Recent articles by Drs. Komaroff and Roach report the usual pharmaceutical view of things concerning management of inflammation and pain, without fully disclosing the hazards of long-term damage to the gut, liver and kidneys, when relying on over-the-counter drugs such as Tylenol or, in more severe cases, powerful drugs such as methotrexate, a potent immune system suppressant. Data implicates these drugs in a long list of side effects that aren’t good, so for those who have relied on them for relief, your future looks brighter if you can find a way to reduce the need for them.
Drug damage from routine use
Everything ultimately goes through your liver, and without it you will die, so preserving it and allowing it to thrive is wise. Common side effects from methotrexate use, which interferes with the action of the important B vitamin Folic Acid, includes ulcers, lowered white blood cells and increased risk of infection, inflammation and scarring of the lungs, and kidney failure, among others. Regular use of acetaminophen, Tylenol, often results in liver damage, and elevates your risk for cancer, skin reactions, asthma and more.
C Reactive Protein
CRP levels that are elevated is an indication that you have chronic inflammation, which means you have some form of autoimmunity (AI), where your immune system is now attacking your own cells. This can result in an array of other AI diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, Crohn’s, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and various neurodegenerative diseases, to name a few. Usually, a person with AI will develop a disease according to his/her genetic vulnerabilities. Thus, there are numerous autoimmune diseases, and numerous drugs have been developed to treat them, all with undesirable side effects.
Since some 80 percent of your immune system originates from the bowel, with its normally efficient filter system (nutrients in and waste out), health of your GI tract is absolutely essential. That is why it is counterproductive to rely on harsh chemicals — drugs, to control the origin of inflammation, your bowel. In addition, you’ll need your liver if you plan on a long and healthy life, so nurture it and your bowel now, before other problems arise. Incidentally, your kidneys aren’t too happy with the overload placed on them. They have enough on their hands, filtering out uric acid and other waste, and helping maintain blood pressure and electrolyte levels.
A safe and logical option
Tying this all together, improving the health of your gut, calming down your immune system, decreasing the attack on your vulnerable genes, and reducing inflammation as a result, give you much better odds of swinging the situation in your favor. This cannot take place while you are taking drugs, because they actually interfere in the healing process, thus the risks listed above. That is why functional medicine has developed over the last two decades or more, in response to a great and growing need, a need for some common sense in health care. When comprehensive stool, autoimmune blood, gene testing and other unconventional labs are employed, and customized nutrient compounds are used to repair damaged systems in the body, you really can regain your best health potential.
Dr. Randy Hansbrough, DC, DACAN, author of Heal Without Drugs, is a chiropractic physician and board certified functional neurologist under the auspices of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. For questions, he can be reached at 772-287-7707 in Stuart. Visit his website at http://www.hcfn.org/, and tune in on wstu am radio 1450 on Mondays at 10 a.m.