Often times I find that patients want a quick fix to a problem instead of a permanent solution. In most cases this means they want a prescription drug. Americans are more likely to believe in the value of prescription drugs than some other countries and it is not uncommon to see people on 10-20 medications. But many prescription drugs have significant side effects and drugs are implicated in the deaths of tens of thousands per year.
This brings me to Glenn Frey, the co-founder and front man of the Eagles, who recently died of possible medicine side affects of treating his rheumatoid arthritis (RA). According to the band manager,
"The colitis and pneumonia were side effects from all the meds. He died from complications of [ulcerative colitis] after being treated with drugs for his rheumatoid arthritis which he had for over 15 years."
Some of the medications used for RA are powerful immune modulators and can cause serious side effects including elevating the risk of infection. Anti-inflammatories which are used to control pain are also implicated in liver and kidney damage.
All too often there are alternative treatments that are not promoted. Some of these treatments require dedication to a healthy lifestyle.
The root of RA is chronic inflammation. Often this inflammation can be exacerbated by a diet too high in sugar and processed foods. Conversely, eating a diet high in vegetables while eliminating grains and sources of carbohydrates can be helpful. Soda consumption has been associated with RA in some studies.
Aside from dietary changes other helpful things include optimizing Vit D levels and taking natural anti-
inflammatories like curcumin, boswellia, astaxantin, and ginger.
Of course, each individual case is different and the advice in this post should not substitute for getting a consultation with your doctor.
If you would like to try a different approach to managing RA schedule a visit today.
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