what is inflammation and it works
When a wound swells up, turns red and hurts, it may be a sign of inflammation. Inflammation is – very generally speaking – the body’s immune system’s response to stimulus. This can be bacteria colonising a wound or a splinter piercing your finger, for example. Inflammation happens when the immune system fights against something that may turn out to be harmful.
Causes of an inflammation :
Inflammation may have many different causes. These are the most common:
Pathogens (germs) like bacteria, viruses or fungi
External injuries like scrapes or foreign objects (for example a thorn in your finger)
Effects of chemicals or radiation
What happens when you have an inflammation :
Many different immune cells can take part in an inflammation. They release different substances, the inflammatory mediators. These include the tissue hormones bradykinin and histamine. They cause the narrow blood vessels in the tissue to expand, allowing more blood to reach the injured tissue. For this reason the inflamed area turns red and becomes hot.
More defense cells are also brought along with the blood to the injured tissue, to help with the healing process. Both hormones can also irritate nerves and cause pain signals to be sent to the brain. If the inflammation hurts, you usually favor the affected part of the body.
The inflammatory mediators have yet another function: they increase the permeability of the narrow vessels, so that more defense cells can enter the affected tissue. The defense cells also carry more fluid into the inflamed tissue, which is why it often swells up. After this fluid is transported out of the tissue once again a while later and the swelling disappears again.
The mucous membranes also release more fluid during inflammation. This happens for example when you have a stuffy nose and the nasal mucous membranes are inflamed. Then the nasal secretions can help to quickly flush the viruses out of the body.