Podcast Episode 36: Anti-inflammatories and the refrigerator

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I’ve got a fun podcast for you today on Horse Mysteries Solved.

We all think of inflammation as an area with heat, swelling, and pain…but what IS it?

This podcast chat is about:
-What inflammation actually is
-Is inflammation good or bad?
-What to do to help with inflammation
-What to avoid

As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, and suggestions for future podcasts.

Summary by AI:

Dr. Renee Tucker discusses anti-inflammatories and their effects on the body, using the analogy of a refrigerator being knocked over to explain inflammation. Inflammation is described as the body’s response to injury, involving swelling, redness, heat, and pain. The process includes cleanup crews, immune system cells, and repair mechanisms. Cold therapy, arnica, rest, and red light therapy are recommended for managing inflammation. Dr. Tucker advises against relying on pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories like aspirin, ibuprofen, and bute due to their potential side effects, including kidney damage and digestive issues. She emphasizes the importance of finding alternative treatments and encourages listeners to be mindful of the risks associated with pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories.

Renee (00:01)
Hey, guys, dr. Renee Tucker here again today. We’re talking about anti inflammatories and the story of the refrigerator. Yes, it’s going to be great. Okay, listen, I want to talk about anti inflammatories, what to use, what not to use, stuff like this.

Renee (00:17)
But first, what is an anti inflammatory? Well, anti means against and inflammatory is inflammation. But we should think for a little bit what is inflammation, because we all kind of have a general idea of what it is, right? We think about swelling and redness, heat, pain. All those things are inflammation.

Renee (00:41)
Well, really, they’re signs of inflammation. But what is inflammation? Well, I’m going to tell you, okay? It is the body getting to work super fast to fix a sudden problem. Yeah, it’s pretty cool, actually.

Renee (00:59)
It’s just like if someone came along and dumped your refrigerator and freezer all over the floor. It’s practically the same thing. Okay, so pretend that someone kicked you in the shin, okay? The front of your calf, you’re just kicked in the shin, it hurts. If you’ve ever been kicked or just bumped your shin, it really hurts.

Renee (01:20)
Surprisingly a lot. It’ll be the same thing as if your horse was kicked in the front of the coffin bone. All right? So we have this sun kick, and it really hurts. Now, what happens immediately, it is swelling.

Renee (01:34)
It starts bruising, it’s red, it starts getting hot very, very quickly. Okay? That’s what we all know as inflammation. So it’s just like someone knocked over your refrigerator. Someone knocked over your refrigerator.

Renee (01:47)
You see all your stuff on the floor. We got eggs is piled up on the freezer stuff. I mean, stuff is dumping out of the vegetable drawer upside down that you’re thinking, what even is that? Or what was it? Who knows?

Renee (02:03)
It kind of rots and it’s just there and it’s been stuck in a compartment. Then milk’s pouring all over and stuff that should be in containers is not. It’s just a giant mess. So just like you would have to do if your refrigerator was all over the floor, you got to clean it up. So in our kicked in the shin example, we have this swelling going on, and the body’s got to clean up all of the damaged parts.

Renee (02:31)
All of the items that are not in a container anymore aren’t going where they’re supposed to, because what happens when we’re kicked in the shin? Stuff breaks. Cells are just destroyed. The arteries and veins are broken. Blood is leaking out all over the place where it’s not supposed to be.

Renee (02:51)
It’s supposed to be contained in arteries and veins, and now it’s everywhere. Okay? So the body got to send all of its clean up people. Part of that’s immune system, part of it is just clean up, guys. There’s also the fact that you have your immune system, which runs everywhere, okay?

Renee (03:09)
It’s all types of cells, t cells, B cells, phagocytes, macrophages. There’s really a lot of immune system people, particles, stuff that helps you deal with any potential infection. So all day long, your immune system is going around to every cell in your body and picking up the trash. It’s picking up trash, debris, stuff that’s broken bacteria, all those kind of particles, microbes that aren’t supposed to be there. So let’s just picture the garbage truck of the immune system is trolling along the highway of the immune system and someone kicks it in the shin, okay?

Renee (03:55)
And then that garbage truck that trashes all over, including the bacteria. Well, we can’t have bacteria that aren’t supposed to be there running around contaminating stuff and you know how they will multiply. Okay, so we have to get rid of those right away. What does a bai do? Sends in the flamethrower guys.

Renee (04:14)
Okay, so the flamethrower guys are part of the immune system that come and actually heat stuff up. Now, why would it want to heat stuff up? And by stuff, I mean the general area, okay? We run a fever, we heat up our entire body when there’s an infection somewhere in our body because it kills bacteria. So we have these flamethrower guys that will raise the temperature of a general area to kill the bacteria that used to be in the garbage truck of the immune system that got knocked over the highway when the whole entire highway got destroyed.

Renee (04:53)
You see how this is a perfect analogy? Okay, so everything that’s happening with inflammation is actually good. It’s part of the body’s process of fixing things. Yeah, it hurts though, right? Because there’s so much going on at once.

Renee (05:13)
You got the cleanup guys, you got the sanitation guys, flamethrower guys, and on top of all the stuff, all the items that are there to clean the area from the destruction, at the same time, all the guys are there to rebuild the highway. They’re there to bring in new things to fix the whole area. So every part that needs to be fixed, arteries, veins, maybe a nerve got trampled. All the muscles that got destroyed and are bruising, those all need to be repaired. There’s a lot of all those repair guys there too, and they’re just sitting there twiddling their thumbs, waiting for the road to clear.

Renee (05:56)
No, it’s not like humans where we clean it all first and then we fix it. No, it’s all at the same time. I’m sure it’s very organized in some fashion, microscopically, it’s organized, but from our point of view, it’s a whole bunch of stuff happening at once. And that’s inflammation and it hurts. So what should we do?

Renee (06:21)
Inflammation is the body’s normal process. It’s crazy, but it’s a good process. It works. But it does hurt. There is pain involved.

Renee (06:31)
Someone kicks you in the shin, you know, this hurts. Now, I do recommend us helping with the pain. I say this because pain all by itself increases stress, anxiety, and that actually causes tension in the tissue, which is probably not helpful. And I say that because if the tissue relaxes, then the blood flow can increase. Okay.

Renee (06:58)
And we do want things coming in and out of the area really as fast as possible to get this fixed up. So I do totally want to decrease pain. But the best thing for inflammation is cold. So whether that’s cold water hosing of your horse’s leg or an ice pack on your leg, perfectly fine. Say, oh, my gosh.

Renee (07:21)
But if we use cold, won’t we hurt the flamethrower guys? I mean, that’s my first concern, right? Okay. No, it won’t hurt the flamethrower guys. They will still be able to work perfectly fine.

Renee (07:33)
Even though you’re decreasing the external temperature, they will work perfectly fine up to a point. Now, that point is about 20 minutes. I don’t know if you’ve ever held an ice pack on your leg for too long, maybe fell asleep with it on. If ice is on your leg, obviously there’s a towel there. It’s not ice directly on the skin.

Renee (07:57)
Okay. That’s going to burn the skin. A correctly applied ice pack too long really starts to hurt all by itself, right? It’s too cold. The blood flow is all constricted and nothing is flowing, and it starts to hurt.

Renee (08:12)
It almost feels like a burn, but it’s a cold burn. It’s kind of hard to explain, but hopefully you’ve experienced something like that. The point is, your body knows when it’s gotten too cold and it can’t function, right? And it starts to send you what, more pain signals. It’s this cold burn signal this time, which tells you, hey, it’s too cold down here.

Renee (08:34)
And then you take off the ice pack. So cold should be used for about 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off, and then put it right back on again. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off? Approximately. Okay.

Renee (08:47)
Depends on the tissue size and the area affected, but about 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for cold. Okay. One thing I 100% love and have a stock in, not literally, I have actual stocks of it is arnica. Arnica is a homeopathic product made from a plant, an arnica plant. That’s A-R-N as in Nancy.

Renee (09:11)
I-C-A Arnica. Love it. Let me tell you a story of how I learned about arnica. Way back in the day, I was doing some emergency work for an emergency dog and cat place veterinarian. I forget what they’re called.

Renee (09:29)
Let’s go with the er. Anyways, I was working there just temporarily, and they were telling me how whenever they have a dog come in with what they call and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but they call it road rash, which means the dog was in the back of a truck and fell out on the highway. They’re generally in kind of rough shape because usually all the hair is off and sometimes a layer to a skin the dogs are fine. They’re not dead, okay? So by the time they come in, even if it’s half an hour later, they’re bruised everywhere.

Renee (10:12)
They’ve rolled at high speeds. They’re all bruised. And you can tell they’re bruised because there’s no hair. So you see the bruising under the skin everywhere. And I saw these guys and they’re totally using regular traditional medicine, but they also had arnica and I didn’t have any idea what that was.

Renee (10:31)
And it’s a gel or an ointment. Either way, they’re slathering it all over the poor dog and I’m like, what is that? And they’re like that’s. Arnica. You wouldn’t believe what this does.

Renee (10:41)
And honestly, if I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t believe that. But during the time they did the exam and see what else was going so let’s just say an hour. In an hour the bruising was just about gone. It was still just a little pink, but all that blue and purple was gone. Now I’m telling you, they put a lot on.

Renee (10:59)
Arnica is super safe. You can use it with anything else you want to use, any medication, any treatment. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing. It just sucks out the bruising in a very safe manner. So as you take out the bruising, you therefore take out some of the swelling, which is helpful.

Renee (11:20)
The body was going to get rid of that bruising anyways and somehow the arnica helps. I do not know that mechanism of action, but I have used it tons of times. Horses, myself, my kids. It’s great. Stock up on Arnica for any kind of inflammation, it’s on Amazon, okay?

Renee (11:38)
Or Boyron makes it B-O-I-R-O-N. You could probably get it direct from them as well if in case you don’t have Amazon available. Let’s see. So we can do for inflammation, cold water, hosing, ice packing arnica. Those are absolutely fantastic.

Renee (12:00)
Rest is really helpful. I do like red light therapy. You don’t have to do that immediately though for acute, acute right away. Inflammation, just cold Antarctica. It’s fantastic.

Renee (12:16)
Now what we’ve gotten used to doing not we being you who are listening to this because clearly you might hopefully looking for alternative information. But in general the world has been trained where we have our anti inflammatories. As in like aspirin and acetaminophen just all the time. I got some interesting stories here, but let me list these. So for the horse we tend to use butte and Banamine and equiox, maybe Ketophen.

Renee (12:52)
And then for people we use Aspirin, Ibuprofen, aleve. And there’s a lot more of all of these and there’s generic names as well. But just to get the idea of what we’re talking about for anti inflammatories, that’s typically what we’re used to. Here’s the thing, a couple of things, okay? What we think we’re doing is helping and it does make it sort of decreases the pain that we can tell.

Renee (13:20)
I say that because do you know how butte works phenylbutasone, generally called bute. Bute does not work on the area of inflammation. Butte works in the brain. Butte tells the brain there’s no pain. Yeah, we really want to think about this because let’s say your horse has a crack leg, like a fracture.

Renee (13:47)
Do you want them to think there’s no pain and walk harder on it? Now, we’re talking to tough decisions in there, right? Because we want them out of pain, but we don’t want them walking on it. So you got to be really careful about what you do with these pharmaceutical anti inflammatories.

Renee (14:09)
Banamine decreases prostaglandins, which is part of the inflammation stuff. All those wonderful characters that come to clean up your refrigerator, and it decreases those. So again, there’s less swelling, so it technically feels better. But again, we don’t want to use these long term. Ideally, you would not use any pharmaceutical anti inflammatories.

Renee (14:33)
I said, am I crazy? It could be. But, man, let me tell you, once I figured out all the bad things that these do, I got all this stuff out of my house. I used to run around with a purse, and I’d have both aspirin and advil with me just in case I or any of my dear friends needed some antiinflammatories. And I was super proud of myself for being prepared.

Renee (14:58)
Well, I’ve since ditched that. Well, you know what’s? My personal arnica. Okay, here’s some of the side effects of antiinflammatories in the horse. Colic in people digestive issues, diarrhea, urine problems, because you have liver damage, kidney damage, stomach ulcers.

Renee (15:18)
Right? Dorsal colitis, which is inflammation of the colon. Right? So we’re using an antiinflammatory, but it causes inflammation. That doesn’t make sense, now, does it?

Renee (15:32)
And then it also causes renal papillary necrosis. Stay. What the hell was that? Okay, listen. Renal means kidney.

Renee (15:42)
Papillary is a part of the interior of the kidney. They’re little papillaries. They’re so little cute, cute little projections, like, they’re called Papillo. They’re like little tiny pillows. So we got kidney pillows.

Renee (15:56)
All right? So basically, the interior of the kidney, necrosis. Do you know what necrosis means? Necrosis means rotting. So we’re using an anti inflammatory to stop some pain, but meanwhile, we’re rotting out the kidneys.

Renee (16:17)
These aren’t maybe or if. These happen every time you use them. And so they are said to be safe in short durations. So use them two, three days. They’re safe.

Renee (16:34)
They’re only safe because they only damage the kidneys a little bit, and so the kidney can heal itself. Okay, I just saw a video of this lady who’s I don’t know her personally. It was online. And if I had to guess, she could not have been over 40. Seriously, I thought she was more like 35.

Renee (16:56)
And she was saying something about this. This is why I kind of brought this topic up. She said if I had known what I know now she said because she had your typical aches and pains. I think she did sports when she was younger. She kind of went into it, but I didn’t pay enough attention.

Renee (17:13)
Okay, there you go. I wasn’t paying attention at that point till she said, I now have stage four kidney failure. There’s nothing that can be done, because you know what she took? I don’t remember which one. I’m sorry.

Renee (17:27)
I don’t know if it was ibuprofen, motor, it doesn’t matter. It was one of these anti inflammatories. She took one or three or four. I don’t remember that either, but every day. And she just didn’t think anything of it, because we do see the advertisements, right?

Renee (17:42)
I got some pain. Just pop an ibuprofen, got some pain. Take motrin. You shouldn’t have pain. Don’t be ridiculous.

Renee (17:50)
We don’t allow pain, which actually we need to allow the pain see where the pain is coming from if it doesn’t go away quickly with some cold water and some Harnica. I have a friend who same same type of situation. Same situation where he did softball through college, and he was the catcher. So his knees are shot, and they hurt all the time, and his back hurts, and he just takes about five or six ibuprofen every day. And I just tell him, that’s really not good for you.

Renee (18:31)
And he’s getting all these other problems, and he’s just very much kind of stuck in traditional medicine, and he doesn’t have time to deal with it because he’s working so hard. I’m like, okay, but this lady just said she has stage four kidney failure, and she’s not even 40 because of this stuff. It’s really not good. So if you are kind of gotten into the habit of taking this stuff or giving it to your horse, please try to find a different way. You are welcome to email me if you would like some suggestions on specific things.

Renee (19:08)
But it’s always, always about finding the primary problem, because there’s always other answers, and there’s always herbal answers and homeopathic answers. But get off of these pharmaceutical antiinflammatories. They be bad. All right? All right, well, I hope you enjoyed this story of the refrigerator being dumped on the floor and all the healing powers of the body that create inflammation.

Renee (19:37)
And, yes, we can help with the pain of the inflammation in gentle manners, and then just try to stay away from the pharmaceuticals. I realize there are cases there are cases. There are cases when you just need it for a few days. I understand that there’s always outliers. My podcasts are generally for the majority of cases, there’s always outliers and exceptions.

Renee (20:03)
All right, so just so you know that anti inflammatories are harmful 100% of the time, so then you have the information to make a better choice. Okay, that is all. Also, just thank you very much for those of you who have been sending in your questions and comments. I really appreciate that. So keep them coming.

Renee (20:24)
And and I’ll talk to you guys later. Bye.

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2 Comments on “Podcast Episode 36: Anti-inflammatories and the refrigerator”

  1. This is such an important topic and I’m surprised most people haven’t gotten the message. Pharmaceuticals seem to be the first line of defense which is harmful to horses and people. Thank you so much for this information.

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