YOU CAN'T AGE GRACEFULLY WHEN ACHES AND PAINS HAVE TAKEN OVER YOUR LIFE. HERE'S HOW TO KEEP THAT FROM HAPPENING.
As baby boomers enter middle age and beyond, many of them struggle with mild to intense physical agony caused by bone degeneration. Whether this degeneration is due to swelling of the tissues that line the joints, muscle strain, or fatigue, the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons break down too soon for one out of every four American midlifers.
The joint problems they experience can initiate changes in both body and mind that ultimately affect the spirit. Joint problems cause mental stress as well, which increases the release of adrenaline. Ultimately, excess adrenaline leads to exhaustion.
Then depression sets in because serotonin levels drop when the action of "feel good" brain chemicals is hindered. Sleep is disrupted by the pain, tension and exhaustion, further inhibiting the body's ability to release natural mood elevators known as endorphins.
In an effort to break the cycle of pain so they can carry on with their daily responsibilities, midlifers often use over-the-counter or prescription medications. They spend billions of dollars on NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) inhibitors.
Boomers are usually too busy, too stressed, and too tired to actively take care of their muscles and joints. They believe they have to live with this "inevitable" part of midlife. A friend recently told me that these days his back goes out more than he does!
Can midlifers find relief from the pain and suffering that affects their bodies and minds--without taking medications that have negative side effects?
Absolutely! But they must become active participants in their own recovery through the use of natural therapies.
Some nutritional approaches are highly effective. In fact, there is hope that natural substances will someday revolutionize the treatment and management of arthritic disease. They may even help the body rebuild functioning joints.
Publications from around the world now confirm that omega-3 oils are effective in relieving morning stiffness and the tender joints associated with RA. In some instances omega-3 oil actually eliminated the need for NSAIDs. Further, fish oil and low-dose aspirin taken together have been found to have better effects on inflammation than either substance alone.
Natural therapies can be effective for the midlife pain that comes with arthritis. They should be tried first, in my opinion, because they can provide relief from pain and inflammation without the negative side effects common to NSAIDs.
Janet Maccaro, Ph.D, CNC, is a respected lecturer and the author of several books on health and nutrition. Her most recent release is 100 Answers to 100 Questions about How to Live Longer (Christian Life).
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