I am often asked, can you treat inflammation holistically? My answer is “Yes!” By looking at the reason we are suffering from inflammation, we can develop a plan to treat the issue holistically.
Smoking and inflammation
It’s pretty common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health and contributes to the development and exacerbation of a slew of diseases. Researchers have recently developed a theory as to why smoking is so closely related to so many inflammatory conditions. Apparently nicotine is able to activate a specific kind of white blood cell called a neutrophil, and while normally neutrophils work to protect the body, they are also responsible for tissue damage due to excessive inflammation. So one way to decrease inflammation is to quit smoking.
Conventional treatments for inflammation
Non-sterodial anti-inflammatory drugs (NASIDs)
As you might know, the most common over-the-counter treatment for inflammation is a drug called ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). These can be amazing drugs for the occasional ache or pain, but they are not designed to be taken regularly and do not treat the underlying cause of inflammation. Symptoms of NSADIS include stomach ulcers, hypertension and rashes. Taken long-term or too often, they can be dangerous, linked to heart attacks, strokes and stomach bleeds.
Another common type of anti-inflammatory medication are corticosteroids. These drugs work by suppressing inflammation-causes genes. They often come in the form of cortisone injections, and can be very effective at decreasing inflammation. They also come with a lot of side-effects and the body can also start to build up a tolerance.