What Causes Inflammation?


Quick Answer

Inflammation is caused by an immune response to foreign substances or organisms in the body, such as viruses and bacteria. WebMD notes that in autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis, the immune system attacks normal tissues.

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Full Answer

When inflammation occurs, white blood cells release chemicals to affected tissues or blood to protect the body from foreign substances. These chemicals cause an increase in blood flow to the injured or infected tissue, resulting in warmth and redness. Inflammation may also cause swelling, irritation, pain and flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle stiffness and loss of appetite. WebMD reveals that inflammation can also affect internal organs, such as the lungs, the heart and the kidneys. Results of blood tests and X-rays are used in the diagnosis of inflammatory diseases.

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