February 09, 2017

Opioid Use part 2

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

In the second part of this two column series on opioid use and abuse, we will cover some health issues caused by the drugs and what other remedies may be effective for pain control.
First, though, a recap is in order. Many politicians and doctors now regard opioid addiction as a ‘disease.’ Unfortunately, it is a disease knowingly created by the drug making industry with the federal governments’ permission. These are facts, based on admissions of falsely advertising their pills to doctors and patients in a court, and paying hundreds of millions in fines. The government is culpable because they believed the company’s initial lies and sanctioned their use to the public. Read the last article for an in depth review of these matters.

As it turns out, opioid drugs are very potent immune suppressors. They wreck your health from day one, leaving your health worse off by simply taking these drugs. It has been shown that these drugs cause an over stimulation of the opioid receptors, resulting in severe immune impairment.

According to Dr. Thomas Cowan from the Weston Price Foundation, “you will typically see that as soon as a patient starts taking opiates for chronic pain [or whatever reason] their health rapidly declines as their immune system becomes increasingly compromised.”

A famous study called the European Prostitute study actually showed the primary risk factor for HIV and AIDS was not sexual exposure or needle exposure, but rather opiate exposure. These drugs allow your body to be overcome by diseases you would otherwise fight off. This is important to remember when some doctor wants to prescribe them for you.

In some cases of severe pain, these opioids may be a welcome relief. However, it is quite clear they are over prescribed and easily lead to addictive use, and to other illicit drug use, such as heroin.
The more I read about the medical use of marijuana’s medicinal cannabidiol (CBD) properties, the less reason I see for it not to be used. CBD is a potent painkiller with no adverse effects, even with long term use. It is far safer than opioids, if only the government would stop listening to the drug companies and legalize this herb derived component for medical use. Drug companies are at the forefront of the fight against CBD, simply because it is an inexpensive option to their deadly concoctions. CBD can be obtained from marijuana by inhalation, smoking, vaporizing and taken orally or applied topically in oil form. Now, I’m not advocating for the unfettered smoking of pot by all.  But these herbal remedies should have a greater role than many admit, especially those who profit from manufactured medicines.  

Not everyone who starts on opioids gets addicted, but the risks are extremely high. If you have chronic pain, the first thing you need to do is stop eating things that cause inflammation, like processed foods, sugars and grains. Eating things like krill oil and coconut oil, and optimizing your vitamin D levels will help reduce inflammation. Obviously diet isn’t generally a cure for most chronic pain, but at least what you eat shouldn’t add to your pain condition.

Specific remedies for pain control that you can add to your diet include astaxanthin, a potent anti-inflammatory; ginger, turmeric/curcumin, boswellia, bromelain and oils such as evening primrose, black currant and borage. Finally, of the natural methods to relieve pain and manage chronic pain, chiropractic has the most studies showing its efficacy. Chiropractic has the ability to, over time, minimize chronic pain and control acute episodes. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that patients with neck pain who used chiropractic and exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain free in twelve weeks as compared to those who took medication.

The class 4 infrared laser therapy I use is another great asset for chronic pain sufferers. This treatment helps reduce pain and inflammation and it enhances healing at a rate of 300 to 1000% faster. It works in both hard and soft tissues including bone, muscles and ligaments. Many folks have benefitted from this amazing therapy available at our office.

Another treatment of inflammation comes in the form EFAC capsules and creams. These esterified fatty acid complexes are carried to areas of inflammation on the backs of white blood cells. They are great at swelling relief in both chronic and acute cases. Capsules are taken orally and the creams are topically applied. There are no side effects to taking these natural compounds, and they are extremely effective. I have these available in the office.

Massage and acupuncture can also be a regular component of relieving chronic pain. Each has shown definite effects in reducing chronic pain over standard medical pain treatment.

With all the health risks associated with opioid use and the very real prospect of addiction, I would highly recommend exhausting all other alternatives before resorting to these type of drugs.