Inflammation and Anti-Inflammatories
Anti-inflammatory drugs have saved many people suffering chronic pain from a life of agony. Unfortunately, when you take these medications, the risk of dangerous side effects is very high. Vioxx was removed from the market over 6 years ago because it caused a higher risk of heart disease. Celebrex, a similar drug, is still on the market but also causes those increased risks.
Anti-inflammatory medications are a mainstay of the pharmaceutical industry. They were developed in an effort to suppress inflammation. Millions of people suffer some form of chronic swelling in their bodies and need ways to cope with pain.
Inflammation is one of the main causes of problems with aging. The body creates natural heat, swelling, pain, and redness to help it heal from irritations. Three principal causes of chronic inflammation are: infection, allergy or chemical toxicity, and injury. Suppressing symptoms may ease pain, but it doesn’t address the underlying cause.
Infections cause peptic ulcers, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, heart valve disease, arrhythmias, atherosclerosis, certain types of cancer, and some forms of arthritis. Bacteria and viruses can hide in the tissues making them difficult to detect with normal methods. Blood tests including C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and others indicate chronic inflammation and guide your physician to search further for infection.
Allergy and chemical toxicity also lead to chronic inflammation. Many people eat foods that their bodies don’t tolerate well. Dairy, sugar, wheat products, and a diet too high in fried or processed foods can cause irritable bowel or leaky gut syndromes. When digestion malfunctions for long periods of time, people could develop other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Eliminating possible allergens from your diet for a period of time allows symptoms to disappear.
Chemical sensitivity can lead to inflammation and is not easy to measure but levels of some specific toxins are measurable. Mercury poisoning is one such cause of chronic inflammation. Taking a chelating agent (a chemical that draws metals out of the tissues), then collecting urine and measuring the levels of heavy metals reveals whether the tissues hold dangerous amounts.
Injury can become chronic if it is not treated correctly. When a person works hard with her body and does not do things to keep it balanced, she increases the possibility of injury. If that injury recurs, she can develop chronic inflammation. Tissue damage can worsen as hormones shift in the body. For example, a menopausal woman has dropping hormone levels, which may weaken ligaments. She could be more susceptible to a significant ligament strain when she overdoes it with weights. Poor sleep associated with menopause stresses the body’s natural self-healing abilities and leads to more chronic problems.
If you can avoid taking the anti-inflammatory drugs by finding the cause of your pain and treating it to eliminate it, you will feel much better in the long run.