We live in an age where drugs have become the answer to so many ailments of the body. Not only are they easy to get from almost any prescribing doctor, but over-the-counter medications are sometimes popped like breath mints for chronic pain, inflammation, headaches, muscle aches, fever, menstrual cramps, joint pain, and everything in between.
It’s become so normal to pop pills that we don’t read labels anymore, or consider what the proper dosages are. Every drug, whether obtained from a doctor’s prescription or not, comes with dose recommendations and guidelines on maximum length of time to take. Why? Because they can be dangerous, not only at dosages that vary from those suggested, but when taken for extended periods of time.
Seems that we don’t bat an eyelash at taking over-the-counter or prescribed medicine at higher dosages and for longer stretches than suggested when one has chronic pain. That’s concerning.
We have compiled some valuable data about these products, how serious the consequences can be if taken, and some natural alternatives.
NSAID’s (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are the painkillers used to treat everything from headaches, muscle aches, injuries, and arthritis. They can be prescribed or obtained over-the-counter, and, if taken incorrectly, be a dangerous liability to one’s health. The potentially deadly consequences of these drugs especially effect the elderly. In the USA alone, approximately 100,000 people are hospitalized every year due to side effects of these drugs, and about 15,000 people die from them.
NSAID’s are used by 60 million Americans with the following statistics reported:
- 40-60% increased risk of cardiovascular problems
- 25% of 27,000 men surveyed were diagnosed with hearing loss
- 60% had increased risk of congenital heart failure, with an increased risk of heart attack
- 80% greater risk of miscarriage
- 10-30% increased risk of allergic reaction for those with Asthma
- Gastrointestinal (GI) complications, including internal bleeding, abdominal pain, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, with 7,000 hospitalized each year in the US for these complications
If you knew of natural alternatives that would address your ailments, would you consider making a different choice, realizing that taking these medicines just aren’t worth the risk?
The most common anti-inflammatory medications are Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Aspirin, but the generic versions can’t be overlooked. Voltaren and Celebrex are the most common prescription antiinflammatory drugs. Understanding the medical names, brand names and generic names is imperative in making sure you are fully aware of exactly what you might ingest, for what, and in what amount.
Speaking of warnings, even the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released warnings in 2004 that NSAIDS such as Celebrex, as well as Aleve, Ibuprofen, and aspirin can potentially lead to cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney problems, increased blood pressure and greater risk of miscarriage.
We need to be educated on what we are putting into our bodies, for the sole purpose of being as healthy as we can for as long as we can. Eating healthy, natural, organic foods is a no-brainer. Taking supplements to help fill in the gaps, is also pretty logical. But, we have, unfortunately, gotten into a state of trust with medicines to “fix the problem”, and we’ve stopped looking or questioning if the food we buy is healthy for our bodies, or if taking drugs is really the best solution. Have we forgotten that there are natural ways to deal with aches, pains, and discomfort? There was a time when we didn’t have the drugs we have today. Could it be that pain-relieving drugs have been only a small band-aid on the problem, and more and more drugs were created because the earlier drugs didn’t address the issues fully, as we assumed? We don’t claim to know the answer to that question, but think it’s worth a look.
It behooves us to take our own health into our own hands, to look at labels, search for alternatives and decide what we feel is best for us, not blindly listening to what someone else says. If you are experiencing pain, before you pop a NSAID, try some of these drug-free avenues. You may be surprised. At the very least, you will be one step closer to taking care of your body as nature intended.
- Vitamin D – taking a supplement or getting some natural sunlight each day can help reduce pain.
- Omega-3 – Eating fatty fish or taking an Omega-3 supplement will reduce inflammation.
- Eliminate Grains, Sugars or other foods that cause inflammation. Processed foods, lunch meats,
soft drinks or other syrupy drinks or foods, dairy and gluten also cause inflammation and are
best eliminated, or at the very least, cut back on.
- Eat inflammation-eliminating foods such as nuts, avocado, spinach, tart cherries, olive oil,
orange veggies and fruits, pineapple, onions, and turmeric, ginger, and garlic.
- Find natural ways to handle stress, such as chiropractic adjustments, massage, deep breathing,
muscle relaxation exercise, or stretching the muscles regularly. Also, taking breaks from stresscausing situations will allow your body to stay alert and to heal itself, naturally.
- Take a walk, barefoot. Getting some fresh air, looking around, and getting the benefits of
receiving electrons directly from the earth (known as grounding) will provide antioxidant effects,
and a little exercise will improve your mood.
- Other natural alternatives include: curcumin, bromelain, evening primrose, or cayenne cream.
There may be an individually specific recipe for the combination of natural methods to deal with the specific pain you are experiencing. We want to see an increase in healthy and energetic people; more vitality as one ages, not the opposite. We want to see NSAID statistics and consequences decrease until no one is using them at all.
Call us today. We are happy to help you with your pain, without the use of drugs.
Dr. Dana Ballerini
1442 Irvine Blvd, Suite 101
Tustin, CA 92780