The Inflammatory Cascade

Your body comes across something in the air that you breathe, in something that touches your skin or in something you swallow. 

What happens next? 

Sometimes your body identifies it as an “intruder” – whether it really should be or not.  It begins to fight it off – and a reaction begins.

This is called the “inflammatory cascade.” But how does all of this influence your breathing? Your eating? Your skin? 

It can affect one or more parts of your body. 

In the first phase, the body reacts to an intruder, such as airborne pollen or food. 

This is your “trigger.” Everyone does not react to the same things.

Without you even knowing it, your body springs into action. 

Your T Cells activate B Cells and they start to make antibodies. 

These antibodies can attach to your mast cells. 

The first time this happens you don’t have any symptoms. 

But your immune system becomes ready to react if it sees the intruder again in the future.  

The second phase starts the next time you come in contact with the intruder. 

Now that your body sees a threat and starts to fight the intruder the same way it fights off viruses and bacteria when you have an infection. 

The mast cells release histamine and other chemical mediators that can cause symptoms of an allergic or inflammatory reaction.

People with certain conditions may find themselves with different symptoms depending on where the issues are in their body. 

You could have trouble breathing. You could have red or itchy patches on your skin. 

You could have trouble swallowing. Parts of the body may start to swell. 

The reaction may keep getting worse, kind of like a snowball rolling downhill.

The last phase is when your symptoms get better and then get worse again. 

Special cells in your body want to continue to fight.

Biologic medicines can be a part of the answer. 

While many medicines just make your chest, skin or throat feel better after the trouble begins, biologic medicines work a little differently and prevent the symptoms before they start. 

How does this happen? 

The biologic medicine interrupts this cascade by stopping the T cells from talking to the B cells. 

Simply put, the body halts the whole process. 

It interrupts the production of antibodies and the inflammatory cascade. 

Mast cells cannot release any histamine or chemical mediators.

There is no reaction. There are no symptoms.

Biologic medicines are available. 

They are used to treat lots of different health issues. 

Your healthcare team can tell you if a biologic medicine is available for your condition and if it is a good fit for you. 

Ask about biologic medications – see if they can help you have more days that you feel well!