Chronic inflammation is often uncomfortable as a condition that spreads through the body like a fever. But now, scientists are developing new ways to treat this chronic inflammation. Inflammation is a superpower that helps the body fight infections and heal wounds. But when it changes from a short-term response to a condition that lasts for months or years, chronic inflammation can be a harbinger of many diseases. These include cirrhosis of the liver, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and heart disease.
In the past, doctors used to try to completely shut down the inflammation to treat such diseases, but this method can lead to serious side effects and not achieve the desired results. Now, however, scientists are focusing on developing more effective treatments by reprogramming the cells that keep inflammation burning rather than eliminating it altogether. New treatments are also being developed that use inflammation to stimulate the growth of tumors, especially in diseases such as cancer.
While scientists are developing new treatments that target inflammation in the body, they are also working on developing therapies that specifically target the root causes of disease. For example, in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, it is thought that more effective results can be achieved by targeting specific cells. If successful, these approaches could lead to more effective and less side-effective treatments for patients.
Instead of seeing inflammation in the body as just a defect, the scientific world is beginning to reframe it as an incredible force that can be controlled and healed.