It wasn’t that long ago when researchers from Ohio State University found that the commonly used pain reliever Acetaminophen caused a previously unknown side effect – it kills positive emotions. In the study, test subjects who took acetaminophen reported feeling fewer strong emotions when they were shown both very pleasant or very disturbing photos when compared to those who took a placebo.
It is also important to note that the use of pain killers (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) has been linked to heart failure. As a matter of fact, a review of 754 clinical trials, published in The Lancet, discovered that pain killers (ibuprofen in particular) have been estimated to be a contributing factor in the deaths of thousands of people every year.
According to the leading researchers, long-term use of these drugs caused thousands of heart attacks as well as sudden cardiac deaths in the period between 1999 and 2003. In this case, the drug Vioxx was singled out due to its potential dangers.
These drugs belong to the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and they are associated with potentially devastating side effects. Just in the United States, every single year about 100,000 people who take NSAIDs are hospitalized, and approximately 15,000 of them die.
NSAIDs have been linked to a 40 to 60 percent increase in cardiovascular problems compared to non-users, as well as heart failure, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal complications, hearing loss, etc. It has been estimated that about 60 million U.S citizens are taking NSAIDs, with Ibuprofen being one of the most common.
What you can use instead
While NSAIDs, such as Ibuprofen, may be a quick-fix-solution to soothe pain, they don’t fix the root cause of the pain and inflammation. Instead, they mask the symptoms and allow your body to get more inflamed, instead of providing a long-term cure and solution.
People who suffer from chronic pain can safely consider taking low dosage when the pain is too much to handle. However, lifestyle changes should be taken into account as well to fight the root cause and naturally decrease inflammation levels. Depending on the severity of your pain, some of the below alternatives might help you avoid reaching for a pain killer.
1. Ginger: According to one 2009 study, ginger capsules (250 mg, 4 times daily) were as effective as the drugs ibuprofen and mefenamic acid for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea).
2. Topical Arnica: One 2007 human study compared the effectiveness of arnica cream with ibuprofen and found that topical treatment with arnica was as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis, but with a lower incidence of side effects.
3. Combination: Astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba, and Vitamin C: According to a 2011 animal study, this combination to be equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.
4. Chinese Skullcap (baicalin): One 2003 animal study discovered that a compound in Chinese skullcap known as baicalin was equipotent to ibuprofen in lowering pain.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study discovered that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 milligrams daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in decreasing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having fewer side effects.
6. Panax Ginseng: A 2008 animal study discovered that Panax ginseng had anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity similar to ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.
7. St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort has been proven to be effective for treating pain in animal models as early as 2004. In fact, one study found that St. John’s wort was twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.
8. Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries: A 2001 study discovered that anthrocyanins extracted from raspberries and sweet cherries were as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and 2 (COX-2).
9. Holy Basil: A 2000 study discovered that holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory properties comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
10. Olive oil (oleocanthal): A compound discovered within olive oil known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.
Source: greenmedinfo, collective-evolution
The Mazatlan Post