Dr. David Brownstein, M.D., is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. He is editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Dr. David Brownstein, M.D.

Dangers of Conventional Arthritis Treatment

Wednesday, 08 Jan 2014 03:23 PM

By Dr. Brownstein

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Conventional medicine currently has no consensus on what causes arthritis. The logical question is: If you don’t understand the cause of an illness, how can you effectively treat it? Because conventional medicine does not understand the cause of many chronic illnesses (e.g., arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, etc.), the long-term conventional therapies presently in use are ineffective  and can often be toxic.
 
For over five decades, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been the primary treatment for arthritic disorders. If this medication fails, more powerful steroids or other drugs, such as chemotherapeutic agents, are employed.
 
In my experience, the results of these drug therapies are dismal. They may temporarily alleviate the symptoms of arthritic disorders, but they do little to halt or reverse the progression of the illness.
 
In addition, NSAIDs and the newer drug therapies do not provide the body with what it needs to heal itself. In fact, because of the toxicity of these agents, the opposite often occurs: NSAIDs can actually inhibit healing and weaken the immune system.
 
Prolonged use of NSAIDs is, indeed, harmful. It’s estimated that over 16,500 patients with rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis die annually from the toxic effects of these drugs (a total that is similar to the number of annual U.S. deaths from AIDS).
 
Furthermore, studies have shown that the prolonged use of NSAIDs inhibits cartilage formation in arthritic patients, and actually worsens arthritic conditions.
 
NSAIDs are also known to decrease blood flow  to the kidneys. It is a dirty little secret in medicine that long-term use of NSAIDs is actually a leading cause of kidney failure. And it is well known that prolonged use of steroids (in large, pharmacologic doses) and chemotherapeutic agents will eventually suppress the immune system and make the body more susceptible to illness.

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