The Natural Way

Thursday, January 6, 2005

By: Jim Fain, Ph.D. Celebrex, Vioxx and now Aleve (naproxen) have all hit mainstream news as increasing the risk of heart troubles if taken on a regular basis over a period of time. These medicines are usually given to people who have chronic pain often associated with joints.

Arthritis is the most common, but not necessarily the only ailment for which pain relief therapy is undertaken. Many people stuck in the medical model don't even know alternatives exist.

Underlying pain is a condition called inflammation. Inflammation, in the short haul, is part of the healing process. But if inflammation lasts too long and becomes chronic, life becomes miserable and other ailments tend to pop up. Celebrex, Vioxx and Aleve all have been useful in dealing with chronic pain, but science has now shown that might be a deal with the devil - get rid of the aches and pain but at the risk of having a heart attack.

Many M.D.s will insist these drugs, unless removed from the market by the FDA, are still useful provided doses are carefully monitored and lab tests done on a regular basis. Be that as it may, why not try a few tried-and -true natural anti-inflammatories?

There are many herbals and supplements to choose from but I'll give a short list to consider. If I had to use something to reduce chronic pain (inflammation), and I do, then I would start with tumeric (1,600 mg in the a.m. and 1,600 mg at bedtime). I'd also add 4,000 mg/day of salmon oil (yielding about 500 mg DHA/day). If I were still in pain, I'd be adding granular MSM from 3,000 to 6,000 mg/day.

These are my personal and professional favorites as they have no side effects except for improved health; a possible impact on cancer; reduction of hardening of the arteries; improved hair and nails and considerable pain reduction. The tumeric and MSM start to work right away, the salmon oil kicks in over time and dosages of all can be raised if needed. There are many other naturals to choose from, too. Just be open-minded.

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