Immune Health

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Risk of Arthritis

“Arthritis” is not a single disease; it is an informal way of referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. The most common types include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. People of all ages, sexes and races can have arthritis, and it is the leading cause of disability in America. More than 50 million adults and 300,000 children have some type of arthritis. It is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.
Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go. They can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but can progress or get worse over time. Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain, inability to do daily activities and make it difficult to walk or climb stairs.
Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes. These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-ray. Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.
The causes of most types of arthritis are not known. Scientists are studying how three major factors may play a role in certain types of arthritis:
1. Genetic (inherited) factors (“runs in the family”)
2. What happened during a person’s lifetime
3. The person’s current lifestyle
Symptoms of other types of arthritis might include fatigue (feeling tired), fever, a rash, and the signs of joint inflammation, including:
1. Pain
2. Swelling
3. Stiffness
4. Tenderness
5. Redness
6. Warmth

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Allergic Rhinitis Risk

A genetic background in terms of a family history of atopic disease has been the strongest risk factor for the development of allergic symptoms, irrespective of the varying prevalence and environmental risk factors in different societies.
An allergen is an otherwise harmless substance that causes an allergic reaction. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to specific allergens. Pollen is the most common allergen in seasonal allergic rhinitis. These are allergy symptoms that occur with the change of seasons.
The two types of allergic rhinitis are seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies usually occur during the spring and fall season and are typically in response to outdoor allergens like pollen. Perennial allergies can occur year round, or at any time during the year in response to indoor substances, like dust mites and pet dander.
Symptoms:
1. Sneezing
2. Running nose
3. Stuffy nose
4. Itchy nose
5. Coughing
6. Sore or scratchy throat
7. Itchy eyes
8. Watery eyes
9. Dark circles under the eyes
10. Frequent headaches
11. Eczema-type symptoms, such as having extremely dry, itchy skin that can blister and weep
12. Hives
13. Excessive fatigue
Risk Factors:
Allergies can affect anyone, but you’re more likely to develop allergic rhinitis if there is a history of allergies in your family. Having asthma or atopic eczema can also increase your risk of allergic rhinitis.
Some external factors can trigger or worsen this condition, including:
1. Smoke of cigarettes
2. Chemicals
3. Cold temperatures
4. Humidity
5. Wind
6. Air pollution
7. Hairspray
8. Perfumes
9. Colognes
10. Wood smoke
11. Fumes

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Risk of Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it's important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
The most common risk factors for developing asthma is having a parent with asthma, having a severe respiratory infection as a child, having an allergic conditions, or being exposed to certain chemical irritants or industrial dusts in the workplace.
Asthma signs and symptoms include:
1. Shortness of breath
2. Chest tightness or pain
3. Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
4. A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
5. Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu

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Risk of Inflammation

Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system's response to injury and infection. It is the body's way of signalling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. Without inflammation as a physiological response, wounds would fester, and infections could become deadly.
There are five key signs of acute inflammation:
1. Pain: This may occur continuously or only when a person touches the affected area.
2. Redness: This happens because of an increase in the blood supply to the capillaries in the area.
3. Loss of function: There may be difficulty moving a joint, breathing, sensing smell, and so on.
4. Swelling: A condition call enema can develop if fluid builds up.
5. Heat: Increased blood flow may leave the affected area warm to the touch.
Chronic inflammation can continue for months or years. It either has or may have links to various diseases, such as:
1. Diabetes
2. Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
3. Arthritis and other joint diseases
4. Allergies
5. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
6. Psoriasis
7. Rheumatoid arthritis
Causes
Inflammation happens when a physical factor triggers an immune reaction. Inflammation does not necessarily mean that there is an infection, but an infection can cause inflammation.
Acute inflammation can result from:
1. Exposure to a substance, such as a bee sting or dust
2. An injury
3. An infection
When the body detects damage or pathogens, the immune system triggers a number of reactions:
1. Tissues accumulate plasma proteins, leading to a build-up of fluid those results in swelling.
2. The body releases neutrophils, a type of white blood cell, or leukocyte, which move toward the affected area. Leukocytes contain molecules that can help fight pathogens.
3. Signs of acute inflammation can appear within hours or days, depending on the cause. In some cases, they can rapidly become severe. How they develop and how long they last will depend on the cause, which part of the body they affect, and individual factors.
Some factors and infections that can lead to acute inflammation include:
1. Acute bronchitis, appendicitis and other illnesses ending in “-itis”
2. An ingrown toe nail
3. A sore throat from a cold or flu
4. Physical trauma or wound
Chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation can develop if a person has:
1. Sensitivity: Inflammation happens when the body senses something that should not be there. Hypersensitivity to an external trigger can result in an allergy.
2. Exposure:Sometimes, long-term, low-level exposure to an irritant, such as an industrial chemical, can result in chronic inflammation.
3. Autoimmune disorders: The immune system mistakenly attacks normal healthy tissue, as in psoriasis.
4. Auto inflammatory diseases: A genetic factor affects the way the immune system works.
5. Persistent acute inflammation: In some cases, a person may not fully recover from acute inflammation. Sometimes, this can lead to chronic inflammation.
Factors that may increase the risk of chronic inflammation include:
1. Older age
2. Obesity
3. Diet rich in unhealthy fats and added sugar
4. Smoking
5. Low sex hormones
6. Stress
7. Sleep problems
Long-term diseases that doctors associate with inflammation include:
1. Asthma
2. Chronic peptic ulcer
3. Tuberculosis
4. Rheumatoid arthritis
5. Periodontitis
6. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
7. Sinusitis
8. Active hepatitis
Inflammation plays a vital role in healing, but chronic inflammation may increase the risk of various diseases, including some cancers, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, periodontitis, and hay fever.