The movie "Anger Management" made fun of Adam Sandler's character, Dave, for getting sentenced to anger-management classes - a good premise for a slapstick comedy, but in real life, repeated, uncontrolled outbursts of rage become an emotional and physical hazard to the person experiencing the flares of anger and to others around him or her.
While behavioral therapy can help people learn to redirect or dispel their impulsive emotions and actions, it doesn't really identify the underlying cause (it's not always your mother!).
Now doctors may be a step closer to finding out why stresses and frustrations (perceived or imagined) make one person "blow up," but don't push those buttons in someone else.
Folks who are overwhelmed by explosive anger and rage - a condition psychotherapists call intermittent explosive disorder - also suffer from bodywide inflammation. By studying IED's relationship to the inflammation markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, scientists discovered that if you're enraged, your body (including your brain and nervous system) is inflamed!
And they're trying to figure out if reducing inflammation in a person's body (not as simple as taking an ibuprofen) can quell anger and make it less likely to flare up.
So if you're blowing your stack a little too often, we say eliminate that stack of pancakes from your breakfast menu (and anything else with added sugar, syrup or grains that aren't 100 percent whole).
Enjoy salmon, ocean trout and healthy fats (unsaturated); they soothe inflammation. And reduce stress (very inflammatory) with daily meditation. Try mindfulness, progressive relaxation or breathing exercises. Cooler heads will prevail!
© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
© King Features Syndicate