Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Chronic Pain, Opioids, Thoughts

Yes, by now, we all know that there is an opioid addiction epidemic. For most people, it starts out innocently with an surgery and an MD readily giving a prescription for pain killers. Then the medication’s additive effects get going and you are trapped. Now MDs are getting wiser and prescribing less. So what do you do if you have chronic pain?  First realize all the negative effects of these drugs. Yes opioids dampen pain but tolerance develops and you need more. The drugs slow the gut with result of constipation which can be severe and the drugs can cause intense itching. Most seriously the drugs can lead to respiratory depression and death.

What are the choices for pain control? The power of the mind and relaxation provide the answer. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) provides a program that is available online and has been effective in reducing chronic pain. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has also been effective by reducing catastrophic thinking. Those thoughts that say “This is really bad and what if …..”  In fact this catastrophizing is the largest factor in determining the impact of chronic pain on one’s life. There are things in your control and you can learn to control thoughts that impede your quality of life. Other approaches are hypnosis, mindfulness and guided imagery. There are better options than pain killers.

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June 18, 2017 Posted by | health | , | Leave a comment

DEPRESSION AND INFLAMMATION

Andrew Weil MD ha summarized new research about inflammation and depression. The marker of inflammatory disease is  C-reactive protein and things like rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease. In one study, it was found that C-reactive protein- is 46% higher in those who have depression compared with those who do not. When individuals are given medication to reduce inflammation, depression is reduced.  Of course, this is still in the investigatory stages and you don’t want to start taking anti inflammatory drugs at this point for depression. Dr. Weil recommends an anti-inflammatory diet which is all the good stuff – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds along with exercise.  He also suggested adding turmeric because it is a natural anti-inflammatory. It is always worth looking at diet and exercise if you have depression. It can make the difference.

May 14, 2017 Posted by | Depression, health | | Leave a comment

Thyroid and Mood

This little organ – the thyroid- does amazing things for the body and needs to be in balance for your physical and mental health. If you have symptoms of stress, insomnia, feel overwhelmed, have trouble losing weight, feels depressed or anxious, take a look at this wonderful book – ADRENAL THYROID REVOLUTION by Aviva Romm MD.

Her focus is on hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue. Imbalances occur through chronic stress, toxins, infections, food triggers and problems with the gut. The  solution is to work on all the relevant areas. Stress management is central and here is where yoga and meditation can be a tremendous help. Other areas need to be assessed by  WHOLISTIC DOCTOR.  These come under various names like integrative medicine doctor, functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor. Visit websites for American Board of Integrative Medicine, Institute of Functional Medicine.

 

March 26, 2017 Posted by | Emotional Well Being, health, weight management | , , | Leave a comment

Mind Over Body

Please take a look at Jo Marchant’s Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body. There are many wonderful chapters on the power of the mind that can benefit everyone. Did you know that hypnosis is the only effective treatment for IBS? Did you know that even if someone is told that they are taking a placebo pill, it still works? If you are given a placebo painkiller that looks identical, at least 95% of people have a positive response. Hypnosis for pain relief influences the area of the brain involved in pain perception. It creates a real effect. I’ll let you read the rest.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | health | , | Leave a comment

Common Medications That May Be Linked to Dementia

The July/August Scientific American Mind has two very interesting articles concerning common medications and a possible link with dementia. Do you take a proton-pump inhibitor? These are medications such as Nexium and Prilosec. A study of 73,679 elder individuals found that dementia was found more often in those taking these drugs. This study was published in JAMA Neurology in February. There is an association not a causation.

The other class of drugs to be wary of are statins which are used to lower cholesterol and becoming very common. Neurological effects can be produced by these drugs. Apparently some people are more susceptible than others for unknown reason. Some people develop ALS type symptoms with muscle wasting and may also be related to dementia. Some more common side effects are fatigue, cognition problems, poor sleep, peripheral neuropathy.

So be aware and look into healthy diet and exercise instead.

June 19, 2016 Posted by | health | Leave a comment