• Natural Ways to Handle Pain
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Dr. Whitakers Health & Healing Newsletter
December 5, 2011
For years, I've been talking about the dangers of prescription pain medications, and now a new study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms just how dangerous these drugs can be. According to their new data, deaths from prescription pain drugs have tripled since 1999.
Misused prescription pain medications currently kill approximately 15,000 people in the US each year, which exceeds deaths from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. All of these medications are costing insurers $72.5 million each year unnecessarily! In the end, we're all paying the price with our sky-high insurance premiums.
At this point, the only states monitoring for prescription drug abuse are Missouri and New Hampshire. But setting up government-run babysitting won't solve the problem. The real solution is to clamp down on Big Pharma for pushing pills that are just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs.
Plus, we need to get the word out that there are far safer and ultimately more effective ways to manage pain.
For Inflammation: I recommend fish oil. 28 g daily) in place of ibuprofen to dampen inflammation and relieve pain.
Another powerful anti-inflammatory is curcumin, which you can take daily or as needed when your pain flairs up. One of the most bioavailable forms of curcumin is Meriva. Take 500-1,000 mg daily.
To Relieve Pain: Take Univestin, an herbal blend that works in a manner similar to COX-2 inhibitors, but is infinitely safer. You want to take 500 mg of Univestin per day, in divided doses.
To Further Reduce Inflammation and Pain: Try bromelain, an enzyme that naturally clears out inflammatory compounds in injured tissues, promoting faster healing and reducing pain. When used for pain relief, bromelain should be taken on an empty stomach, 250-500 mg twice daily. Do not take bromelain if you are allergic to pineapple.
Try Topical Pain Relief: While oral drugs are rife with danger, topical painkillers are a different story. They can be applied to the exact source of pain, providing faster relief, and their systemic absorption is minimal so you don't have to worry about the dangerous side effects. The topical drugs we've had the most success with at the clinic are ketamine, an anesthetic that curbs pain, and ketoprofen, an NSAID that reduces inflammation. These creams are available from a compounding pharmacist.
If you'd prefer a natural topical pain reliever, you can rub a little DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) into the affected area two or three times a day. This sulfur-rich compound rapidly passes through the skin to tissues below, where it squelches pain and inflammation, mops up free radicals, and speeds healing.
Another good natural topical pain reliever is capsaicin, which comes from cayenne pepper. Look for ointments with capsaicin in your local pharmacy or health food store.
Get Rid of Pain At Its Source: Newly presented research at the EFIC Congress in Hamburg, Germanya pain research organization showed that obese people experience significantly higher levels of pain than those who are normal weight. What they found is that many people wouldn't need pain medications if they simply lost weight.
Need to shed some pounds? Drink more water, increase your fiber intake, and try my mini-fast with exercise.
Constant pain can be almost unbearable. I know that even the most natural-minded folks are tempted to reach for medications when pain really kicks in. But my 30 years of clinical experience have proven that there are plenty of ways to truly prevent and relieve pain, without risking your health.
Plus, many of these solutions--including weight loss, fish oil, and more, actually improve your overall well-being. Thats the way medicine should work.
To your health.
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