What Causes Inflammation?
Acute and chronic inflammation are caused by slightly different things.
- Acute inflammation happens when the body thinks that a foreign substance is attacking it or an unusual activity is happening. In order to protect itself, the body increases blood flow to this area and releases antibodies and proteins. Think of these as little soldiers to help fight off the injury or infection (1).
- Chronic inflammation can have a few causes (1):
- It can happen when acute inflammation or the causes of acute inflammation are left untreated. This can be a long-lasting injury or infection.
- Another cause of chronic inflammation may be an auto immune condition when the immune system mistakes healthy tissue as foreign or invasive, so the body tries to fight off the healthy parts of itself.
- Being exposed to irritant substances, harmful chemicals and air pollution for a long period of time can also lead to chronic inflammation.
- Factors like smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption and chronic stress can all increase the likelihood of chronic inflammation happening.