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Category Archives: Pain

Arthritis Tips


With so many individuals suffering from arthritis, it is challenging to navigate treatments and home remedies that work. This is why Cypress Pharmacy would like to highlight and tips for those who have arthritis. We believe that bringing awareness to triggers, treatments, and symptoms may help those who struggle to get their pain under control.

Before treating your arthritis, it is crucial to know which type of arthritis you may be suffering from. There are more than one hundred types of arthritis! But the three most common ones are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Gout.

  • Osteoarthritis is when the joints are overused, affecting those older in age. The joints most susceptible are the ones that bear weight, such as hips, feet, knees, and the spine. With the loss of cartilage comes inflammation, thus making daily movements and tasks painful to complete. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that may get worse over time. As it is difficult to separate progression from flare, it is advised to track or journal your daily movements and activities to see which tasks could be taking a toll on your arthritis. Keep a lookout for over-activity such as gardening or exercise, as this could cause trauma to the joint. Bone spurs, repetitive motions (cooking, stirring tea or a pot of food, writing, typing), cold weather, change in barometric pressure, and weight gain could all be contributing to your inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, specifically the body’s joints. The causes of RA are still unknown, but the effects are well recorded. With a gradual or sudden sensation of stiffness, pain, and swelling, RA flares can vary in intensity, duration, and frequency. Flare-ups can occur when treatments are stopped or tapered. Overexertion, stress, infection, poor sleep, general sickness like a cold or flu are more likely to occur in patients that suffer from RA. Symptoms of RA include stiffness in the joints, especially after waking from sleep.
  • Gout is a form of arthritis described as a sudden attack of pain, swelling, and redness in the joints and most commonly in the big toe. Uncontrolled uric acid levels trigger crystals to form in and around the joints, causing inflammation. A sudden attack could wake you up in the middle of the night, with your big toe swollen, red and tender. High purine foods like shellfish or beer, dehydration, or local trauma to a joint may cause a flare-up.

Plans for a Flare-Up

  • Flare triggers are different for different types of arthritis. A flare is a period of increased disease activity or worsening symptoms- a time where your medications might not work.
  • Knowing your symptoms and arthritis will help you better track when a flare-up could occur. Whether it be the change in weather or recent inactivity, make an effort to track and keep a log of your pain and the changes in your environment that may be causing your flare-up. Common treatments include having a wrist brace on hand, keeping over-the-counter Voltaren or CBD on hand.
  • It is helpful to incorporate turmeric into your diet, as this will help decrease inflammation.
  • Treatments for flare-ups may help include steroids injections in the knee (administered by a doctor/health professional) and topicals like prescribed diclofenac gel.
  • Over-the-counter professional-grade CBD, both oral and topical, is often helpful.
  • Listen to your body- if you lack the energy to perform tasks, don’t.
  • Rest is essential, so find time for a nap and perhaps try arthritis gloves.
  • Attempt to meditate- there are many easy-to-use apps on most smartphones (Headspace, Mindfulness, or Calm app, for example)

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugary beverages significantly increase your risk of a flare-up
  • Sugars found in soda, candy, ice cream, condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce increase inflammation
  • Opt for sugar-free pastries and desserts
  • Trans fats often found in processed foods have also been shown to trigger systemic inflammation.
  • Limit foods high in salt like canned soups, french fries, pizza, fast food
  • Processed and red meats contain high inflammatory markers
  • Try gluten-free products
  • Instead of refined grains, try whole grains
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • “Nightshade” vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers are thought by some to cause inflammation, although there is much debate.  Learn more: Nightshades, Inflammation, and Chronic Pain

Supplements may help to decrease your inflammation and help relieve your pain

  • Vitamin C
  • L-proline
  • Manganese
  • Herbal preparations of turmeric, grape seed extract, ginger, and quercetin contain potent antioxidants that may reduce free radicals found in inflamed joints and contribute to cartilage degradation.
  • Cypress Pharmacy Joint Health Support provides key nutraceuticals to help support a healthy inflammatory response, facilitate cartilage synthesis and provide antioxidant support. To help support the structural integrity of joint cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin offer significant benefits. Glucosamine sulfate helps to support the production of cartilage in your joint tissue.
  • Cypress Pharmacy InflamMove is a blend of botanical extracts and enzymes that work together to help the body’s natural inflammatory responses.


Natural Solutions for Arthritis


Arthritis is the inflammation of one or more joints. There are more than one hundred different arthritis types with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout topping the list of the most common and generally most severe forms. Typically, all forms of arthritis are characterized by pain and stiffness (especially in the morning or after exercise), swelling, tenderness, deformity, or diminished motion range. Bone growths or bone spurs may develop in the affected joints- increasing pain and decreasing mobility. You may also hear cracking or grinding noises when the joint moves. Does this sound familiar? Currently, more than 55 million Americans are suffering from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or gout. Arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases are one of the primary sources of disability in the U.S. today. Maybe, you are one of the millions struggling with arthritis from old sports injuries, physical labor, or trauma. If so, this information will allow you to consider new therapeutic options that you may not have tried up until now to improve your range of motion, flexibility, and pain level.

Arthritis and its many different types is not a modern ailment, as you probably know, it has been with us since the beginning of time. To this day, modern conventional medicine is still not clear as to what the principal etiology or underlying cause of arthritis is, or why it occurs in so many people worldwide.

Healthy Joints Versus Arthritic Joints

In healthy joints, the synovial membrane is thin, the cartilage that covers bones is smooth, and a thin layer of synovial fluid covers the bones surfaces. A problem in any of these areas can cause arthritis. Arthritis may appear suddenly or come on gradually over the years. It is different for everyone. Some people feel a sharp burning or grinding pain, while others describe the pain as a dull ache similar to a toothache. Any movement of the joint tends to hurt, although sometimes there is only stiffness. The swelling and deformity in arthritic joints can result from a thickening of the synovial fluid, enlargement of the bones, increased secretion of synovial fluid, or some combination of these factors. Let us take a closer look at the three leading forms or types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout. Later on, we will explore natural solutions for reducing inflammation and improving your range of motion.

Factoids on Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Gout

  • Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, involves the deterioration of the cartilage protecting bones’ ends. It can be caused by a sports injury, trauma, or an inherited defect in the protein that forms cartilage. More commonly, it results from the wear and tear of aging, diet, and lifestyle. Other common risk factors include advanced age, female gender, obesity, history of physical labor, high-impact sports, trauma, and family history. Osteoarthritis affects the weight-bearing joints, including the knees, hips, and back most severely. Osteoarthritis rarely develops before age 40, but it affects nearly everyone past age 60 years.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis is considered to be an autoimmune disorder. This means the immune system is overactive. An overactive immune system can be just as harmful as a weak one. In other words, rheumatoid arthritis is a situation where self-attacks-self. In this case, the body’s immune system improperly identifies the synovial membrane as foreign. Inflammation results, damaging the cartilage and tissues around the joints. The joint spaces become narrower, and bones fuse together. This creates stiffness, swelling, redness, sometimes fever, tenderness, and, most times, deformity and crippling later on. Rheumatoid arthritis happens in people less than 40 years of age, and almost 75 percent are female. Rheumatoid arthritis can be related to emotional stress, poor nutrition, and sometimes even bacterial or other infections.
  • Gout – many people do not realize that gout is an acute, inflammatory type of arthritis. It occurs most often in overweight persons and those who regularly indulge in rich foods and excess alcohol. It typically attacks the smaller joints of the feet and hands, especially the big toe. Deposits of crystallized uric acid salt in the joints cause swelling, redness, and a sensation of heat with extremely sharp excruciating pain. Approximately one million Americans suffer from gouty arthritis.

Non-Prescription Natural Alternatives For Arthritis

Through the years, high-quality natural products have proven to belong in the therapeutic space when it comes to improving the severity of arthritis and, at the same time, improving quality of life. Whether we are talking about herbal medicines, homeopathic products, nutritional supplements, or, more recently, pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil, they can reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, and promote healing. The following are some evidence-based, scientifically validated natural alternatives that I have recommended through the years with success. Remember, to buy quality products.

  1. Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfatethis well-known combination was first used in animals and later in humans to help rebuild connective tissue and cartilage – the substance that cushions the joints.
  2. Omega-3 Fish OilNo protocol for arthritis or joint inflammation should be without essential fatty acids from cold waters. Pharmaceutical-grade fish oil has been shown to be a potent anti-inflammatory and very helpful at reducing pain, stiffness, and swelling, especially in rheumatoid arthritis.
  3. Turmeric (Curcumin)Curcumin is the yellow-colored spice turmeric with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It is probably the single most potent of natural remedies for reducing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.
  4. Vitamin Cvitamin C has many different beneficial properties but is best known for increasing collagen and providing antioxidant protection. 1,000mg daily minimum should be taken with increases as per bowel tolerance.
  5. Magnesiumcofactor for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, this mineral is commonly deficient in adults. It can improve muscle function and help calcium absorption into the bone matrix.
  6. InflamMovethis is a natural version of the prescription Celebrex, which is known as a Cox-2 inhibitor. This is the enzyme pathway responsible for pain and inflammation. By blocking this pathway, inflammation and pain are reduced.
  7. Collagen Factorsthis product provides added collagen to help support the rebuilding of cartilage and, at the same time, provide cushioning for the joints.
  8. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance whose function is to retain water to keep your tissues hydrated and joints more lubricated to avoid friction or grinding.
  9. Probioticswith the proper bacterial strains of lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, this provides an intestinal balance of bacteria. 70% of inflammation starts in the gut or digestive tract.
  10. Gluten Digestive Enzymesthis unique supplement blocks absorption of gluten, which is known to increase inflammation. It also helps to breakdown proteins, carbs, and fats into fine particles for improved nutrient utilization.
  11. CBD oil – while this is the newcomer to the arthritis party, it certainly should be a strong contender for anyone suffering from the inflammation and pain associated with any form of arthritis. CBD is gaining popularity, and more clinical studies show that pharmaceutical grade third-party tested and validated full-spectrum hemp is very effective at reducing inflammation. It also is helping people with anxiety associated with pain, allowing them better quality sleep.

Closing Thoughts

We are all born with an innate healing system, and we are designed to live an active, physical life thanks to our strong and flexible musculoskeletal system. There is no substitute for being active and choosing exercises that you enjoy. If we become inactive as we age, bones weaken, muscles lose strength, and changes in balance and weight occur. To add to this equation, our joints are a common source of pain and inflammation. Being proactive and moving, stretching, swimming, walking, biking, and participating in resistance training for the joints can contribute to increased strength, stamina, and flexibility, resulting in less pain being elicited. You can do a lot to tune up and support your bones and muscles so that you can prevent arthritis from controlling how you live your life. Let’s get moving today!!!

Can Natural Remedies Help Shingles?


Every year shingles lands thousands of people into the local hospitals for treatment. Shingles (also called herpes zoster, or just zoster) is a painful skin rash, usually with blisters. In addition to the rash, shingles can cause fever, headache, chills, or upset stomach. More rarely, it can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation, or even death. Shingles is a common condition that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Current statistics indicate that shingles occurs in approximately 20 percent of the general population. It is more common with age, and at least 50 percent of the cases occur in people over 50. For those who live to 80 or beyond,  about 50 percent of them will experience an outbreak. The most feared manifestation or consequence of shingles is something called postherpetic neuralgia( PHN). The pain from PHN can be severe and debilitating. The pain secondary to PHN can persist after the outbreak of the rash has been put into remission. It can sometimes last for months or years.

What Causes Shingles?

Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), also known as human herpes virus-3 (HHV-3). This virus is related to herpes simplex virus types 1 & 2. The initial infection with (VZV) results in chickenpox (varicella). Despite recovery from this illness, the virus lies dormant in the sensory nerve roots of the spinal cord for years or decades in some cases, until it becomes active again and is then classified as herpes zoster. The condition is then diagnosed as shingles. It is unknown why the virus becomes active again, but age-associated immune dysfunction and stress are major factors.

It is estimated that 9 of 10 adults have had chickenpox and are at risk of shingles later in life. Shingles arise from viruses that are already within the body and are not caught from someone else. Someone who has never had chickenpox has a low risk of contracting that illness from close contact with the shingles rash. VZV infection typically occurs through the inhalation of virus particles. Chickenpox, on the other hand, is highly contagious because in that disease virus is shed from the throat into the air that others breathe. Because this does not occur in shingles, it is not very contagious, and regular hand-washing with soap and water minimizes the risk.

Typical Symptoms Associated With Shingles

Shingles has two primary symptoms: rash and pain. More generalized symptoms include enlarged, tender lymph nodes draining the affected area and occasional mild fatigue. The affected area is generally red with small vesicles or blisters. Several blisters per area are common in shingles. New lesions may occur for up to one week, after which the rash shows signs of healing. Some lesions may end up scarring, which can be permanent. Typically, the rash lasts 2-5 weeks.

Pain is the other primary symptom with shingles and may precede the rash where it is called prodromal pain. The skin and the dermatomes (nerve endings on the skin) become very sensitive to pain. The dermatome areas most commonly involved are the trunk ( flank areas) palms, inner arms, legs, feet, and face. The trigeminal nerve in the facial area can be a common site that may lead to the spread of the rash near the eyes, which can be quite dangerous. Shingles in the eye can cause glaucoma, scarring, and a serious condition called acute retinal necrosis that can cause blindness. Because shingles can cause such serious problems, the recombinant shingles vaccine is recommended for people over 60 years of age.

Complications of Shingles

Pain that persists more than 30 days after the appearance of the rash is the most feared consequence of herpes zoster. The burning or stabbing pain of PHN is attributed to virus-induced damage to the nerve roots.

PHN has been associated with the following four key factors:

  1.  Age: people over 50 have about a 50% chance of PHN
  2. Prodromal pain: pre-rash
  3. Severe acute pain
  4. Failure to obtain adequate antiviral treatment within 3 days of the appearance of the rash

Standard Shingles Treatment

The standard treatment of shingles uses two types of drugs, analgesics (pain relievers) and antiviral prescription medicines. The goal is obvious: to resolve pain rapidly because the pain that persists and worsens predisposes patients to PHN by permanently sensitizing nerves to even the mildest stimulation. The other primary objective in therapy is to stop virus replication. It is critical to stop the virus from reproducing itself, thereby minimizing the damage it does to nerve cells.

Natural Remedies And Nutritional Supplements For Shingles

Natural products can be part of the therapeutic regimen when it comes to dealing with a case of shingles. They do not replace the standard shingles treatment, but they can complement it.

The nutritional supplements and plant extracts helpful for shingles and PHN fall into four categories:

  1. antiviral/anti-inflammatory properties
  2. immune-enhancing supplements
  3. supplements that support recovery
  4. topical and miscellaneous natural pain relievers

Supplements included in the antiviral, anti-inflammatory category include flaxseed oil, omega-3 fish oils, and turmeric. All of these have anti-inflammatory properties, and turmeric also demonstrates antiviral properties. Also, green tea extract exhibits antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant potential.

Immune enhancing supplements include vitamin D3, echinacea & goldenseal, elderberry, zinc, and Immune Health Support with medicinal mushrooms (reishi, maitake, shitake).

Supplements that support recovery primarily focus on the typical antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, which oxidize molecules within cells.

I would not overlook the value of pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil in topical applications, including balms, salves, lotions, and roll-ons, as well as either CBD capsules or sublingual liquid tinctures to decrease inflammation and pain as well as accelerate wound healing.

Many times, your best therapeutic options come from blending conventional drugs with natural remedies and nutritional supplements. It is highly recommended that adults 60 years and older get the recombinant shingles vaccine called Shingrix, too, which is available at your local pharmacy.

Three CBD oil myths debunked


Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

You can find CBD oil in countless products that make wide claims about what this up-and-coming supplement can do. With so many products and sources of information out there, it’s often hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is the ingredient derived from the hemp plant that is recognized for its medicinal benefits, which include helping ease pain, anxiety and insomnia. Currently, it isn’t federally regulated, and best practices for its use are still being developed. Clinical trials in their early stages also suggest some strains and dosages of CBD could help post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, neuropathic pain, Type 1 diabetes, cancer and cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer’s disease.

When selecting CBD oil for therapeutic use, it’s important to make selections based on information and not misinformation. Cannabinoids, including CBD, are chemical compounds produced naturally in our bodies and in some plants. Phytocannabinoids are produced by plants, while endocannabinoids are produced by the body. The body’s endocannabinoid system is like our body’s operating system—it affects neurotransmitters that bind to receptors and impact pain, mood, appetite, sleep, and how we feel, move and react. If your body does not produce enough endocannabinoids or cannot regulate them properly, you are more susceptible to illnesses. External sources like CBD can help to balance and maintain the human endocannabinoid system by encouraging the release of our own endocannabinoids.

To get the most benefit from CBD oil, we must debunk three common myths:

Myth #1: CBD hemp oil is addictive and can make you high.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an essential component of cannabis (one of hundreds), however, CBD by itself does not make you “high.” CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant, and doesn’t contain substantial amounts of THC, the psychoactive compound that gives the high sensation. Trace amounts of THC are unlikely to have a noticeable effect.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence said: “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. … To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.” The WHO officially recommended that CBD should not be “internationally scheduled as a controlled substance.”

Myth #2: I have tried CBD oil before, but it did nothing for me.

If you haven’t had success with CBD in the past, there are a number of factors to consider before throwing in the towel completely. One may be the quality of the CBD product. Many products on the market don’t have high-quality CBD (and some may not have any CBD at all!). Researchers found that of 84 products tested, only 31% contained the amount of CBD advertised. Make sure you understand how much CBD is in the product, as this will have a direct impact on its efficacy.

Also, since CBD use is a relatively new frontier, proper dosage can be tricky, as it varies for each person. Start with a low dose and slowly increase it over time. Also, keep a journal to log your dosage and results. It’s also possible to build up tolerance over time, requiring dosage to change. While a few milligrams work for some people, other patients may need larger doses.

You may also need to be patient! Like any other natural medicine, experts recommend daily usage of CBD for six to eight weeks before deciding whether to continue or not. Your level of absorption depends on a variety of factors including metabolism, biochemistry and genetics.

Myth #3: All CBD oil is the same.

CBD oil is not all the same, and the quality of CBD and CBD products varies widely. People using CBD oil who want to see relief need a product containing consistent levels of CBD.

Here’s how to select good CBD:

  • A good quality CBD oil will have a third-party Certificate of Analysis, a report of what’s specifically in the bottle. The analysis should test for microbes, herbicides and other contaminants as well as indicate the active product in the bottle, which is important for comparison. Milligrams of active cannabinoids is not the same as the amount of liquid in the bottle.
  • How the CBD oil was extracted is important. If extracted using heat, it can mean butane, a hazardous material, was used. CO2 or food-grade ethanol extraction are all-natural and ensure the cannabinoids and terpenes, another element of the plant thought to have therapeutic properties, remain intact.
  • For ultimate therapeutic value, look for full-spectrum CBD, instead of an isolate. There are more than 100 cannabinoids in cannabis, as well as terpenes and flavonoids. CBD works better with other cannabinoids and phytocompounds found in the cannabis plant, so full-spectrum CBD amplifies the efficiency of CBD in your system, promoting a greater response at a lower dose. An isolate is like one musical note used alone, whereas a full-spectrum product creates a symphony.
  • Make sure you buy products where hemp is sourced from Europe or the United States, where it is heavily regulated. Products from regions with fewer regulations may not be labeled accurately.

Just like any supplement, it’s important that you do your research before buying. Look for CBD companies that have customer support and stand behind their products. Most importantly, purchase from a knowledgeable health care provider that can advise you on formulation selection, usage and application, drug interactions and side effects.

Is CBD a solution for arthritis pain?


Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

The Arthritis Foundation says 54.4 million adults suffer from arthritis, but including people who have not yet been diagnosed, the number is closer to 91.2 million and expected to grow by 49 percent by the year 2040.

May is Arthritis Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and advocacy for this debilitating disease that affects 1 in 4 Americans with symptoms including pain, stiffness, decreased joint movement and often anxiety and depression.

Who might benefit from CBD?

Although there’s no cure for arthritis, some people with joint pain and arthritis who have tried CBD oil have reported noticeable pain relief, sleep improvement and/or anxiety reduction. As CBD has risen as a source for many therapeutic benefits, more people are turning to CBD to help manage pain and other arthritis-related symptoms, naturally.

Recognizing that people with arthritis were already using CBD oil for relief, the Arthritis Foundation last July conducted a nationwide survey about CBD use for arthritis pain. Of 2,600 people who responded, 79% said they are using CBD or have used it. As a result, last September the Arthritis Foundation released CBD guidance for adults. The Foundation also sent a formal comment to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to expedite the study and regulation of CBD products.

5 ways CBD can help with arthritis

Some of the potential benefits for using CBD for arthritis include:

  1. CBD can help with pain management. CBD balms and salves applied topically to tender and painful joints, plus liquid tinctures taken under the tongue and softgels taken orally, have proven to be extremely effective at reducing pain.
  2. CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory. Animal studies have suggested that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps with chronic and joint pain, possibly improving physical function and reducing joint stiffness.
  3. CBD eases anxiety. CBD has been linked to a variety of mental health benefits such as a reduction in anxiety, a common arthritis-related symptom.
  4. CBD has been found to make improvements in people suffering from depression. The Arthritis Foundation says the depression rates of those diagnosed with certain types of arthritis can be 2 to 10 times greater than the general population.
  5. CBD oil has been found to improve sleep. Sleep is a critical factor for health and wellness, and those with arthritis are often also faced with insomnia.

Even with its benefits, CBD has the potential to interact with some drugs commonly taken by people with arthritis. A medical professional or pharmacist can help you determine any possible drug interactions or side effects based on your current medications.

Like treatment for any medical conditions, use of CBD oil should be evaluated by your doctor. CBD should not substitute disease-modifying treatment for inflammatory arthritis.

The quality of CBD is a key factor in its effectiveness, so consumers must ensure that they are purchasing CBD products from a trusted source. The amount of CBD oil in a product will have a direct effect on its efficacy, and the methods used to manufacture CBD oil will impact the safety and quality of products you might buy. A knowledgeable health care professional can provide guidance on product quality and safety as well as formulation selection, usage and application.

Nightshades, Inflammation, and Chronic Pain


Are you familiar or have you heard of the term nightshades? Did you know that consuming foods from this plant group might be contributing to your ongoing pain and inflammation? That’s right….. eating a steady diet which includes these popular foods could be part of the underlying reason or root cause to explain why you continue to have chronic symptoms.

Nightshade plants belong to the Solanaceae family which includes over 2,000 species. They also, more importantly, include some of the most popular foods today. The food list includes tomatoes, white potatoes, all types of peppers, especially, the bell peppers, and eggplant. Obviously, from this list, tomatoes can be the most challenging to eliminate.

The nightshade plants contain cholinesterase inhibiting glycoalkaloids and steroid alkaloids which are the enzymes that, when ingested in moderate amounts, lead to increased inflammation and pain. However, for some heavy consumers of nightshades the process of inflammation and pain reduction may take up to 2- 3 months before improvement is seen, depending on multiple outside factors.

After reviewing the symptoms associated with nightshade consumption, it is easy to appreciate and understand why one of the major problems or conditions attributed to nightshades is arthritis. Arthritis is the most common disability in the U.S. Currently, arthritis affects approximately 50 million people. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis affecting more than 20 million people. More than 2 million people are affected by rheumatoid arthritis, the most debilitating, disabling, and painful form of arthritis. Arthritis has no boundaries to gender, race, age, as it affects young and old alike. In fact, it may be surprising to you that an estimated 300,000 children ages 18 years old and younger have some form of arthritis. So, the question becomes, how many of these individuals diagnosed with arthritis are due in large part to regular daily consumption of nightshade plants? Many who suffer from some form of arthritis or arthritis-related disease like lupus, rheumatism, or fibromyalgia have found that consuming nightshades has a direct impact on the level of their pain or discomfort.

Several natural medicines have proven to be very effective at alleviating or reducing symptoms associated with nightshade induced pain and inflammation. My favorite list includes turmeric, pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil, hyaluronic acid, omega 3 fish oils, glucosamine- chondroitin combinations, ginger, and formulas that combine Boswellia, CMO, and MSM. All of these in supplement form have shown through the years that they can indeed increase blood flow and circulation while reducing inflammation and pain regardless of medical diagnosis.

Turmeric – Turmeric is one of the most thoroughly researched plants in existence today. Its medicinal properties and components ( primarily curcumin) have been the subject of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed and published studies. These studies indicate up to 250 distinct beneficial physiological effects showing turmeric rivals many prescription anti-inflammatory medications without the known side effects.

Hyaluronic acid – This is the viscous fluid found naturally in the body, and classified as a type of carbohydrate and occurs in high concentrations in the skin, eyes, and joints where it provides lubrication and sustains tissue hydration. Most hyaluronic acid supplements use synthesized forms of the compound. Since hyaluronic acid levels decrease as you age, hyaluronic acid can help manage age-related health conditions including joint pain and inflammation from all types of arthritis. For example, hyaluronic acid is commonly used for osteoarthritis, chronic pain syndromes, and fibromyalgia, by lubricating the joint space, allowing for better flexibility and mobility.

Omega 3 fish oils – Fish oils are one of the most commonly consumed dietary supplements. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are very important for your health. Some of the known benefits of taking pharmaceutical-grade molecularly distilled fish oils include the following: heart health – improves cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduces blood pressure. Brain health – improves normal brain function and may help reduce mental disorders. Inflammation – omega 3 fish oils can increase circulation, improve oxygenation, and reduce inflammatory cytokines for joint pain relief.

Glucosamine and chondroitin – Glucosamine sulfate has been around for many years as one of the first nutritional supplements to be recommended for joint health. It was initially used for dogs with degenerative joint disease by veterinarians. Glucosamine is a much smaller molecule than its partner chondroitin and subsequently gets into the joint space much more readily to help build connective tissue and cartilage. Combined together, both glucosamine and chondroitin do a great job of providing a cushion effect to joints.

Ginger – Ginger contains a substance called gingerol which demonstrates multiple powerful medicinal properties. Ginger has shown the ability to reduce muscle pain and soreness while providing an anti-inflammatory effect for use in those with osteoarthritis or other mild to moderate pain syndromes.

Boswellia, CMO, and MSM – Gum – resin extracts of Boswellia have been used traditionally in folk medicine for centuries to treat multiple inflammatory diseases including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Boswellia is found combined with other natural anti-inflammatory ingredients in many herbal medicine formulas. CMO is a naturally occurring fatty acid complex that has been used for many years to support joint health while preventing and alleviating symptoms of arthritis. MSM also known as methylsulfonylmethane is a popular dietary supplement used to treat a wide array of symptoms and conditions. MSM is widely used in treating a number of conditions including all forms of arthritis and other chronic pain syndromes.

Probiotics – Considering 70% of the inflammation that is produced in the body can originate in the digestive system, I like adding pharmaceutical-grade probiotics into the mix with other natural anti-inflammatories. We need to maintain a balance of good bacteria at 85% good to 15% bad bacteria ideally. This will help to reduce inflammation that is contributing to any type of pain syndrome.

Inflammation is the enemy when you are experiencing any kind of discomfort or pain. It remains crucial that you re-evaluate your diet and quickly check for any nightshades you might be consuming in your regular diet. These can be part of the pain-producing equation. It is always a great idea to start these targeted nutritional supplements either alone or as an adjunct to your current medical treatment. You can always discuss with a holistic MD or functional medicine doctor, or a natural health consultant, experienced in using these supplements. By doing so, you will be able to determine which products might be best for your particular situation.

For further questions, call 239-481-7322 or go to www.cypresspharmacy.com for more information.

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