Everybody’s heard the growing hype around cannabidiol and medicinal marijuana. Whilst the hype often and untruthfully makes them out to be some form of medical panacea, there is strong evidence to demonstrate their effectiveness in pain and inflammation.
Any person in Australia who has tried to access either of these products through correct channels will testify to the hurdles and barriers to obtaining it. In fact, most doctors who try and access these treatments for their patients will probably agree with this.
However, there is an alternative that has been around for at least 40 years. It has minimal side effects, doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, is efficacious and works in many similar ways to the cannabinoids. However, it is not technically a cannabinoid.
PEA or Palmitoylethanolamide (for short) is a substance that occurs naturally in low levels in your body and in foods that you eat. It is found, for example, in egg yolks and soybeans.
It’s a fatty acid amide, a class of chemicals that are natural components of the membranes of your body’s cells. It is an active component, however, playing an inhibitory role against the body’s pain and inflammatory processes.
Research suggests that in conditions of chronic pain and inflammation, PEA levels may be reduced and unable to carry out their normal function. Supplementation of PEA (at levels much higher than those found in foods) overcomes this shortfall, often improving pain and inflammation.
In recent years, pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown PEA to be potentially useful in a wide range of therapeutic areas, including:
- Pain and chronic pain (e.g., back/neck pain, sciatic pain, neuralgia, radiculopathy, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), or chemotherapy-induced pain)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Diabetic neuropathy and retinopathy
- Eczema (when applied to the affected region as a cream)
- Neurodegenerative disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis)
(Click on the links to read selected clinical studies and reviews of studies)
It is important to note that PEA is a relatively new therapy, and we don’t yet know if it is equally effective in all conditions and pain states. As a result, it is recommended that it
be first taken in combination with one’s existing medications, to reduce their dosages, to reduce their unpleasant side effects, or to reduce or prevent breakthrough episodes. If sufficiently effective, it could then be tried as a primary treatment.
In all the studies undertaken by scientists so far, PEA has been found to be remarkably free of side effects—even at relatively high doses.
Although PEA is available for purchase without a prescription, we highly recommend that you consult with your doctor before taking it.
PEA is available from Border Compounding Pharmacy.
Please contact us to discuss PEA and to learn more about how we can help you.