What Happens To Your Body When You Take NSAID's?
The Hidden Dangers Of Taking NSAID's
Over 30 million people in the U.S find NSAID's effective in alleviating headaches, arthritis pain, menstrual pain, fevers, joint and muscle pain, and all inflammation types. Chronic pain is detrimental to having a productive life, and must be dealt with immediately. However, most people heavily rely on NSAID's without considering or completely unaware of the numerous potential dangers of using these medications, even if they might seem the sole best treatment option.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, well-known as NSAIDs- including ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, etoricoxib, Motrin, Bextra, Naproxen, Celebrex aspirin, and much more are the most widely used drugs globally as pain relievers, to alleviate fever symptoms and inflammations. Since inflammation is responsible for most back pain conditions, by reducing inflammation is very helpful to alleviate the pain. Most of the individuals that use NSAIDs perceive them to being innocuous, which might not be the case considering the many threats they pose to your health.
How NSAID's Function
Typically, NSAIDs perform by inhibiting production of prostaglandins, which are responsible for vital cellular functions in the body. They facilitate clotting of blood, fever alleviation, as well as many other bodily functions, such as protecting the lining of the stomach from the digestive acids.
Conventional NSAIDs work by inhibiting two enzymes, which are responsible for the production of prostaglandins- COX-1 and COX-2. Besides prostaglandins production, COX-1 protects the stomach lining, and COX-2 is responsible for alleviating pain and inflammation. Newer versions of NSAID's such as celecoxib inhibit just the COX-2, which renders it more likely to result in stomach lining damage.
The Untold Side Effects Of NSAID's
NSAIDs available on the market include over-the-counter versions such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), as well as prescription types, for instance, celecoxib (Celebrex). Most can lead to developing chronic diseases, especially when consumed in high doses.
NSAIDS & Heart attack and stroke
Using NSAID drugs has been associated with potential damage to the cardiovascular system, which may increase the risks of heart attacks and strokes. According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the risks have increased from 10 percent to over 50 percent for severe cardiovascular cases, which are way higher than it was earlier thought. Moreover, increased risk of heart attack and stroke from prescription and over-the-counter NSAIDs is faced even by individuals devoid of any heart disease case in the past. Additionally, these drugs have been found to increase blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension.
NSAID's Interaction with antidepressants
Numerous studies have reported some NSAIDs, mainly ibuprofen varieties such as Advil or Motrin, render certain antidepressants less effective. Antidepressants such as Prozac, Lexapro and Paxil may be less effective when used with NSAIDs.
In a study done on antidepressant users, reported that individuals that combined with NSAIDs to being more resistant to antidepressant medication. The analysis demonstrated that 45 percent of antidepressant users who used NSAIDs responded to the treatment, against 55 percent of those individuals who never used NSAIDs.
NSAID's & Liver damage
NSAIDs present a greater risk of liver damage for most patients, particularly those who consume them regularly. However, this may not be the case for occasional users.
Patients suffering from hepatitis, cirrhosis, or who have previously had kidney disorder are at an increased risk of toxicity to the liver, which could eventually lead to permanent damage. On the other hand, that without liver problems, the risk of liver injury is much less.
NSAID's & Ulcers
Some NSAIDs, especially aspirin or ibuprofen, are direct causes of ulcers in the stomach and the small intestine. The risk of developing complications in the stomach or small intestines in NSAID users is almost four times great compared to non-users as stated by a 2010 Oxford journal Rheumatology safety review. Also, those suffering from ulcers or have sensitive stomachs are recommended not to use NSAIDs since they have a greater risk of having gastrointestinal tract bleeding.
NSAID's & Pregnancy issues
NSAID usage among pregnant women may pose significant threats who to the health of both the mother and the foetus. According to a study performed by Anick Bérard, women who use any kind of non-aspirin NSAID during early pregnancy stages experienced a 2.4 times higher risk of having a miscarriage compared to women that don't use the medications.
OTC non-aspirin NSAIDs, such as diclofenac, naproxen, and celecoxib inhibit the production of prostaglandins that is vital for successful implantation of the embryo in the womb. Additionally, NSAIDs use has also been linked to heart conditions in the baby, low amniotic fluid, as well as prolonged labor.
According to an article published in Rheumatology claims that use of NSAIDs may almost double the chances of getting venous thromboembolism (VTE), comprising pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep venous thrombosis (DVT).
A recent study concludes that NSAIDs can increase the risk of developing venous thromboembolism by a staggering 80 percent, which can result in pulmonary embolisms (PE). The chance of succumbing to a blood clot lodging in the lungs is 8 to 10 percent in 30 days. The symptoms may include breath shortness, coughing, or chest pains, which may call for immediate medical attention.
Natural Replacements For NSAID's
Most NSAIDs are sold as OTC pills since there is a reduced risk of developing chronic side effects when taken as prescribed. However, regular use of any painkiller increases the risk of side effects that may even result in many chronic diseases.
Fortunately, you don't have to use NSAIDs medication to cure that severe joint pain. The following is a detailed list of some of the natural supplements that can reduce your pain with practically no side effects.
Hot peppers and ginger
Hot peppers and ginger include natural anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in pain relief especially in the joints. The active ingredient in hot peppers and ginger extracts has been found to be more effective than over-the-counter painkillers.
Turmeric includes an active ingredient known as curcumin, which is highly anti-inflammatory and helpful for joint pain relief. As a pain reliever, curcumin blocks "substance P" found in the nervous system, which is responsible for signaling the brain's pain receptors. And as an anit-inflammation drug it dramatically reduces inflammations by inhibiting proteins that cause inflammation. ( more on turmeric and its powerful health benefits)
This is an herb grown in South Africa that contains an active ingredient known as harpagoside, which has properties effective for managing lower back pain and arthritis. It has little or no side effects if taken at a therapeutic dose for a short period; however, pregnant women are not recommended to use while those suffering from gallstones, stomach or intestinal ulcers are advised to use at a low dosage.
You may also consider using certain essential oils to manage the pain. Most essential oils include ingredients that may help you manage pain and stiffness. You may as well rub the oil such as olive or almond oil into your skin to reduce inflammation and enhance blood circulation.
In sum, by ensuring that you have a diet high in antioxidant-rich veggies and fruits as well as doing away with detrimental processed foods may help you greatly in fighting the pain and inflammation. Eventually, even though this type of treatment may not act as fast as taking a pill, giving it a try first is certainly safer, and beneficial to your overall health and quality of life.