Can I At Least Kvetch?



If you’re not Jewish, this probably is not news. If you’re Jewish, you’re probably skeptical. But it’s in the research. Not only is pain a symptom of problems, it’s also a cause.

If you are a mouse.

But researchers think this might be true of human, too. Previous research found a correlation between chronic pain and shortened lifespans in human. The new research suggests that pain may be the cause, not the result, of pain. If you suffer from pain, you also die young. Oy! Not only that, you get fat. You get fat and dead.

Pain is not a reason to live.

In the current research, mice lacking the pain receptor TRPV1, which responds to environmental stressors, tend to live longer than controls and have metabolisms more typical of younger mice. Overactivation of this receptor was found possibly to contribute to problems in glucose metabolism. This leads to diabetes-type symptoms, including obesity, and to early death.

Mouse pain includes heat and inflammation.

Human pain includes . . . do you have a few minutes?

It may not come as a surprise to you, but researchers have long been looking into ways of suppressing pain in humans. Suppressing TRPV1 in humans leads to the side effect of people ignoring heat sensations and getting burned, so some clinical trials were abandoned. Efforts continue to develop an alternative therapy that can be taken over long periods of time.

There is hope.

Now when you tell your children that “you’re killing me,” there’s research to back up your claim.

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