7 Things Doctors Want You To Understand About Inflammation

Ashley Batz/Bustle

The dangers of inflammation gets talked about a lot. For instance, chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmune diseases and maybe even the development of cancer. While the effects of inflammation and the many ways to reduce it get a lot of attention, what do we really know about it? According to doctors, there a few key things you should know about inflammation. There's a lot more to inflammation than it being "bad" for you.

First off, inflammation in the body happens to everyone whether you realize it or not. "When the immune system recognizes that a part of the body is damaged, it sends a troop of cells, called inflammatory cells, to stimulate healing," Dr. Tania Elliott, associate attending physician at NYU Langone Health, tells Bustle.

Think about the last time you had a cut on your skin. According to Dr. Elliot, there's a very clear process of scabbing that occurs. First, new tissue regenerates at the site of the injury. Once a scab is formed, there shouldn't be any "foreign bodies" or infection hanging around. "This is all made possible by inflammatory cells," she says. So not all inflammation is bad. In fact, inflammation plays an important role in helping your body heal from an injury.

Sometimes, the body gives off signals that it's only slightly damaged, which results in chronic, low-level inflammation. But other times, the inflammatory cells just don’t know how to turn off. "This is chronic inflammation," Dr. Elliot says. "It would be the equivalent of a wound never healing because the new tissue just keeps being produced and the skin never scabs up." Too much of anything isn't ever really a good thing.

There's a lot more to know about inflammation. Here are some things doctors want you to understand.