Inflammation is part of the body?s defense mechanism and plays a role in the healing process.
When the body detects an intruder, it launches a biological response to try to remove it.
The attacker could be a foreign body, such as a thorn, an irritant, or a pathogen. Pathogens include bacteria, viruses, and other organisms, which cause infections.
Sometimes, the body mistakenly perceives its own cells or tissues as harmful. This reaction can lead to autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes.
Experts believe inflammation may contribute to a wide range of chronic diseases. Examples of these are metabolic syndrome, which includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
People with these conditions often have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their bodies.
Inflammatory disorders include Henoch-Schonlein purpura and the vasculitis that occurs with paraproteins or cryoglobulins or in patients with systemic lupus erythematosis or other immune disorders.
Inflammation is a process by which your body's white blood cells and the things they make protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.
But in some diseases, like arthritis, your body's defense system -- your immune system -- triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage.
Paget's disease of bone is a chronic disease of the skeleton. In healthy bone, a process called remodeling removes old pieces of bone and replaces them with new, fresh bone. Paget?s disease causes this process to shift out of balance, resulting in new bone that is abnormally shaped, weak, and brittle. Paget?s disease most often affects older people, occurring in approximately 2 to 3 percent of the population over the age of 55.
Many patients with Paget?s disease have no symptoms at all and are unaware they have the disease until x-rays are taken for some other reason. When bone pain and other symptoms are present, they can be related to the disease itself or to complications that arise from the disease?such as arthritis, bone deformity, and fractures.
In most cases, treatment for Paget?s disease involves taking medications to help slow or stop the progress of the disease. For patients who have complications, surgery may be needed to realign deformed bones or to help fractures heal.
Paget's disease can affect any bone in the skeleton. It appears most often in the spine, pelvis, long bones of the limbs, and skull. It can be present in just one bone or in several bones. It can affect the entire bone or just part of it.
In normal bone, a process called remodeling takes place every day. Bone is absorbed and then reformed in response to the normal stresses on the skeleton. More specifically:
In Paget's disease, osteoclasts are more active than osteoblasts. This means that there is more bone absorption than normal. The osteoblasts try to keep up by making new bone, but they overreact and make excess bone that is abnormally large, deformed, and fits together haphazardly.
Normal bone has a tight overlapping structure, like a well-constructed brick wall. Bone afflicted by Paget's disease has an irregular mosaic pattern, as though the bricks were just dumped in place. The end result is bones that are large and dense, but weak and brittle. The bone is prone to fractures, bowing, and deformities.