How to Treat Inflammation
Big Pharma is now making a push that cholesterol lowering medications should be used in anyone with signs of inflammation. The Jupitor study (NEJM. VOl 359; 2008) looked at the use of Crestor (a statin drug) in “healthy” individuals who had elevated laboratory tests showing inflammation (via a blood test known as the CRP test). The use of Crestor was reported to decrease CRP by 37%. Inflammation has been thought to be the underlying cause (or one of the underlying causes) of a wide variety of illnesses including heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. The CRP test is a well-accepted laboratory measure of inflammation.
Unfortunately, inflammation is occurring at epidemic rates in our society. I routinely check my patients for inflammatory markers and I am amazed at the numbers of patients suffering from elevated inflammation markers and inflammatory diseases.
What are the signs of inflammation? Pain, swelling, and redness are the most common signs. A bloated abdomen, fatigue and even brain fog can be related to inflammation. You can see that inflammatory conditions can cause a wide range of problems.
Why do so many suffer from inflammation? I have no doubt that diet is the main cause. Eating a diet full of refined foods markedly increases your chances of developing inflammation. The Standard American Diet (SAD ) ensures your body will be deficient in vital nutrients which prevent and heal inflammatory conditions. Obese patients suffer from more inflammation as compared to non-obese patients. Finally, failure to drink adequate amounts of water worsens any inflammatory condition.
So, what can you do if you have signs of inflammation? A recent study showed that Vitamin C reduced CRP by 25% versus placebo (Free Rad. Biol. and Med. 46;2009). The authors of this study claimed that the effect of vitamin C was similar to those of statins.
I say, take your vitamin C (2-5,000mg/day), drink adequate amounts of water and eat a diet full of unrefined foods. This is an inexpensive way to treat or avoid getting an inflammatory condition. Furthermore, this therapy is virtually free of adverse effects.