Are Your Painkillers Making You Sick?
A study published in Neurology April 22, 2009
- Over 50% of senior citizens are consuming moderate to heavy doses of NSAIDs (Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). Very few elderly do not consume NSAIDs
- A dose is measured at 1,200 mg per day. Moderate use is 30-250 doses/yr. Heavy use is more than 250/yr.
- This study found elderly persons who were heavy users of NSAIDs were 66% more likely to have dementia and 57% more likely to have Alzheimer's disease compared to nonusers of the drug
- This is a good reminder not to self medicate. Follow your doctors instructions, and speak with him regarding any desired changes in dose.
Between 40% and 60% of Americans use complimentary and alternative medicine to manage medical conditions, prevent disease, and promote health and well-being. 33% of those who use complementary medicine cite pain as the primary reason
NSAIDS and Steroids
Research from 2006 reported in Surgical Neurology "Both natural and synthetic corticosteroids decreased healing capabilities, decreased the normal immune response, and have significant bone and gastric side effects, and NSAID's increase the risk for cardiovascular events."
Most anti-inflammatory drugs can have adverse effects on the fetus, and are therefore generally withdrawn during pregnancy and lactation.
Types of Pain
• Nociceptive Pain is described as pain in the skin bone, connective tissue, muscle and viscera
• Somatic Nociceptive Pain is local constant pain described as sharp, aching, throbbing, or gnawing
• Visceral Nociceptive Pain is vague in location, spasm type pain , described as deep, aching, squeezing, and colicky in nature
• Nociceptive Pain is caused by tissues that release inflammatory mediators
• Neuropathic Pain is described as burning, electric, tingling, and shooting.
• Neuropathic Pain has two varieties:
Chronic Allodynia: This is Pain that results from a stimulus that ordinarily does not illicit a painful response, like a light touch.
Chronic Hyperalgesia: Increased sensitivity to normally painful stimuli
• Neuropathic Pain is caused by inflammatory mediators released by injury to the nervous system itself.
Some Examples of Neuropathic Pain include: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Post Herpetic Neuralgia, Phantom Limb Pain, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS or RSD), Various Peripheral Neuropathies
Interestingly minor nerve injury will cause a greater inflammatory response than severe nerve injury such as complete cutting of a nerve. Because of this it is common for minor nerve injury to result in more severe pain.
Interesting facts about Pain:
• Although osteoarthritis has previously been considered a non-inflammatory form of arthritis, "it's underlying origin, like all other pain syndromes, is inflammation and the inflammatory response."
• Most commonly, back pain is a result of injury due to the muscle, disc, nerve, ligament or facet joints with contributory inflammation and spasm.
• Back or Neck Pain with or without a herniated disc is due to inflammation and the inflammatory response.
• The cause of Migraines is the activation of nerve fibers controlling inflamatory responses of blood vessels supplying blood to the cranium.
Initial Steps to Combat Pain Syndromes:
- Limit Intake of Sugar Including Fruit Juices: Absolutely NO High Fructose Corn Syrup!
- Limit Intake of Refined Carbs
- Eat Fresh Organic Chemical and Pesticide Free Foods
- Avoid Caffeine as it will harm hormone balance
- Avoid Nightshade Family Of Vegetables: Potatoes, Tomatoes, Eggplant
- Watch Your Fats: Find an Omega-3 Supplement with DHA, EPA, GLA, and ALA
- Avoid Consuming Yeast and Yeast Containing Products ie. Beer and Pizza
- Avoid Pasteurized Dairy Products as they are Inflammatory in Nature
- Select Raw Dairy Products from Grass Fed Animals
- Read the Labels of All your Products and Avoid Chemicals and Additives Where Possible
The biochemical origin of pain: the origin of all pain is inflammation and the inflammatory response: Inflammatory profile of pain syndromes. Medical Hypothesis; 2007, Vol. 69, pp.1169-1178.
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