Did you happen to notice the Eagles are giving a concert performance in Houston this month? Probably one of my top five favorite music groups. I have enjoyed listening to this band’s music since the early 70’s, and still do today. I am not going. Glenn Frey was my favorite Eagle. He is dead. So for me, essentially the Eagles only exist in recorded format.
Most news outlets said he died due to complications from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ulcerative colitis (UC), and pneumonia. RA is not really considered a life threatening illness, and UC and pneumonia are not typical complications of RA. Rheumatoidarthritis.org lists the complications of RA, and they are: anemia, eye inflammation, extra-articular symptoms such as nodules on the hands, elbows, feet, eyes, lungs, and other organs, and respiratory issues. So it appears Glenn Frey had three separate health issues, but what was their link? For the answer, let’s explore the probable flight path of this arthritic Eagle.
This first symptoms of RA is joint pain and swelling. Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is a very common over the counter medicine people grab for joint pain. In fact, it is estimated that 30 million people worldwide take a NSAID medication every day. So we can be certain he started out using aspirin, Advil, Aleve, or something similar to control the pain. But with RA, I doubt the strength of an OTC pain killer was adequate. He would have needed something stronger. But even using the OTC strength has consequences. NSAIDs, regardless of the brand, will damage the esophagus, stomach, and small intestines. I read a statistic saying that over half of all bleeding ulcers are caused by NSAIDs. Interesting to note, one of the complicating factors that killed Genn Frey was ulcerative colitis.
At some point, due to continued suffering, he went to a doctor and was diagnosed with RA around the year 2000. RA is an autoimmune disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. Cortisoseroids are commonly prescribed. Corticosteroids are drugs that control inflammation by suppressing the immune system, and the consequence of their use is a vulnerable defense system against viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. He now has possible GI tissue damage and a suppressed immune system.
Have you seen the commercials for Humira and Enbril? They are a class of drugs called Biologics that use complex pharmacodynamics to treat many autoimmune disorders. He was certainly taking one of these and causing further immune suppression. By the way, these Biologics usually cost about $3000 a month. With that price tag, you could instead create an awesome recovery / wellness program.
Following 15 years of the usual and customary medical treatment for RA, the stage was set. Sadly, not for a concert, but for the final performance of his medical treatment of RA. His medication fueled, GI tract destruction finally reached the point where surgical intervention was required. He entered a hospital for surgery, armed with a chronically weakened, medication induced, compromised immune system. Is it a surprise that he gets pneumonia, an inflammation of the lung usually caused by an infection due to viruses, or bacteria, or other microorganisms? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that hospital-aquired infections cause or contribute to 99,000 deaths a year.
No encore performance.
The use of language saying he died from “complications” of RA is too “medically correct.” He died from the medical treatment of RA. In my view, there is lack of clarity regarding the medical approach to treating this autoimmune disorder. For example, it is Interesting to read what authorities say is the cause of RA. Webmd stated, “Doctors don’t know the exact cause.” Arthritis.org said, “The cause of RA is not yet fully understood, although doctors do know that an abnormal response of the immune system plays a leading role in the inflammation and joint damage that occurs.” Wikipedia wrote, “While the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not clear, it is believed to involve a combination of genetic and environmental factors.” I believe this uncertainty partially explains why medical treatment is directed at controlling the immune response, rather than correcting the underlying imbalances.
Dang, I wish he could have been one of my patients! You may ask, how would I have treated him? After the pictures and autograph... the same way I treat you, or a family member, or even myself.
An important paradigm to express, I do not treat RA or any of the over 13,000 disease entities coded by insurance companies. I treat the person exhibiting the disease. All these diseases have different names and symptoms, but what is common to all of them is metabolic and neurologic imbalances. Start there and avoid medical treatment.
I’ve treated many people suffering with RA and other autoimmune disorders with excellent results, and this is what I know. There are two causative factors related to almost all autoimmune disorders, (of which RA is included): 1) excess omega 6 fatty acids and 2) excess estrogen. More specifically, it is the ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 in our diets. This ratio should stay about 4:1, but in most people’s diets it is pushed closer to 15:1. This causes omega 6 to become pro-inflammatory. This is why taking omega 3 supplements appears to have an anti-inflammatory effect; it improves the ratio to in effect, lower omega 6 dominance. I do not recommend doing that. A far better step would be to reduce omega 6 fatty acid foods, and not to increase omega 3. Actually, omega 3 oils are even more pro-inflammatory due to their delicate structure and vulnerable nature to become rancid. If you desire more detail regarding this topic, along with references, just let us know and I will provide you the document.
Over exposure to these omega 6 oils change the molecular structure of the fat molecules in the mitochondria of our cells. The immune system sees this altered structure, determines it must be a foreign invader, and attacks it. We routinely test for this metabolic pattern and call it a dysaerobic imbalance. These foods must be avoided: all fried foods (deep fried and pan fried foods), margarine, vegetable oils, salad dressings, canned meat, and canned fish. Butter and coconut oil are, however, good.
The link between estrogen and autoimmune disease is well documented. The incidence of autoimmune disease is 75% in women and oral contraceptives and HRT are strong risk factors. Estrogen can encourage the immune system to make more antibodies. Again, something I routinely check for and address when necessary.
P.S. Often times I like to add a humorous picture to these articles. I couldn’t do it.