Man and woman sitting on a bench near some bicycles

Inflammatory Disease | Inflammation

Inflammation disease is when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, resulting in inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis is an example of an inflammatory disease.

What is inflammatory disease?

Inflammation is the body’s normal response to illness and infection. But sometimes inflammation can be misdirected. The immune system attacks healthy tissue instead.

Symptoms of inflammatory disease

People may feel flu-like symptoms with inflammation, such as headache, chills and muscle stiffness. Symptoms of inflammatory disease also can include:

  • Swelling

  • Redness in the affected area

  • Joint pain

  • Joint stiffness

  • Loss of function and movement in the affected area

Inflammation also can affect the body’s organs. The symptoms depend on where the inflammation is located.

Diagnosing inflammatory disease

The patient will have a physical exam and also be asked about medical history. The provider will look for inflammation in the joints, joint stiffness and loss of function in the joint. In addition, the provider may order:

  • X-rays

  • Blood tests

Treatment for inflammatory disease

Treatment for inflammatory disease can include:

  • Medication

  • Rest

  • Exercise

  • Surgery (when other options fail)

Primary care is your first stop for healthcare

The primary care providers at MaineHealth have the compassion and skill to care for you and the entire family. They make your health and your family’s health the first priority.