To Suppress or Support?

Collection of colorful pills

New scientific information shows that prolonged use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen, can lead to cardiovascular damage and stroke. This danger adds to the already known risks of ulcers and gastrointestinal distress that can accompany the use of NSAIDs. There is further evidence that the use of NSAIDs can inhibit the performance of cells that produce cartilage. NSAIDs work by suppressing a biological enzyme, which results in reduced inflammation. On the other hand, naturopathic medicine uses a supportive approach to inflammation. This approach includes such things as consuming anti-inflammatory foods, avoiding pro-inflammatory foods, gentle exercise, adequate sleep, stress reduction, and herbal and nutritional compounds like turmeric, quercetin, etc., to support the natural anti-inflammatory response. It is important to understand how these two approaches work and to be aware of the side effects of choosing NSAIDs to control inflammation. Do you suppress or support?

—Dr. Joshua Levitt