When we are in pain, we seek relief. Hopefully, that relief doesn’t come with any side effects; unfortunately, many of the common pain relievers do. To understand how these over the counter drugs work we must first understand the process of inflammation in our bodies. Once we understand the process of inflammation, we can do away with it naturally and without any harmful side effects.
Inflammation is an important healing process of the body but can also be one of the most damaging. When you are injured, your damaged tissues release chemicals which open up the surrounding blood vessels to increase blood flow to the area. Increased blood flow does a few things in this situation; it delivers the nutrients needed to heal the surrounding tissues. Blood will also provide specific immune system cells to the area which work to clean up the damaged tissue sort of like little garbage collectors carrying away the trash via the blood.
Inflammation should not be a long-term continuous process if it’s there when it is no longer needed, your white blood cells will begin attacking the healthy functioning tissues causing increased pain and damage to the area. Not only is this damaging it’s painfully annoying.
So how do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work?
These drugs work by altering the ways in which the body processes two fats; Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. Looking at the chart, you can see that each go through a series of steps leading to an end product; prostaglandin (PG1,2,3) or leukotriene (LT) or thromboxane (TX). The take home message here is that these components are inflammatory, you don’t want and excess of them of them floating around in your body, but you do want a healthy amount. Drugs like Tylenol, Aspirin, and Acetaminophen inhibit them from forming.
If they come, from fat is fat bad?
No. fat is essential for your body to function properly at almost every level. Avoid pro-inflammatory bad fats which are the highly processed cooking oils found in grocery stores.
So what’s the problem?
The problem is that these drugs have some nasty side effects and they don’t address the cause of inflammation in the body. Side effects include bleeding of the stomach and intestinal tract, increased leukotrienes. Once you stop taking them, inflammation gets worse. Slowed bone fracture healing time, increased cardiovascular risk, encourage “Leaky Gut” which leads to food allergies and infection, decreased sulfur levels, leading to decreased liver function, and the destruction of Vitamin C within the body… fun.
What can I do instead?
This, of course, depends on the cause of your inflammation and everyone are different. If inflammation is due to an underlying chemical toxin, heavy metal, or structural issue, i.e. joints moving improperly due to muscle dysfunction; the problem if often corrected by avoiding certain foods, i.e. sugar and processed foods, and eating the right stuff. Foods that are high in good quality Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin B3 and B6 and B, Magnesium, Zinc
- Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
- Grass Fed Beef
- Wild Game
- Sesame Seed Oil (if sugar is the cause of inflammation)
- Lots and Lots of fresh organic vegetables
- A high-quality fish oil which matches your chemical profile
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Red peppers
- Coconut oil
- Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
If after eating boat loads of these healthy delicious foods you still find yourself inflamed and in pain see us. We’ll fix you right up!