The suffix “itis” is indicative of inflammatory disease. Arthritis, colitis, cystitis, and so on are all examples of inflammatory disease which is the main reason people visit a physician! Even cancer spreads by means of inflammation: one of its treatments is the use of steroidal anti-inflammatories to control the pain and swelling that often accompany the disease. A migraine is inflammation-related, as are Alzheimer’s disease and obesity. Allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases of all kinds are caused or exacerbated by the inflammation response. In addition, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and asthma are all treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. Clearly, many of the chronic conditions that plague us today, including obesity, are related to chronic inflammation.

Unfortunately, many of the drugs used to treat chronic inflammation have undesirable side effects. NSAIDS (Non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can be hard on the gastrointestinal tract; drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis can suppress the body’s natural immune system, making it difficult to fight infection. The chemical agents used in chemotherapy take their toll on the liver and other organs. None of these medications actually address the root cause of the disease and have potentially disease-causing side effects in and of themselves.

The underlying cause of the conditions treated with anti-inflammatory medications is inflammation itself. To reverse the disease trend, we need to break the cycle of inflammation that our bodies have become accustomed to. Neither drugs nor surgery are the ideal choices for treating inflammatory disease; we would do better to stop filling our bodies with substances that the immune system recognizes as antigens. Only then will the inflammation process truly reverse itself.

It is unfortunate that so many physicians continue to use drugs to fight these diseases when a natural alternative—one free of undesirable side effects—is readily available. That natural alternative is diet modification.

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