Last week, I told you about brand new research that has exposed obesity as the most dangerous “pre-existing condition” behind severe coronavirus complications.
But today, I’d like to remind you that obesity was fueling lethal epidemics long before COVID-19 came into the picture. And I’m not talking about the usual suspects—like diabetes, cancer, or heart disease—either.
In fact, two recent studies from public health researchers at Boston University show that obesity has some seriously concerning links to the opioid crisis, too. And that epidemic takes nearly 50,000 American lives every year.
Obesity doubles risk of dependence
The first study was featured in JAMA Open Network and it relied on data collected from more than 60 million patients across the U.S.
Researchers zeroed in on nearly 566,000 of these patients—all between the ages of 34 and 64 as of 2016, and all of whom had a body mass index (BMI) measurement taken that same year. They looked for opioid prescriptions filled in the year before or after this measurement, along with pain-related diagnoses.
And sure enough, they found that—after adjusting for a whole host of relevant factors—overweight and obese patients were more likely to get a prescription for an opioid painkiller. Especially for joint or back pain.
The second study (this one appearing in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) looked at data from nearly 90,000 adults between the ages of 30 and 84 years old—none of whom had ever been prescribed an opioid before the study began.
But over the course of this study, researchers found that higher BMI raised the risk of eventual long-term opioid use dramatically. (Joint pain, back pain, injury, and muscle and nerve pain were the main diagnoses resulting in an opioid prescription.) Overweight patients were nearly 25 percent more likely to use the painkillers… while severely obese patients were more likely by a staggering 158 percent.
Which isn’t the least bit surprising. After all, obesity fuels inflammation. And inflammation is at the root of all types of pain. Meaning the higher your BMI, the more severe your pain has the potential to be. So if you want a real, permanent solution for your paint? Lose the weight. (My A-List Diet has all the fundamental steps to guide you in your weight-lost journey.)
That also doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the pain until you’ve shed those excess pounds. Because there’s a safe, natural, effective alternative to opioids that can offer instant relief. And it’s something I prescribe to my patients regularly…
A “green” alternative for pain relief
Before now, most of the focus on the opioid crisis has been on addressing the ease of access to these dangerous drugs. (For good reason, too—insurance companies and Big Pharma have enabled mass addiction for the sake of profit, and everyone should know it.)
But this new research might actually force us to take a good, hard look at the way Big Food, Big Agribusiness, and Big Soda have had a hand in creating this monster, too. And it could prove to be the prod the powers-that-be need to finally start taking the obesity crisis seriously.
Then again… I’ve learned not to hold my breath when it comes to health policy change. And for now, at least, if you want something done, you’re going to have to do it yourself.
So, you can start by ignoring all the outdated nonsense that passes for “expert” nutrition advice. (The bulk of which is what got us into this mess in the first place.)
But dodging this particular bullet also means opting out of the revolving door that leads to a lifetime dependence on opioid prescriptions… and finding safe, natural alternatives for pain management, instead.
And one of the most powerful options isn’t even a drug at all. It’s a plant—the marijuana plant, to be specific. And it’s legal for medicinal use in most areas of the country at this point.
That said, until its use is legalized federally, you’ll find that not everyone has access to it just yet. But luckily, everyone can get cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the cannabis plant’s chief non-psychoactive components. And it can be quite effective on its own for helping patients manage chronic pain.
Plus, recent research shows it may also be an unlikely ally in your efforts to shed pounds and restore metabolic health. (You can read all about this surprising benefit in the August 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives [CBD: Your metabolism’s new best friend”]. Not a subscriber? Sign up today.)
CBD comes in a variety of delivery systems—from inhalation, to edibles, drops, oils, and capsules. There are even CBD preparations that come in creams you can apply topically.
But most importantly, none of them come with the risk of addiction or death. And if you ask me, that’s reason enough to give one (or all) of them a try. (For more insight, I encourage subscribers to search my site—and my archives.)
“Opioid prescriptions linked to obesity: Over a quarter of long-term opioid prescriptions in the US are attributable to higher BMI, mainly through joint and back disorders.” Science Daily, 04/02/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200402155738.htm)