“Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer's disease, and many other idiopathic and degenerative diseases of the lungs, nervous and musculoskeletal systems have been shown in recent medical and scientific research studies to directly result from, or to be strongly related to inflammation, as an underlying cause of disease has grown significantly. We now have a much clearer understanding of the mechanisms of how inflammation resulting from diet and lifestyle is directly linked to the deadliest diseases of the current and last century.”
Dr Gregory Lawton.
American Manual Medicine Association.
Understanding the process of acute inflammation
Inflammation is a protective response that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and chemical mediators. It eliminates the initial cause of cell injury, clears out necrotic cells and tissue damage from the original injury and the inflammatory process, and initiates tissue repair.
Characterizations include swelling, reddening, heat, pain, and a decrease of function of the area involved in injury or infection, particularly when joints are involved in the inflammatory process. However, any tissue or organ of the body, wether it is internal or external, such as the skin or eyes, may become inflamed and could adversely effect the function of any tissue or organ. During early stages of inflammation, swelling (edema) results from increased blood flow (vasodilation) to the area of injury or infection and vascular permeability increases.
The bodies acute inflammatory response is a critical component of human survival. Without such an effective system of immune defense and healing we would not survive. People who are immune deficient or have a poor inflammatory response would experience progressive tissue destruction by any harmful stimulus, for example bacteria and viruses. Additionally, chronic inflammation may lead to a host of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, colitis, periodontists, skin disease, atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Signs of chronic inflammation
For many people, and their health care providers, the first signs of chronic inflammation are symptoms of a disease or disorder known to be associated with, or caused by chronic inflammation. Long before the appearance of physical disease there are lifestyle indicators that are obvious causes of inflammation. These are called sub clinical signs of disease and appear in its earliest stages. They appear as vague, periodic, or low levels of dysfunction that may result in a person’s seeking out a health care professional.
For example, a sub clinical sign of early joint degeneration may simply be chronic soreness in a joint and/or occasional pain and discomfort. The sub clinical stages of a developing bowel disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may simply present as occasional diarrhea or constipation and grow more persistent and debilitating over time. The sub clinical stages of a lung disorder usually do not register any observable changes in lung function even though a underlying inflammatory process may be in the early stages of development and may over time become disabling and life threatening.
As the inflammatory process progresses and becomes a chronic condition the sign and symptoms advance and will take hold and manifest as tissue, organ, and system disease. The part of the body, organ, or system the signs and symptoms of chronic inflammatory disease manifest in is dependent on several causative and biological factors.
One causative factor is the mechanism or agent that is causing or contributing to the inflammation. For example, alcohol is a well-known direct cause of chronic inflammation for the entire gastro-intestinal tract, as well as, organs like the liver. Biological factors are closely related to the health, vitality, or the resistance of the body, it’s tissues, and organs, to disease and this is partly determined by the collective effect of many personal lifestyle factors, genetics, and age.
The causative factors, might be considered to be the more direct agents of disease related to inflammation as is demonstrated by the negative effects of alcohol and cigarette smoking. However, chronic inflammation has a negative and disease causing effect on the entire body and therefore tissues, organs and systems of the body not normally thought to be adversely affected by a disease causing agent such as alcohol or cigarette smoke may be effected. This would be considered to be the “global” disease causing effect of chronic inflammation. For example, a person who has numerous indicators related to chronic inflammation or what is referred to being in a “pro-inflammatory state”.
The global effects of chronic inflammation
The poster child for disease caused by chronic inflammatory diseases would be an obese, diabetic or pre-diabetic, with heart disease, indicators such as high blood pressure, and who is on the standard American diet (SAD). While medical tests exist for measuring inflammation in the human body, such as the C-Reactive protein (CRP) test, the basic indicators based upon fat percentage, blood sugar, diet, blood pressure, physical appearance and symptoms are obvious and can hardly be missed, and more should be being done to educate the vast majority of
patients where the root cause of their disease is caused by chronic inflammation.
One important matter that should be mentioned is that prescription drugs are not the solution to the treatment of any disease where chronic inflammation is the root cause. In fact, if the recommendation of a prescription drug leads the patient to believe that, that drug will improve their overall condition and the eventual outcome of the disease process, then that prescription is a significant disservices to the patient and will simply contribute to their progressive disability and eventual death.
Understanding some side effects of continual dependency of pain medication and opioid narcotics
When you are on chronic pain medication. Which is essentially a masking agent for the pain. It is NOT treating your pain. It is hiding the pain and when you are on them for a long period of time, it changes the chemistry of your brain. Leading to a symptom known as hyper-algesia. Hyper-algesia will cause you to feel more pain and become more sensitive to pain.
Another reason for this, is your pain is masked by the narcotic and because it’s been masked but left untreated. You’re everyday activities, strenuous or physical job overtime causes extensive and progressive tissue destruction, nociceptors or peripheral nerves in your body will become hypersensitive. This type of hypersensitivity to stimulus, stimuli would normally not be cause for a pain reaction.
What are peripheral nerves? (PNS)
(The peripheral nervous system is a network of 43 pairs of motor and sensory nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to the entire human body.)
To actually be treated for chronic pain, and inflammatory diseases, and this may sound crazy to you, if you are on these medications and are under belief you are being cured. A paradoxical situation is occurring. You believe you are getting better. However, you are getting worse. You will need your doctor to gradually lower the dose of your narcotic until you are weened off completely to actually feel less pain, overtime, and you will need to seek alternative treatment for the root cause of chronic, and inflammatory diseases.
Narcotics are not always the right answer. They have a place and there is a role for them. Over extended periods they cause significant harms. Harms that outweigh their benefits. Always ask your doctor if there are alternatives to narcotics for treating chronic pain, inflammatory conditions, and diseases. They do exist, and not just in my practice alone.
Under the third law of newton’s laws of motion “every action equals an equal and opposite reaction” and when applied to prescription drugs and the human body this mean that the chronic use of anti-inflammatory drugs will eventually increase inflammation, and the chronic use of analgesic medications will increase pain.
The fundamental causes of chronic inflammation must be identified and addressed these include:
- Ongoing soreness in the muscle joints
- Ongoing pain in the muscle and joints
- Ongoing pain anywhere in the body
- Allergies, asthma, or breathing irregularities
- High blood pressure
- Blood sugar problems like hypoglycemia or diabetes
- High body fat percentage (Even if not obviously over weight)
- Obesity, clinical obesity, and morbid obesity
- Ulcers and irritable bowl syndrome (Constipation or diarrhea)
- Any idiopathic inflammatory disease or disorder
- Constant fatigue or lethargy
- Skin problems, diseases, or rashes
- Alcohol consumption at any level
- Cigarette smoking
- Lack of exercise
- High levels of negativity internalized stress
- Genetic predisposition to certain diseases
- Standard american diet (SAD diet)
- Aging and age related cellular death