Recently I attended the AANP (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians) Convention at the Arizona Biltmore Resort. Four days of sessions from some of the most respected voices speaking on the theme, “Composing Effective Patient Care.”
An enlightening lecture I attended was titled, “How Do I Get Off These Drugs, Doc,” presented by Dr. Letitia Dick, BS, ND and Dr. Christie Fleetwood, ND, R.Ph., which covered nutrient depletions caused by Rx drugs and how to support them; detoxifying the suppressed patient; replacing Rx drugs with nutraceuticals, homeopathics, botanicals and glandulars; bringing the patient to their highest level of health; and addressing therapeutic order.
According to Dr. Dick and Dr. Fleetwood, therapeutic order consists of:
Consider this: Approximately 15,000 people die each year from illegal street drugs; Over 100,000 are killed each year from properly prescribed medications. Did you know that: 75% of all visits to an M.D. end with a prescription? Pharmaceutical companies spend 10 billion dollars a year to market their drugs.
Although there are thousands of pharmaceutical drugs, the focus for this lecture was the top diseased states and the drugs prescribed for these conditions.
The Top Disease Conditions and Reasons People See a Doctor:
|Digestive complaints||Pain and Infection||Insomnia and Anxiety|
|Hypothyroidism||Type 2 Diabetes||Clotting issues|
|Benign Prostate Hypertrophy||Asthma||Depression|
An estimated 116 million U.S. adults suffer with chronic pain – that’s twice as many people that have strokes, cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. Pain is the most common reason people seek medical advice. What causes someone to experience pain? When we get hurt or suffer an injury, this is defined as acute pain whereas an ongoing degenerative condition that continues to cause discomfort is described as chronic pain.
Pain meds are one of the most overprescribed drugs in the U.S. Misuse of prescription pain medication can lead to abuse, addiction, and they come with a laundry list of serious side effects. As the nutritionist for The River Source, a holistic drug and alcohol treatment center, they confirm that detoxing an addict off of oxydocone/oxycontin is the most challenging of all drugs, more so than heroin or alcohol.
A commentary published in The FASEB Journal argues that “patients should be diligent and demand proof of safety and benefit before beginning any treatment regimen for chronic pain, as some treatments have very little scientific evidence that they actually alleviate the conditions for which they are prescribed. Patients should ask their physician to provide results from published, placebo-controlled studies proving that the proposed remedy is both beneficial and safe.”
"When doctors don't know what's causing a patient to experience chronic pain, desperation can set in," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "That desperation, however, is no excuse for pushing the boundaries of the Hippocratic Oath by diagnosing a patient with a poorly defined health condition, like chronic Lyme disease, for which the only remedies are unproven and may only cause more harm."
Aside from Rx drugs for pain, there are hundreds of OTC pain relievers such as Ibuprofen, including Motrin and Advil, acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDS. Americans consume 15 tons of aspirin a day, 19 billion tablets per year. Although thought to be harmless, a single aspirin will be responsible for 1500-2000 deaths; be a leading cause of kidney disease; and cause ulcers, toxic headaches and children’s Reye’s Syndrome. A study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology shows that even low-dose aspirin (as low as 75 mg daily and up to 325 mg daily) increases the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. Taking aspirin regularly not only increases risk of GI bleeding, it increases risk of micro-bleeding in the brain by 70 percent.
According to the American Journal of Medicine approximately 107,000 individuals are hospitalized every year for NSAID related GI complications, and at least 16,500 deaths occur.
NSAIDs and Ibuprofen Side Effects:
|GI Bleeding||Back Pain||Weight Gain||Rashes; Hives; Itching|
|Leaky Gut Syndrome||Tinnitus||Pale Skin||Nervousness|
Ibuprofen depletes your body of folic acid, melatonin, zinc and iron. Tylenol is the #1 cause of acute liver failure. Long-term use has been linked to high blood pressure and brain damage. If you take just one non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (Motrin, Datril, Anacin, Ibuprofen etc.) every four days, over your lifetime you will have 9x the normal risk for vital organ damage. New England Journal of Medicine, 1994.
What Causes Inflammation? A Secret Killer that Increases Risk of Disease, Accelerates Aging and Prevents Fat Loss
|Diet high in grains, sugar, omega-6 & trans fats||Oxidative stress||Emotions|
|Too little or too much exercise||Gum disease||High body fat levels|
|Gluten and Eating foods you’re sensitive to||Lack of essential fats||Excessive stress|
|Injuries; Long term infections; Candida||Diabesity||Smoking|
|Existing heart condition||Gut Dysfunction||Congested liver|
Healthy Strategies to Reduce Pain and Decrease Inflammation Naturally:
- Address mitochondrial dysfunction
- Eat a nutrient-dense whole food, anti-inflammatory diet
- Appropriate exercise and movement; too much exercise increases inflammation
- Aromatherapy and Epsom salt baths
- Determine your vitamin and mineral needs and deficiencies. Blood Chemistry Analysis – Test C-reactive protein (CRP) and fasting insulin. CRP level is used as a marker of inflammation in the arteries; Fasting insulin is a test that screens for diabetes and heart disease, but it's also a marker for inflammation. Several years ago an inner city clinic discovered 93% of the 150 people with complaints of chronic, non-specific low back pain had vitamin D deficiency. And these weren't just older folks...they ranged in age from 10-65 years old. Mayo Clinic study
- Balance insulin levels and stabilize blood sugar
- Stay hydrated.
- Manage stressors
- Nutritional support for pain and inflammation may include a combination of any of the following:
Fatty acids Vitamin D Curcumin Quercetin Ginger Resveratrol Magnesium Olive oil Probiotics Proteolytic enzymes HCL TRF 150
- Practice yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, acupuncture, hot and cold packs, even holding hands can result in amazing pain relief without any drugs
- Resolve underlying, often subconscious, negative emotions
- Support and restore function to the autonomic nervous system
- Visit a NeuroMuscular therapist, craniosacral therapist or Myofascial Release practitioner to work on the tension in your fascia and muscles
Contact me and I will guide you onto a healthier, pain-free path!
Copyright © Paula Owens
- Blood Chemistry – Know Your Numbers
- Are Your Symptoms Related to the Food You’re Eating?
- Spices for Pain and Inflammation
- The New England Journal of Medicine, June 16, 1999.
- Dangerous Drugs, 1992
- Pain, March 2000. Martin Tramer, et al., University Hospital, Geneva.
- Ann Intern Med, 1997; 127:429-438
- CNN Headline News, Sept. 18, 1995
- New England Journal of Medicine, 1994
- The NEJM 1999; 34A: 1888-1899
- P. J. Baker. The pain of "chronic Lyme disease": moving the discourse in a different direction. The FASEB Journal, 2011; DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-192898
- Angel Lanas, Ping Wu, Jennie Medin, Edward J. Mills. Low Doses of Acetylsalicylic Acid Increase Risk of Gastrointestinal Bleeding in a Meta-Analysis. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2011; 9 (9): 762 DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.05.020