Inflammation is War

Inflammation is War!

inflammation

  • Most deaths are the result of an inflammatory process.
  • Inflammation is the result of an immune system response by the body to heal itself from injury. When foreign agents/bacteria invade the body, it sends white blood cells to smother the problem, and in effect, release oxygen radicals that destroy healthy tissue.
    • Acute inflammation is lasts from a few moments to a maximum of about 48 hours. Acute inflammation may be minor, for example a small scratch, or deadly, for example, a fractured skull.
    • Chronic inflammation is longer lasting and is normally a result of a specific disease process or a serious, lingering trauma like arthritis or heart disease.

Conventional Inflammation Treatments

  • A popular short term method in medicine for battling inflammation is through the use of powerful, prescription corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone which are synthetics that closely resemble the natural hormone, cortisol. 
  • A second, short term method for battling inflammation can be found in the prescription non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs.
  • A third method of fighting inflammation are the over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen.
  • There is one group of substances under development called immune-selective anti-inflammatory derivatives, also known as ImSAIDs.  They work very differently than steroids and NSAIDs; instead, targeting the elements of the immune system that trigger inflammation.

A popular short term method in medicine for battling inflammation is through the use of powerful, prescription corticosteroid drugs such as prednisone. Corticosteroids are synthetic drugs that closely resemble the natural hormone, cortisol. Corticosteroids reduce inflammation by inhibiting the immune system. Depending on the strength and method of administration (i.e. injection, tablet or crème), side effects may include changes in appetite, weight gain, mood swings, muscle weakness, acne, stomach irritation, high-blood pressure and bruising. Since many of our lifestyle behaviors involve trying to reduce cortisol, it is easy to make the argument against using a product, even for a short time, that adds cortisol like substances to the body.

A second method for battling inflammation can be found in the prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aflaxen, Indocin, Anaprox and Celebrex. These NSAIDs that are prescribed by a doctor are used for the treatment of pain, stiffness and swelling associated with types of arthritis, which is a major condition associated with inflammation. They also may be used in the treatment of conditions such as bursitis, gout, menstrual cramps and tendonitis. The problem is that in practice most of these drugs deal more with the symptoms than the root cause of inflammation, and as a result, while they might be of value in battling discomfort they are not necessarily long term solutions either.

A third very much related method of fighting inflammation are the most commonly used anti-inflammatory drugs which are the over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Examples are ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. NSAIDs are used in moderate doses to treat pain and fever and in higher doses to reduce inflammation. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs work by interfering with the enzyme cyclo oxyganase-2, which is partly responsible for pain and inflammation. While sometimes moderately effective, they are not a long term solution as side effects of NSAIDs may include upset stomach, stomach ulcers, heart complications, excessive bleeding and damage to the liver and kidneys.