Patients ask, “Are natural supplements targeting inflammation and treating pain safe?”
Medicine and treatment plans can include a variety of approaches and therapies that should complement each other. The number of options for treating symptoms such as inflammation and pain can be overwhelming. Dr. Peter Lloyd and the team at Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center in Encinitas, CA can help you navigate your choices to create a customized treatment plan appropriate for your unique needs. If you are interested in natural supplements targeting inflammation and treating pain, Dr. Lloyd can discuss alternative therapy options.
Inflammation is a localized physical condition in which part of the body becomes swollen, hot, red, or painful. It is often the result of an injury or infection. Inflammation is the body’s immune response to protect the body. However, with diseases like arthritis, the body’s immune system triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign bodies to fight off.
Some, but not all, types of arthritis result from the body’s misdirected inflammation. Arthritis is a condition in which one or more of the joints are inflamed. This may result in stiffness, soreness, swelling, or loss of movement of those joints.
To overcome inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and joint and muscle conditions, lifestyle changes, dietary changes, or supplements may help reduce any uncomfortable symptoms. Many individuals turn to drugs such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help with inflammation and pain. However, for some, these medications are linked to unwanted side effects such as ulcers, kidney or liver problems, and damage to the stomach.
Fortunately, there are natural supplements that are just as effective and that come without the same risks as pharmaceutical products.
Treat inflammation and pain safely
You may have asked, “Are supplements safe?” Before determining an appropriate treatment plan, Dr. Lloyd will discuss your medical history, current symptoms, and current medications or therapies. He will discuss the benefits and risks of potential supplements and therapies. He will work with you to choose the supplements that will work best for your conditions.
The medical field offers a vast range of therapies for treating inflammation and pain. This may include herbal medications, vitamins, dietary supplements, dietary changes or restrictions, and lifestyle modifications such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation, and massage therapy. Natural supplements often give patients the first line of defense and relief from pain and discomfort.
The term supplements may refer to vitamins, minerals, extracts, enzymes, or herbs. This supplement or add to the patient’s current diet and medications as prescribed by a physician. Supplements have been used for centuries to treat a myriad of ailments. Many have a successful track record at providing relief. Supplements can alleviate symptoms and, in some cases, enable patients to lower their doses of conventional medications.
Although supplements have become common therapies, patients should still consult a physician before self-medicating. Natural supplements are often considered safer than traditional medicine. Many people hear the word “natural” and assume the vitamins, minerals, or herbs carry no risks. However, natural is not always safe. They could cause side effects or may not react well with your current medications. To ensure the safety of your vitamins, supplements, and therapies, proceed with caution and speak with your physician about everything you are taking first. When in doubt, consider the following guidelines.
- Ask questions. Do not be afraid to ask your doctor about supplements and natural therapies. This includes types of supplements, brands to use, and side effects they may cause.
- Confirm with your physician. A supplement is not automatically safe just because it may not require a prescription. Always ask your doctor for dosing instructions and drug interactions before starting a new supplement.
- Read labels and be wary of false advertising. Supplements are not monitored as closely as drugs. This can lead to unfounded claims. Supplements cannot legally claim to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent disease.
Living with arthritis can be uncomfortable and challenging. Natural supplements and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms and challenges brought on by inflammation and pain. Regular exercise can help reduce the stress on your joints and can strengthen the muscles to support the joints. Maintaining a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, and whole grains can ease inflammation as well. Your medical team can discuss your individual diet and lifestyle to determine if changes are necessary.