Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and the Body's Natural Healing Process
Updated: Sep 19, 2018
Analgesia is the reduced perception of pain. Antipyresis is the reduction in fever which raises the thermal body set point and causes anti-inflammation. Anti-inflammatory drugs happen at a cellular level.
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and steroid blockers are used for three main reasons; inflammation, fever reduction, and pain.
After an injury inflammation occurs as part of the natural healing process. Inflammation is regulated by specific enzymes, mediators, and cells. Such as white blood cells. Cyclooxygenase, or COX for short, is one of the key enzymes involved in the inflammation process. COX acts upon Arachidonic Acid, a fatty acid found in meat, eggs, and dairy, and converts it into prostaglandins which are small compounds that act as mediators of information. Aspirin and other NSAIDS chemically react with COX irreversibly disabling the enzyme and halting the formation of prostaglandins. Reduced production of prostaglandins in turn reduces inflammation.
In normal blood vessels, red blood cells clump together to help clot the bleeding of a cut. This clumping action is important. The cells at work are called platelets. Think of platelets like a medical emergency team. COX acts upon the Arachidonic Acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid. When converted together they form thromboxane A2, a hormone that induces platelet aggregation and artery construction. Imagine dropping a Mentos in a glass of water. Thromboxane A2 is a compound that regulates the clumping action in turn forming a blood clot. A fire extinguisher is a great example. When a drug is taken there is a build-up followed by an explosion within the body which causes quick relief.
When anti-inflammatory drugs deactivate COX, it shuts off the production of thromboxane A2, which in turn stop the platelets from activating red blood cells. White blood cells fight infections from bacteria, viruses, fungi. and other pathogens. Our wonderful immune system. We need our defenses to be on point, and by taking NSAIDS over time your body becomes more dependant on the medication than on your bodies natural way of healing.
If red blood cells do not clump together, blood will become thinner causing excessive bleeding, heart attack, interruption of cartilage and bone repair, and even blood clots. If you do take NSAIDS, it is suggested to take them on a full stomach which will help inhibit the imbalance of fats. Too may omega 6's than omega 3's.