Do you regularly take aspirin, acetaminophen or other over the counter pain relievers?? You may want to stop, here’s why.

Over the counter (OTC) pain-relievers or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) are the most over-used non-prescription drug. NSAIDs include aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), Ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Celebrex, et al.). Most people take them at the first sign of a headache or aches and pains in general and typically use more than the recommended dosage, especially if they are in a lot of pain.
The problem is everyone thinks these drugs are safe because they don’t require a prescription and no one reads the warning labels.
Many people who exercise hard take NSAIDs on a regular basis to either mask the pain of an injury so they can keep training or to deal with post-workout pain and soreness. Long-distance runners will typically take them before a race so they can get through the race.
If you are one of those people who take NSAIDs on a regular basis, I urge you to reconsider. Here’s why:

•    All NSAIDs have many side effects, and even occasional use can lead to a host of issues, including bleeding ulcers and other gut problems. Researchers have discovered that NSAIDs can also cause brain issues https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21170329

•    Taking NSAIDs is a leading cause of emergency room visits. Over half of all acute liver failure cases is caused by taking too much acetaminophen. Even when taking the prescribed dosage for more than four consecutive days can cause liver damage! https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15239078

•    Chronic (long-term) use of over 2000mg per day can cause leaky-gut syndrome. Leaky gut happens when the ordinarily tight lining of your intestines loosens and allows food and other substances to leak from the stomach and intestines into the body and bloodstream. Combined with our high grain and generally inflammatory diet, leaky gut is pervasive in our society, but most people have no idea they have it.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24708589

•    Heavy use of NSAIDs and combined with alcohol can also cause kidney problems too, including a higher incidence of kidney cancer. https://apha.confex.com/apha/141am/webprogram/Paper290307.html

•    A current study by the British Medical Journal found a 19% increase in heart failure in those who use NSAIDs. http://www.bmj.com/content/354/bmj.i4857

•    Studies have also seen that NSAIDs can cause extreme allergic reactions and trigger severe asthma attacks! https://www.medicinenet.com/nonsteroidal_antiinflammatory_drugs/article.htm

So what should you take instead of NSAIDs? If you have a chronic injury like back, knee or shoulder pain, you need to find the underlying cause of the pain and address it. Whether that is massage therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic or acupuncture, find a reliable practitioner and get the issue taken care of. It probably won’t be resolved overnight, but you’ll be treating the problem, not the symptoms.

For everyday aches and pains, especially after a tough workout, move. Easy, relaxed movement is a natural joint lubricator and as you move the muscles get warmed up which increase blood flow which in turn reduces pain and speeds healing. By the way, just say NO TO ICE (that’s a topic for another newsletter)

If you need to take a pain reliever try these instead:
•    Curcumin
•    Rhodiola
•    A high-quality fish oil (take 3000 I.U. not the recommended label dosage)
•    Magnesium
•    Epsom Salt (this is a form of magnesium)
•    Potassium (green veggies)
•    Bone Broth (true bone broth has a lot of collagen which is good for your joints and a lot of healthy fats)
•    Boswellia – it works differently than Curcumin so try to take them together
•    Clove Oil
•    CBD Oil – made from hemp it contains no THC. However, it may show up on a drug screen so you may not want to use it if you have a job that requires drug testing

I hope you found this informative.

Have a great day!