(NaturalHealth365) Many in the world were shocked to learn of beloved musician Glenn Frey’s recent death at age 67 from pneumonia and intestinal complications. But what didn’t immediately make the headlines about the Eagles founder’s death was that both the illnesses blamed for his death were complications of the medications he took for years to relieve symptoms of his rheumatoid arthritis.
Only those closest to the singer-guitarist knew how his suffering from rheumatoid arthritis had left him in search of relief for debilitating joint pain. Sadly, that quest led him not to natural forms of healing, but to anti-inflammatory medications that brought with them deadly consequences.
Deadly solution to a common health problem
Glenn Frey was not alone – not in his suffering from arthritis nor in his pursuit of pharmaceuticals to relieve his pain. Unfortunately, he was also not alone in suffering the horrific side effects that arthritis medications can bring to the human body.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 52 million adults and nearly 300,000 children in the United State suffer some form of the disease, making it the number one cause of disability in the country. In the 10-year period between 1995 and 2005 studied by the CDC, total medical expenditures for arthritis rose by 27 percent among those suffering from arthritis and at least one other chronic condition.
Given the known link between an increase in chronic illness and side effects from pharmaceuticals used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, it is not surprising that rheumatoid arthritis patients are experiencing a growing number of other chronic and debilitating illnesses. They could very likely be developing due to the arthritis medications taken.
Coping with an autoimmune disease in a dangerous way
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has removed at least 35 to 40 arthritis pain relievers from the market in recent decades due to dangerous side effects, there remain hundreds of pharmaceutical options for arthritis sufferers to consider. However, no arthritis medication can actually stop the disease. Instead, all work to mask the symptoms.
Drug classes used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), biologic response modifiers (biologic DMARDS) and corticosteroids. While they have been cautioned by legal counsel not to reveal the specific names of the medications taken by Frey, close friends have gone on record stating that it was rheumatoid arthritis medication that caused the health complications leading to his death.
Fact: Prescription drugs increase the risk of pneumonia and premature death
One type of medication in particular – TNF alpha blockers, a type of biologic response – is touted as ‘just the ticket’ for rheumatoid arthritis. Not surprisingly, however, these medications also carry serious risks that can lead to negative side effects, hospitalization and even death.
The singer passed away at Columbia University Medical Center, New York City, where he had been treated since November. A spokesman from Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, who did not treat Frey, has made several media statements regarding the link between rheumatoid arthritis medicine and the risk of pneumonia and colitis. Dr. Marc I. Leavey, an internal medicine specialist, has stated that medications for rheumatoid arthritis can compromise the immune system’s ability to fight off pneumonia.
Medications designed at relieving sufferers from their arthritic symptoms are likely to upset the body’s natural immune system, leaving patients susceptible to a long list of infectious diseases, from tuberculosis to pneumonia. The FDA, recognizing the dangers of these drugs, began requiring black box labeling in 2009 to warn physicians of the increased risks of cancers in children and young adults. Yet, big pharma is estimated to be raking in an incredible $22 billion a year on TNF inhibitors alone.
A wise choice: Seek natural anti-inflammatory relief
If you or a family member suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you do have effective options for coping with your disease that to do not place your health in further danger.
Rather than lining the pockets of big pharma and inviting even more health risks, focus on diet and lifestyle – known to be the gatekeeper for initiating and reversing inflammation throughout the body. Opt for a plant-based diet void of trans fat, gluten, chemicals, conventionally-produced dairy products and processed ingredients.
Adding anti-inflammatory foods and herbal supplements to your daily diet, such as ginger and turmeric, can bring additional relief. For difficulties with joint stiffness, consider light forms of exercise like stretching, massage or some chiropractic work – on a regular basis.
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