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Know you medical terms: Inflammation

Here's a simple explanation for the medical term inflammation.

Many a times, when you visit a doctor or read a health related book or specific articles on websites, you may come across a few complicated, scary medical words that you don't understand. Most medical terms may sound complicated but have a simple explanation. So here is today's word inflammation.

You might have come across this word very often. In fact, a few of you might even recollect using the word themselves. Inflammation is a medical term used closely with swelling due to wounds and injuries. But, inflammation is actually a response produced by cells of your immune system towards anything that it recognises harmful. It can be caused by a direct injury to the body in the form of trauma (cuts, burns, force) or due to internal poisoning (infection or ingestion of disease causing organism). Inflammation is a way by which your immune system signals you that something is wrong within your body. There are different stages of inflammation and the main signs include redness, heat production, swelling (oedema), pain, loss of function of the injured tissue.

There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation has a rapid onset and the affected area may worsen very quickly. However, the signs persist for a few days or a couple of weeks. You might have experienced acute inflammation when you must have suffered from sore throat, sinusitis or acute bronchitis. Other conditions where acute inflammation occurs include acute appendicitis, tonsillitis and meningitis.

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Chronic inflammation indicates inflammation that lasts for a few months or years together. It can develop from acute inflammation as well. It is usually caused by a foreign particle/organism/irritant that persists in the system for a long time. Conditions in which you might suffer from chronic inflammation include tuberculosis, asthma, hepatitis, stomach ulcers and arthritis.

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