“Inflammation”—the Ugly Word

Inflammation is the beginning of all pain. Inflammation is caused by the release of a prostaglandin (PGEI) and is sustained by an enzyme called Cyclooxygenase (COX-2). It’s interesting—cancer cells have been found to be surrounded by abnormally heavy concentrations of the COX-2 enzyme. The questions is , is it possible to control inflammation and possibly cancer by controlling these enzymes?

Studies have shown that habitual aspirin users have less inflammation and cancer. The negative of chronic aspirin use is the damage it can do by inhibiting COX-1, which is the protective prostaglandin for the lining of the digestive tract and weakens the blood vessels. Without adequate COX-1 protection, it could lead to leaking of the blood vessels and ulcers. The fact is temporary use of aspirin is fine, but prolonged use may lead to serious side effects. So, where does one turn for relief when they have achy joints or a chronic inflammatory issue?

There was the miracle of “selective COX-2” inhibitors, such as Vioxx, Bextra, Celebrex, and the list goes on. These drugs seemed wonderful when they emerged on the market. These drugs did not cause ulcers or weaken the blood vessels so the expectation was extremely hopeful. Later, scientists found that these “wonder drugs” were not so wonderful after all. Scientists discovered that the better results experienced were offset by the fact that these anti-inflammatory drugs caused heart attacks and strokes because they induced clots in the blood. The risks and patient-related law suits were in great number that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) temporarily removed most of these drugs from the market.

Remember that inflammation is the cause of pain both acute and chronic. If an anti-inflammatory product could be found that would inhibit COX-2 and possibly 5-LOX without side effects, it would be a superior find compared to any other pain relieving medication. This form of therapy would stop the pain or cause of pain—inflammation. I believe there is an answer for all chronic pain and inflammation, and possibly cancer. Medical experts seem to agree on one thing; (generally) that inflammation is the cause of most disease.

I know that diet can help control inflammatory factors and practices, such as acupuncture, meditation, bio feedback, cranial sacral work, and other forms of more natural approaches can help, but what is the real answer to preventing this ugly word—inflammation—that leads to so many debilitating diseases and/or conditions?

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