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hesitation

Inflammation - how does it really work after all?

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I've always thought that inflammation is in the blood and that it affects every organ in the body, but is it really like that? I mean acne inflammation if there is such a thing? I seem to break out every once in a while and I can clearly see the old spots flare up and my skin get inflammatory. But it only happens in the face. I only have acne on my face and only my face seems to get inflammatory. Or maybe acne on my face is the only symptom I can see and feel... (actually I do have sinus problems too, but that's a separate thing I think. I get too much mucous in my nasal airways very often - that's also the body's way (the immune system's actually) to heal/protect itself. There must be something that triggers it like an allergen. Allergies trigger inflammation as well, right? So it's the "same" inflammation that triggers acne? Allergen - histamine - inflammation - resulting in acne and mucus? Antihistamines? Steroids (I've actually tried nasal steroids which caused my acne breakouts around mouth - hormonal acne.. makes sense.)?)

Is the inflammation in the pores only or is it everywhere? Can a clogged pore get inflammatory just because it is clogged? Although that wouldn't really make sense. Wouldn't I be breaking out all the time because I have clogged pores? Even those with clear skins have clogged pores, so it doesn't really make any sense. Right now I only have acne around my mouth - does that mean I only have inflammation around my mouth?

It takes a clogged pore and inflammation (+ p.acnes) to form acne, right? Get rid of one of them and you are clear.

I've been able to clear my forehead by exfoliating with AHA twice daily - no acne for months just because I exfoliate that often and the pores don't get clogged. Unfortunately I can't use AHA on the rest of my face because I get some kind of severe irritation, contact dermatitis perhaps (probably because what BP did to my skin a long time ago). So the forehead is "taken care of".

I've also been able to eliminate inflammation through diet changes etc for a maximum of three weeks, but I still end up breaking out. It's an amazing feeling... seeing your skin clear. It feels so normal and you quickly get used to it. Everything is perfect and there should be no reason for your skin to break out again... yet it does. It seems to be more than just food, since I've been clear or a while and then still broke out without changing a thing. Right now I'm paying more attention to other factors like sleep to see what happens.

I've also gotten almost clear by using products like BP that kill p. acnes and reduce inflammation(?). I regret using BP though - made my skin ugly, when I was on it I said to myself that the flakiness, redness and crappy skin isn't worth it. I even looked better with acne.

Is it possible that the inflammation builds up in the body when we eat crap, have sleep disorders etc and then suddenly bursts out (breakout)?

Just trying to understand how acne works better... What should we really be trying to eliminate? The inflammation? Clogged pores? P. acnes? Oil? Everything?

Inflammation is the body's response to the pathogen. Inflammation is there to heal the body. So we should be after whatever is causing the inflammation (candida, leaky gut etc)? If my body really is that inflammatory as it seems judging by the breakouts (not really that bad, but constant), I am very likely to get some kind of inflammatory disease as I get older, like arthritis, it seems. Bummer.

Also, accutane takes care of all the factors that are needed to form acne. Since it also takes care of inflammation, doesn't it cause many other problems since inflammation is needed to heal/protect the organism? For example inflammation is needed to prevent germs entering the blood circulation and to clear up damaged tissue (healing wounds etc). Maybe we just have too much inflammation? If that's even possible. Maybe the body's "switch" to turn it on and off is broken?

I think I am asking the right questions. This post isn't the most readable one, but those are questions in my head...

Edited by hesitation

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I think it has to do with the body eliminating toxins in the blood stream, and the inflammation is the result of the battle. The pimple is the "smoke" from the fire, and that's why they all look the same despite different toxins flowing through. That would explain why most acne is around the face where your body would want to protect your brain or eyes from the toxins, so that's where most of the defenses kick in, and the troops line up and kill any toxin that gets close. The result can be quite messy on the surface!

I also think toxins in the blood stream is the result of the liver not doing its job, due to fructose overload.

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Because it's in such an abundance in most peoples diets and the liver is required to process it. 4mg of mercury in a can of tuna, or 0.001% of pesticides on a vegetable are nothing compared to the hundreds of grams of fructose some people consume daily, yet they are processed the same way. I'm not claiming to be an expert, just a theory i'm looking into because I can't figure out how else toxins would be running rampant through the blood.

This man can explain fructose much better than I, it's an interesting watch but long.

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I think it has to do with the body eliminating toxins in the blood stream, and the inflammation is the result of the battle. The pimple is the "smoke" from the fire, and that's why they all look the same despite different toxins flowing through. That would explain why most acne is around the face where your body would want to protect your brain or eyes from the toxins, so that's where most of the defenses kick in, and the troops line up and kill any toxin that gets close. The result can be quite messy on the surface!

I also think toxins in the blood stream is the result of the liver not doing its job, due to fructose overload.

seems a bit odd to me. surely the back would be a better place to elimnate toxins, more surface area etc.

I was led to beleive you get spots on the back and face because this is where on the human body most of the sweat glans are and so can expel toxins quicker here?

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It does give a lot of other people acne though. Pardon my use of metaphors I just like to try not to send myself to sleep when thinking about this stuff.

I've withdrawn the toxin theory based on something I remember when I had acne, when i'd eat something terrible and sugary i'd feel a surge around my face almost instantly, way too quickly for a toxin to travel there.

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in·flam·ma·tion

   /ˌɪnfləˈmeɪʃən/ Show Spelled[in-fluh-mey-shuhn] Show IPA

–noun

1.

Pathology. redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, heat, and disturbed function of an area of the body, esp. as a reaction of tissues to injurious agents.

2.

the act or fact of inflaming.

3.

the state of being inflamed.

Yay dictionaries! lol

Inflammation is the same no matter where it is.

I would concur that acne causes inflammation of your pores and not necessarily the other way around. I mean the pore gets filled with excess oil which traps dirt and bacteria, now the pore gets inflamed and irritated because of the junk in there.

However, allergies are an abnormally sensitive reaction of your immune system to certain stimuli. The stimuli cause the allergic reaction and your body releases histamines which cause inflammation. So, whatever is causing the allergic reaction is disrupting normal immunologic function.. thus making you more susceptible to acne.

I think this is why so many people have success with vitamins and diet changes. They're combating allergies and letting the immune system chill out.

Just my thoughts though :whistle:

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No, it's not just about inflammation as part of a reaction to a pathogen. It's chronic cellular level inflammation that can cause clogged pores as well as worsen the severity of acne. It's also at the root of developing all kinds of degenerative conditions like diabetes and arteriosclerosis. It comes from inflammatory foods, blood sugar/insulin spikes, visceral fat...

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Could you cite where you got your information from? I'm not sure what you mean by cellular level inflammation - inflammation is always at a cellular level. It's the body's response to what it sees as harmful stimuli, which can be a pathogen but is not always (they are not the same thing). The stimuli may not actually be harmful, but your body thinks it is.

In regards to it being the root of arteriosclerosis, the inflammation is not the cause of the condition. Arteriosclerosis is a thickened, or inflamed, artery due to build up of fatty materials. It is therefore a chronic inflammatory disease because the artery is always inflamed from this buildup. From what I've been reading, it looks like sugary, fatty foods build up in the body (to put it simply) and cause inflammation, leading to chronic diseases and conditions. I don' t think it is as simple as "inflammation causes diseases". The same goes for acne. Like I said before - inflammation is a response -something is causing the inflammation and the inflammation causes other problems.

I'm not trying to be a smart ass, just trying to be smart :) If you have good sources and would like to educate me, please do!

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I think she is trying to make the distinction between acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Sky, chronic low-level inflammation has been linked to many diseases and is present in virtually all western diseases. That's doesn't necessarily mean inflammation is the cause of the disease, but it hints that the lifestyle that exacerbates chronic inflammation also exacerbates the development of these diseases. It is not a coincidence that the same dietary interventions that lower inflammation markers (like C-reactive protein, a test you can easily get) also better syndrome X disease markers (insulin sensitivity, sugar level, HDL count, triglycerides, cholesterol ratios, etc).

BTW, this intervention worked to lower c-reactive protein in pigs: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/3/1/39

I have not been able to find too many studies that try to explore inflammation markers, please posts some if you know of them.

Edited by venam

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Thanks venam.

From wikipedia:

"Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes from the blood into the injured tissues. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process."

My point is that inflammation is inflammation, be it acute or chronic. The problem is that chronic inflammation is damaging because (Wiki says it better than I can, again) "A large variety of proteins are involved in inflammation, and any one of them is open to a genetic mutation which impairs or otherwise dysregulates the normal function and expression of that protein."

It is no surprise that if you cut out pro-inflammation foods you are going to reduce risk of developing diseases associated with inflammation.

Now, the OP was asking basically, what inflammation is. So while answering him I tried to think of how it's related to acne. I was wrong in my first post where I suggested that inflammation makes you more susceptible to acne, at least in the way I was trying to explain it. I definitely see that now and what you guys are trying to say.

It's more like eating pro inflammatory foods will cause a spike in insulin, which causes a release of proteins that effect hormones, specifically ones that trigger acne formation. This is what you meant by inflammation on a cellular level?

I know this post is kind of all over the place, but I think I understand what you were saying a lot better now. :)

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Well, here's some links I can give you offhand:

Two studies specifically defining inflammation as an underlying mechanism in the development of acne. One is specifically about delayed type hypersensitivity reactions. The other cites high glycemic foods and diary as possible causes of the inflammation.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/acne-food...86#entry2311186

Perricone claims that chronic inflammation causes the cells to be malformed and therefore not exfoliate properly clogging pores. I don't know if this 'malformation' is the same as what is found in the above study. Perricone mostly goes with his own research.

And somewhere here there's a thread by Sweetjade citing research in which they are more and more finding inflammation to be a cause of the conditions I mentioned before. This isn't the one I was looking for, but it's related: http://www.acne.org/messageboard/Inflammat...ml&hl=sleep

Edited by alternativista

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It is not a coincidence that the same dietary interventions that lower inflammation markers (like C-reactive protein, a test you can easily get) also better syndrome X disease markers (insulin sensitivity, sugar level, HDL count, triglycerides, cholesterol ratios, etc).

They test for C-reactive protein because it's an indicator of increased risk for development of those other conditions lumped together as metabolic syndrome/syndrome x, including atherosclerotic plaque.

Inflammation is why they are now telling everyone to reduce belly fat. Because the inflammation increases the risk for development those conditions. And why diabetics are likely to develop these conditions.

Edited by alternativista

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inflammation is a reaction by your immune system.

Well, yes, but it isn't just about anti-bodies attacking a pathogen. It isn't that simple.

Oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species are some other terms to add to your inflammation vocabulary.

Edited by alternativista

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I would just like to say that you guys can talk about what is known to do this and what is known not to do that all you want but it doesn't matter. No one knows jack shit about acne otherwise it wouldn't be so rampant.

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Inflammation usually occurs because of the inflammatory response or so I believe.

It can be excessive amounts of omega-6 fatty acids in our diet that may cause too much inflammation. Don't get me wrong, the inflammation response is important in many ways...

it can signal the presence of an infection... it can signal an area that needs healing.

Usually it's a signal that something is wrong or needs repair... but if there's excessive omega 6 fatty acids in the diet... VERY VERY common for the typical member of modern day society... you get an excessive response.

The Omega-6 should be balanced with Omega-3... Omega-3 of course is ANTI-inflammatory. It will balance out the omega 6.

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Interesting... Can we get to the glucose and inflammation theory for a second?

I've noticed a correlation between working out and breakouts. We know that high blood glucose which elevates insulin causes inflammation. What about low blood glucose? Or just blood sugar fluctuations?

I do heavy cardio before weight training and I probably burn all of my glycogen stores (and glucose. I'm not exactly sure how they work. I guess one gets converted to another, but they are both used for energy). I always make sure I'm really exhausted after doing cardio, or it hasn't been an effective cardio, plus I do interval training which really sucks everything out of me.

Yesterday I went for a hour long jog and did not lift any weights. This morning I noticed an increase of inflammation.. like a pre-breakout. But it was not as bad as it usually is when I work out. I guess the harder I work out (the more energy I burn) the worse the inflammation.

I've been doing this on a low carb diet. I only eat complex carb foods like brown rice a few times a week, but never after working out when my body probably needs it the most (to restore the glycogen). Could having glycogen depletion cause inflammation? I will definitely keep experimenting with this since I'm not 100% sure yet, but it's one of the things I have suspected before but just found too silly to believe. Although, if this is the case, eating a banana during a workout should not let my glucose fall too low and stabilize it? Perhaps I should even eat simple carbs after working out? I will also start testing my blood glucose a few times a day. Who knows, maybe I'll find something abnormal.

Increased testosterone and micro traumas that cause inflammation (for healing) are my other theories, but those don't make as much sense as the first one.

To PicklePimples: About the omegas. Do you think that having too much omega 3 could also cause inflammation?

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I would just like to say that you guys can talk about what is known to do this and what is known not to do that all you want but it doesn't matter. No one knows jack shit about acne otherwise it wouldn't be so rampant.

Actually we know a lot about the factors causing acne and funnily enough, the same basic diet habits tend to help just about all of them: Blood sugar stabilizing, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense that avoids anything you have an intolerance for.

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I do heavy cardio before weight training and I probably burn all of my glycogen stores (and glucose. I'm not exactly sure how they work. I guess one gets converted to another, but they are both used for energy). I always make sure I'm really exhausted after doing cardio, or it hasn't been an effective cardio, plus I do interval training which really sucks everything out of me.

Prolonged extreme physical exertion is also inflammatory. Look into oxidative stress, I think.

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