Inflammation, Man’s Oldest Enemy

Inflammation in any part of the body is a severe pain for that person and it becomes his priority to cure this problem at any cost. Usually, inflammation occurs due to an injury or infection of a particular body part. It is the way of the immunity system for fighting the infection of virus or bacteria that has invaded the body and forming new tissues to heal wounds. However, any inflammation should be treated as early as possible because untreated inflammation may turn to a chronic stage and give rise to many other diseases.

Most common diseases that may result from chronic inflammation

  • Chronic inflammation may lead to fatal ailments like heart attack and cerebral stroke, which may even end the life of a patient.
  • Rheumatic arthritis and lupus are two examples of autoimmune diseases that may occur due to neglected chronic inflammation.
  • Peptic ulcer may occur due to chronic inflammation in the stomach while respiratory inflammation may result in asthma or tuberculosis.
  • Sinusitis, periodontitis, and hepatitis may result from the untreated inflammation of sinus cavities, oral gums, and the liver respectively.
  • The inflammation in the digestive tract may also result in painful ailments, like Crohn’s disease and colitis.

Effective measures that can be taken to fight inflammation

  • Many foods can help in reducing inflammation and even resist the further spread of this pain to other parts of the body. Tomatoes, green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, olive oil, almonds, and walnuts are some food materials that contain anti-inflammatory properties. Fish containing unsaturated fatty acids, like sardines, mackerel, tuna, and salmon should be included in the weekly diet to fight inflammations. Juicy, citrus fruits, like strawberries, blueberries, oranges, lemons, and cherries are also useful in decreasing inflammation anywhere in the body.
  • Some foods, like white bread, pastries, processed red meat, soda, and other carbonated cold drinks, and margarine are found to be responsible for increasing inflammation. All fried junk foods, like French fries, should be avoided when experiencing inflammation at any part of the body.
  • One should exercise daily to make the body resistant to all kinds of inflammation. Since diabetic patients are more prone to suffer from inflammation, they should go for a morning walk or jogging or swimming to reduce the blood sugar level. It is essential to work out for at least half an hour every day or minimum 4 – 5 days a week, to maintain necessary body fitness. Exercise regimes are also necessary for weight control, as obese people are more likely to experience inflammation.
  • Several stress management techniques, like Yoga and meditation, are very effective in fighting physical inflammation. Since mental stress can trigger inflammation, some common stress buster techniques can help in this regard.

Major causes that may trigger inflammation

  • A physical injury is the most common reason for inflammation at the affected body part, mainly if the injury is left untreated.
  • A bacterial or viral infection is another common cause of inflammation when the immune system tries to ward off that infection.
  • A disorder in the autoimmune system of the body may cause inflammation when the immunity system starts damaging the healthy cells in a confused state.
  • When a person remains exposed to harmful agents for a long time, like harsh chemicals or pollutants, he may develop irritation and inflammation at some parts of his body.
  • Some lifestyle factors may invoke physical inflammation, like smoking, intake of alcohol, overweight and too much mental stress.

History of Cold therapy and its previous uses in curing inflammation

Ice compression is considered as a useful way of treating various body pains and inflammation since ages. As per the historical facts, the application of Cold therapy was practiced by the ancient Egyptians in 2500 BCE, for treatment of their injuries. Later in the middle of the 19th century, notable dermatologists started this Cold therapy for curing skin irritations. At this time, James Arnott created an apparatus for applying the required cold temperature to the affected skin parts. Then carbon dioxide in ice and liquid form was used for this therapy application towards the end of the 20th century. Two scientists Cooper and Lee were the fathers of modern cryotherapy, by using liquid nitrogen. Their procedures were further developed and applied successfully by many dermatologists.

Effective use of Cryosauna in Cryotherapy treatment

Cryotherapy is a modern treatment of inflammation where the patient steps inside an enclosed Cryosauna, to experience tremendously low temperature maintained there. Cryosauna is a glass cabin where the temperature is maintained at – 200 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower. This cabin is filled with Nitrogen gas and the patient is supposed to stay there only for 2 – 3 minutes. This extremely low temperature cools down the thermal receptors on the human skin surface, resulting in healing the wounds or infections that cause inflammation. Generally, a few sessions in the Cryosauna can be sufficient to cure the inflammatory problem completely. During each session, useful hormones, like Norepinephrine are secreted from the brain cells that also act as neurotransmitters in reducing inflammation.

The Role played by Norepinephrine as an anti-inflammatory hormone

Norepinephrine is also known as Noradrenaline and it plays the double role of a hormone and neurotransmitter. It acts as a stress hormone and also reduces the inflammation of neurons in the brain, immediately after its secretion. It is highly beneficial in many ways to the body, as it improves blood circulation in the muscles and releases the stored glucose for reenergizing the body. Its anti-inflammatory role is also useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, as it is found to stimulate the microglia cells of the brain, for preventing the loss of certain brain cells that may be the reason of inducing this disease. Norepinephrine is formed from the amino acid tyrosine, which prevents the catabolism of other amino acids into inflammatory agents. Hence, the presence of this hormone cures inflammation in all parts of the body.

Apart from fighting inflammation, Cryotherapy has many other health benefits. It helps in weight loss and thus, used by overweight people in regaining their previous slim figure. It is also included as a part of cellulite treatment and also in treating other skin problems, like psoriasis and eczema. It is also used as an anti-aging treatment and also maintains hormonal balance in the body.

Reference: Purnot, H., Biuezan, F., Louis, J. et al. (2011). Time-course changes in inflammatory response after whole-body cryotherapy multi exposures following severe exercise. PloS ONE. 6(7): e22748. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022748