Inflammation – Not As Detrimental To Your Health As You Think?

by Dr. Robert A. Kornfeld

While in many cases, anti-inflammatory medications are prudent and potentially life saving in patients with certain conditions such as cardiovascular disease (for example aspirin has been shown to prevent heart attacks) and auto-immune inflammations (when treated with anti-inflammatory medications, these patients can experience improved quality of life), it is still very common for doctors and patients to take a rather cavalier attitude toward prescribing and consuming these medications.

It is important to note that anti-inflammatory medication is not without side effects. One problem is that in suppressing inflammation, the medicine is disabling the body’s ability to detoxify, repair, and protect itself. In addition, the medication itself is a toxin that needs to be eliminated through the pathway of primary inflammation, when that pathway would be better spent taking care of the body’s natural needs.

Anybody on a prescription anti-inflammatory medication is required by their physician to take periodic liver function blood tests. Why? Because the drugs are suppressing not only the chronic inflammation which causes pain, but also the primary pathway of inflammation, which, as you know is responsible for detoxifying our cells. When the liver is unable to detoxify expediently, then the cells of the liver will become damaged. The result? Liver toxicity. Other common side effects such as internal bleeding and drug interactions must be closely looked for.


It’s not that I am suggesting that you live your life in pain. But you can now see, every time we use a medication that suppresses inflammation, we are effectively suppressing detoxification, repair of the cells, and protection of injured tissues. What I am suggesting is that you become a responsible advocate for your own good health. Relying on a lifetime of medication alone will not improve your health.

Optimizing your health depends on understanding the mechanisms that are responsible for your body’s need to maintain a chronic inflammatory approach. Often, an integrative physician who combines traditional and holistic principles to treat patients can identify these reasons. By ordering certain lab tests as well as examining the patient’s diet, lifestyle and environmental influences on health, many mechanisms can be uncovered and addressed.

So what can we do to help our bodies heal without suppressing inflammation? The answer is to decrease the need for chronic inflammation in our bodies.