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It is estimated that of the 238 million adults in the US, 116 million suffer from chronic pain. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are the most common allopathic approach to the management of these chronic pain patients. However, there are more complaints filed to regulatory agencies worldwide against NSAIDs than any other classification of drugs.
Due to pro-inflammatory lifestyles (diet and physical, chemical and emotional stressors), pain and other subsequent signs or symptoms of internal disfunction runs rampant. This leads to the perceived need for routine NSAID use (tylenol, aspirin, advil, ibuprofen, etc.) to get through the busy day. While the underlying cause of the inflammation should always be addressed, what we are talking about here is a short term, safer alternative to the NSAID.
The reason a smarter option should be exercised is due to the fact that like all drugs, over the counter or prescribed, these magic pills are not sans side effects. NSAID use and overuse is responsible for an alarming number of hospitalizations and even deaths each year. Common side effects include internal hemorrhaging, liver and kidney damage, digestive dysfunction including degradation of the stomach and intestinal wall (ulcers), and stroke; with the likelihood of occurrence increasing with usage.
So when you see these commercials with the delivery man or mother of three relying on her her alieve or advil to get through the day, best believe reliance on an even longer list of meds will follow to address the aforementioned issues.
To understand viable options, we need to understand the physiologic mechanism of action behind the NSAID. These drugs work by inhibiting a part of the inflammatory pathway that leads to the formation of something called a prostaglandin (PGE2) that would normally lead to stimulation of pain fibers. They do this by inhibiting an enzyme in the pathway called COX-2, and are thus noted as COX-2 inhibitors.
What most people don’t know is that there are actually other ways to block the formation of PGE2, and thus the pain. In addition to a laundry list of other systemic benefits, Omega3 (Fish Oil) supplementation also serves as a COX-2 inhibitor, and thus a potentially powerful, natural anti-inflammatory. (Provided this is a high quality Omega 3 supplement and at a therapeutic dose.)
Another fascinating option that works in a similar COX-2 inhibitory
manner is the application Low Laser Therapy or LLT. These are often classified as cold lasers (due to the lack of heat) and work by utilizing a specific wavelength and frequency of light to achieve a desired therapeutic purpose within the tissues. One of the effects of Low Level Laser Therapy is that it too blocks the COX-2 enzyme, and thus the formation of PGE2 and the sensation of pain, but without the side effects.
As previously stated, the long term objective should always be to identify and eliminate the cause of the problematic inflammation so the use of natural or chemical anti-inflammatories is minimized. However, due to the well documented hazards associated with these seemingly harmless and casually over consumed drugs, wiser options, that work in the exact same manner, should be exercised.
As with any adjustment to your healthcare regimen, always consult with you knowledgable and trusted healthcare coach before making any changes. Whether it’s the all natural temporary relief of pain, or a combination of short term relief to get you through while we work on a long term solution, we are here to collaborate with and coach you to a better quantity and quality of life.
We’re ready when you are.
A new year is upon us and with that comes resolutions involving more trips to the gym and less trips to the fridge. Resolutions, both big and small, are always heavy on January 1st due to the chance at a new start or big change that the date represents.
While personal cultivation can and should be taking place constantly throughout each year, we can’t deny the symbolic, cultural opportunity the new year presents. It is because of this that the idea of a cleanse and/or detox is ideal to clean the slate and start you out on the right foot.
No matter how healthy or cautious you may be, exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins is inevitable. Some of these cause immediate damage, while others can accumulate in your body, leading to future damage, especially as the accumulation builds. Other times these outside invaders (some invited, some not) can cause damage to various organs in the body like your brain, liver, or gut, leading to future issues due to sub-par function. Think of a leaky gut here, coupled with food sensitivities, systemic inflammation, autoimmunity, and more.
There are many different types of cleanses that serve to assist in ridding your body of the various wastes and toxins that have accumulated in your tissues throughout the holidays, this past year, or your whole life. Through various dietary restrictions and supplemental support, your body is allowed the opportunity to calm itself rather than being on heightened defense or attack. Toxins are mobilized and detoxified through the liver and thus prepared for removal by way of excretion.
Depending on the type of cleanse utilized, the intestinal tract is also relieved of the constant bombardment of processed foods, grains, and sugars. This allows your major barrier system and site of 80% of your immune system to begin to heal. Providing additional support can then help repair, rebuild, and refortify the wall between you and the chemicals, bacteria, and other pathogens that can and may have already been disrupting your internal systems causing inflammation, organ malfunction and an over or under active immune system.
Depending on your personal goals and individual health condition, it is important to select a cleanse/detox program that is not only going to relinquish the inflammatory external stimuli, but deliver support for the systems involved in the process (liver, intestines, kidneys, etc.). For example, you want to provide the body with the proper support to mobilize any toxins from the fat cells throughout your body and then provide the necessary co-factors to convert them to a water soluble form so that they can be eliminated.
An added bonus to any adequate program is the opportunity to reap the benefits of a sustained restricted diet. This involves sticking to a menu where the usual hyper-allergenic and problematic foods are avoided for 3-4 weeks. This is the basic premise behind a standard elimination diet and allows your body to completely eliminate certain potentially problematic proteins from the body.
At the conclusion of the cleanse you now have the option to reintroduce any of the foods you avoided. When you do this one by one it provides the opportunity to identify potential sensitivities by way of a rash, headache, fatigue, bloating, etc. Or after refraining from ingesting a certain food you may decide to forego reintroduction altogether and eliminate it outright from your usual meal routine.
To reiterate, and at the risk of being too cliché, the new year provides the perfect time to clean out and restart, repair, rebuild, and recharge your life. A cleanse/detox program can serve as an ideal way to not only take your health to the next level, but can be quite physically and mentally liberating as well.
If this sounds exciting to you then please, by all means give us a call (321-848-0987). Together we can sit down (in person or over the phone), discuss your health history, identify your goals, and ultimately construct a plan to leave you refreshed and recharged for 2014 and beyond.