Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis are debilitating conditions impacting millions of people each year, but also negatively affecting many horses and companion pets. Both conditions are strongly connected with ongoing or chronic inflammation, which is a fact of life, but often worsened or exacerbated by many other factors including genetics, lifestyle, stress and excessive wear and tear. Today’s current therapies offer no real hope in terms of reversal of the problem and often leave much to be desired in terms of pain relief or mitigation. Unfortunately, with continued use of many of the medications, the risk of side effects is real and patients are left to decide the lesser of two evils; contend with the side effects or succumb to ongoing discomfort.
The prior article that I wrote discussed in detail my cancer diagnosis and management, for those that were interested. As I had mentioned, it is not just a ‘cancer story’ but one in which there is much to be learned and contemplated. I view everything that happens as happening for a reason. In most cases, I feel things happen to help us to learn or to advance in certain areas. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a Western minded or traditional veterinarian, relying on pharmaceuticals and surgery to fix everything and felt that if those approaches failed, then there was nothing more that could be done. The wake up call for me was my cancer diagnosis and I don’t regret it for a minute. By interacting as a patient with other doctors, I realized two things; first that their bedside manner left much to be desired and two, we had much to learn in terms of patient care, not only a physical level but emotional one as well. These two concepts hold true not only for human medicine but veterinary medicine as well.
I spend quite a bit of time speaking and emailing with many of our customers and inevitably questions arise regarding my cancer diagnosis. For many, their stories tend to stay quiet, which I have done for several years, keeping my prior condition to some extent from my clients and even some friends. The fact is that in reality, we have nothing to hide and truth be told, there is much that can be learned and gained by hearing another’s story. Every one of us has a story and each one of our lives is precious and meaningful. Mine is not just a story about cancer, but a story about moving forward and discovering. In some cases, what I have learned may assist another, while in others, maybe not so much. What we also realize that in both the veterinary and medical profession, there is much that we need to learn and much that we need to change. So, for those that are interested, here we go . . .
A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis Abstract (Chandran B., Goel A., Phytothera. Res 2012) Curcumin is known to possess potent antiinflammatory and antiarthritic properties. This pilot clinical study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of curcumin alone, and in combination with diclofenac sodium in patients with active rheumatoid …