4 REASONS YOU SHOULD RECONSIDER NSAIDS

Do you have arthritis and you’ve been told by your physician that you should be taking some kind of anti-inflammatory and/or pain medications? You’ve maybe settled on Ibuprofen, or perhaps you have tried some prescription medications. Well, let’s talk about why we may want to reconsider.

Let’s start by saying that osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition. It is important to recognize all the potentially inflammatory triggers that could be impacting your pain and function: food, bugs, toxins, trauma (both physical and emotional), and hormone dysfunction. Let’s not forget the movement compensations over many years that are also contributing to your painful patterns. It is not simply that you have poor genetics, or you played football when you’re younger, or you hurt your knee many years ago. Those may play into it but they are definitely not the only driver and you do not need to be debilitated by your pain and function. There are many negative side effects of NSAIDs.

1. Impacts the GI System

It can significantly impact your GI system. It can affect the lining of the GI system, even in the stomach, and can contribute to GI bleeds. Now let’s remember that 70 percent of your immune system is in your gut. If you are negatively impacting your gut lining by taking NSAIDs regularly, then you are impacting your ability to regulate inflammation. Remember, osteoarthritis is inflammatory.

2. Linked to Heart Issues

NSAIDs have been linked to more heart attacks, strokes, and other heart-related conditions.

3. Affects Kidneys

It can impact your kidneys and the blood flow to the kidneys.

4. Decreases Pain Threshold

Your pain threshold is lower. So, what may have just been a little bit of pain, such as a one or two out of 10 is now a five or six. This is because you cannot manage or process pain as you could before with chronic NSAID use.

This goes without saying but physical therapists are the best way to improve your overall function, decrease pain, and help you to do exactly what you want to do. Please reach out to us we would love to help you. Also focusing on things like breathing, yoga, meditation, all of the things have been shown to help with being able to manage pain more effectively.

I know that you think I might suggest ice or heat, but we’re going to ditch those. Neither one of them is going to have a positive or therapeutic impact on your arthritis. It may feel good, but it is not doing anything to help. When you’re using ice it’s decreasing blood flow to the area creating vasoconstriction, so it does not decrease inflammation despite what people think. Also, heat can potentially bring a little bit of blood flow to the area, but it’s such superficial heat that it’s very minimal. Although it might feel good once again it is not necessarily doing anything to improve your function. You want to try to move as much as possible because that has been shown over and over again through research that is the most effective treatment for arthritis.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule a FREE 15 minute virtual consultation.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

What do NSAIDs do to your gut?

Are you a person that takes Advil or Aleve for any common cold symptoms, aches or pains, or headaches that you experience? If you do, you are like most Americans. These are some of the most widely taken drugs in America. In fact, we have 16,000 deaths per year just from non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

In case you’re wondering what falls into this category, here’s a list of common NSAIDs:

  • Advil / Motrin (ibuprofen)
  • Aspirin
  • Aleve (naproxen sodium)
  • Celebrex
  • Naprosyn (naproxen)
  • Lodine (etodolac)
  • Mobic
  • Nalfon (fenoprofen)
  • Daypro (oxaprozin)
  • Ansaid (flurbiprofen)
  • Cambia / Cataflam / Voltaren (diclofenac)
  • COX-2 Inhibitors

Impact of NSAIDs

Not only do we have 16,000 deaths a year, but we also have well-recognized side effects that sometimes people ignore—damage to your gut lining. According to a study done by the National Institute of Health (NIH), all of the conventional NSAIDs were shown to affect small intestinal inflammation. This is one of the common findings with NSAID use, especially chronic NSAID use. It is affecting the integrity of the gut mucosa. This can contribute to a condition called leaky gut, or intestinal permeability.

Leaky Gut

Leaky gut or intestinal permeability allows undigested food particles, viruses, and pathogens to enter the bloodstream, which in turn causes an immune reaction and inflammation in our body. This can again contribute to many different symptoms from headaches to digestive issues to chronic pain, and so on. In addition to damaging the gut lining, it can also exacerbate symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease and can contribute to colitis which can resemble inflammatory bowel disease. Older individuals are at higher risk, but it can affect anyone.

But, is Tylenol okay?

Although current guidelines suggest taking no more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen daily, a study published in 2006 by the American Medical Association, stated that this dose for four or more days frequently causes elevated ALT, a liver enzyme, and marker for injury. This continued even after it was discontinued.

There are a 3.7 times increased risk of bleeding in the upper GI tract with chronic consumption of acetaminophen of doses greater than 2000 milligrams. Overdose of this can also continue to leaky gut. Lastly, it can deplete one of your master antioxidants, glutathione.

Summary

Figure out why you’re having pain, headaches, or any other symptoms. I would recommend seeking out a rehabilitation professional, functional medicine practitioner, or dietitian to determine why you’re having headaches, chronic pain, or chronic sickness. This will help you address the root of the problem, the chronic injury cycle, and the chronic medical cycle that you’re going through, so that you don’t need to mask it with something that is negatively impacting your gut health, i.e. your immune health. Remember, 70 to 80 percent of our immune system is in your gut, so every time you take an NSAID, you can be impacting your immune system and your ability to regulate your mood and emotions. Ninety percent of our serotonin, “our feel-good neurotransmitter” is in our gut.

So, next time you want to take an NSAID think about all this information and how it could make your health worse, not better. You might feel better in that moment, but overtime it can take a huge toll on your body. There are many other options to getting yourself back to a pain-free, healthy life.

Are you ready to feel great again? Reach out to schedule an evaluation.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Other things that may interest you:

Understanding Your Pain

What Should You Eat For Chronic Pain? | Nutrition for Chronic Pain

How to Burn More Calories During Your Day | NEAT