What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a defence mechanism provided by our bodies to fight infection and injury. It can present itself in many different ways in the affected area, for example, some may experience swelling, redness, heat from the affected area, pain/discomfort and even loss of function in the affected area. These are known as the Cardinal Signs of Inflammation.

sings of inflammation(VeryWell, 2019)

Types and Causes of Inflammation

There are two main types of Inflammation, Acute and Chronic.

Acute Inflammation starts rapidly and gets worse over a short space of time and tends to be a temporary occurrence lasting from a few days to up to a month.

Caused By: Harmful bacteria or tissue injury.

Outcomes: Inflammation improves, turns into an abscess, or becomes chronic.

Examples of Acute Inflammation include:


A sore throat (from a cold or flu)

Cuts/grazes on the skin




Physical Trauma

(Justin Choi, 2019)


Chronic Inflammation refers to long-term Inflammation that can last from months to years.

Caused By: Pathogens that the body cannot break down, including some types of virus, foreign bodies that remain in the system, or overactive immune responses.

Outcomes: Tissue death and the thickening and scarring of connective tissue.

Examples of Chronic Inflammation include:



Rheumatoid Arthritis


Crohn’s Disease

(Justin Choi, 2019)


Treatments for Inflammation

The most common treatments for Inflammation include Anti-Inflammatory medications, Corticosteroids (steroid hormones) and Anti-Inflammatory diet plans.

Dr Rupy Aujla’s latest book – ‘The Doctor’s Kitchen – Eat to beat illness’ has a great section on inflammation which includes tips and dietary suggestions with anti-inflammatory foods to help against Inflammation. For example, food groups such as quality fats (Nuts, Seeds and Olive Oils) greens (Broccoli, Kale Rocket etc) and prebiotic fibres (split peas, lentils, onions and beans) are all linked to lowering levels of inflammation. (AUJLA, 2019)

To learn more about Inflammation, join Dr Elisabeth Philipps PhD on our upcoming ‘Pain and Inflammation’ webinar on Wednesday 26th June 2019:

Book Now



AUJLA, D. (2019). Doctor’s Kitchen – Eat to Beat Illness. London: HARPER THORSONS, pp.34-47.

VeryWell (2019). 5 Cardinal Signs of Inflammation. [image] Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun. 2019].

Justin Choi, M. (2019). Inflammation: Causes, symptoms, and treatment. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun. 2019].