the sinus tissues.
Chronic inflammation is caused by pathogens that aren’t able to be broken down by the body, including various viruses, foreign bodies trapped in the body, or immune responses that are overactive or misdirected. The symptoms appear slowly and last from several weeks or months to years. Chronic inflammation can lead to more serious outcomes than acute inflammation, including tissue death and the thickening or scarring of connective tissue. Chronic inflammation is typically a result of a failure to address acute inflammation, an autoimmune disorder, or an exposure to an irritant over an extended period of time.
The following are diseases and conditions that involve chronic inflammation:
- Chronic peptic ulcer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis
- Active hepatitis
You Are What You Eat
While inflammation can help your body heal or protect itself, it has also been linked to an increased risk of diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. But believe it or not, inflammation can also be caused by the foods that you eat. Here are six foods that can increase inflammation in your body.
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: These types of sugar are fairly common in our diets and can occur as additives or naturally in things such as fruits and vegetables. While consuming high amounts of fructose has been linked to things such as insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, obesity, cancer, and chronic kidney disease, it also causes inflammation in your blood vessels. In addition, it can counteract the positive anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in added sugar include candy, soft drinks, cake, cookies, doughnuts, certain cereals, and chocolate.
- Artificial Trans Fats: Tran fats are listed as partially hydrogenated oils on ingredient lists and are created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fats to increase their stability. While natural trans fats are found in dairy and meat, artificial trans fats are found in fried fast foods, some varieties of microwave popcorn, some pastries, certain vegetable shortening and margarine, and anything that lists partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in the ingredients.
- Vegetable and Seed Oils: Although some omega-6 fats are necessary to our diets, we have drastically increased our consumption of vegetable oils to include far more than what our bodies require.
- Refined Carbohydrates: While many fad diets today label carbs as the enemy, that’s not necessarily true. Our ancestors ate high-fiber, unprocessed carbs for millennia, but consuming high levels of refined carbs can increase levels of inflammation in our bodies. Refined carbs are lacking in fiber, a nutrient that promotes fullness, feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract, and helps control blood sugar levels. Refined carbohydrates are found in bread, pasta, candy, some cereals, cookies, cakes, soft drinks, and all processed foods that include added flour or sugar.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: While low to moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to provide various health benefits, high consumption can lead to serious problems. People who drink heavily are at a higher risk of developing leaky gut, a condition that is caused by bacterial toxins leaking from the colon and spreading throughout the body. Leaky gut can cause extensive inflammation that may even lead to organ damage.
- Processed meat: Processed meats, including sausage, bacon, ham, smoked meats, and beef jerky, contain more advanced glycation end products (AGEs) than other meats. Eating them in high amounts can increase your risk of heart disease, stomach cancer, colon cancer, and diabetes.
Although it can help to reduce the foods you eat that are known to increase inflammation in the body, there are also more than a dozen foods that have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties. These 13 foods can help fight inflammation in your body.
- Berries: Some of the most common anti-inflammatory fruits include strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. These fruits contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants called anthocyanins that not only reduce inflammation, they can also reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Fatty Fish: Although nearly all types of fish contain some omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies are the best sources of EPA and DHA. The body converts these fatty acids into resolvins and protectins, both of which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Broccoli: Not only is broccoli nutritious, it, along with its fellow cruciferous vegetables cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
- Avocados: Millennials aren’t the only ones worshipping the avocado. These superfoods are full of magnesium, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and potassium. They also contain carotenoids and tocopherols, which can help protect you against cancer as well as inflammation.
- Green tea: While many people drink green tea for the energy it gives the body, the beverage also reduces your risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, and cancer, thanks to the presence of something called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG reduces the production of cytokine, a substance that has been known to increase inflammation in the body.
- Peppers: With tons of ways to incorporate them into your diet, bell peppers and chili peppers are known for their anti-inflammatory effects. The peppers are full of vitamin C as well as antioxidants, including quercetin, sinapic acid, and ferulic acid that have demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
Treating Inflammation Symptoms
While reducing the number of inflammation-causing foods and increasing the number of inflammation-reducing foods can be drastically helpful in improving how you feel, there may still be times where you need some assistance treating your body’s response to inflammation.
As CBD becomes more common across the country and the world, the benefits of various CBD-infused products such as bath bombs, CBD oil, and CBD lotion are becoming increasingly popular choices for those dealing with inflammation. Unlike THC, the chemical responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive properties, CBD is a non-psychotropic element of the plant. Because CBD is able to control portions of the immune system, adding CBD oil, CBD gummies, or CBD lotion to your daily routine can help with some of inflammation’s most frustrating symptoms.
CBD in a Nutshell
What makes products such as CBD oil and CBD lotion so helpful when treating your inflammation pain? It’s simple science. Your endocannabinoid system is made up of two cannabinoid receptors: CB1 and CB2. While most CB1 receptors are located in the brain and deal with things such as coordination, memory, appetite, and mood, the CB2 receptors are found in your immune system and help the body respond to feelings of pain and inflammation. CBD influences the CB2 receptors by encouraging the body to increase its production of cannabinoids.
Adding CBD to your life doesn’t have to be about indulging in marijuana. While that’s one way to do it, for those who are looking to reap the benefits of the cannabinoids without the psychoactive properties, there are more ways than ever to treat yourself to some relief. From CBD lotion and bath bombs to vape juice, capsules, CBD oil, and more, there’s a product that is perfect for everyone looking to address the symptoms of their inflammation with CBD.
Incorporating CBD Into Your Life
As the technology surrounding CBD has grown and developed, the product variety has grown exponentially. There are now more ways than ever to treat your inflammation with CBD products, allowing customers to take their treatment into their own hands.
For those with sore muscles and joints, CBD lotion can be a great way to relax and relieve your pain. CBD lotion from Hemplucid and Mary’s Nutritionals Elite Compound CBD Lotion are two of our favorites right now because of how versatile, easy to use, and soothing they are for people of any age. CBD lotion can help increase circulation, heal tendons, reduce inflammation, and even smooth rough skin. If you’re looking for more diversity, Hemp Bombs CBD oil and Full-Spectrum CBD Oil by Nuleaf Naturals are great for adding to smoothies, yogurt, or simply taking under the tongue.
Regardless of whether you pick a CBD oil, a CBD lotion, or something else, Have a Nice Day CBD carries hundreds of products from more than 20 brands, all at the best prices. Click here to check out our website and take your inflammation management into your own hands!