Better Natural Pain Relief Than Ibuprofen
Got a headache? Before you reach for that bottle of ibuprofen, there are a few things you should know.
Ibuprofen belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Other members of this class include 2-(4-isobutylphenyl) propionic acid, Advil, Motrin, and many more. These drugs are widely used today to manage pain, fever and inflammation. Many believe that if you can buy over-the-counter medication without a prescription then it must be safe. However, this is not the case. You don’t need an MD degree to know that all medications are toxins. They are not natural to the body and either block or stimulate a normal function.
In the case of ibuprofen, toxicity is not a minor issue. About two thirds of women and one third of men take ibuprofen regularly. In the U.S., over 1000 metric tons of Ibuprofen is consumed every year. Doctors write over 22 million prescriptions, but the majority of ibuprofen is bought over-the-counter without specific instructions on how much to take it, or how long to take it.
Ibuprofen blocks an enzyme that makes prostaglandins in almost all our cells. Prostaglandins are hormones that released into your body when you are injured or sick. These natural chemicals produce the cascade of pain, burning, swelling, redness, and tenderness associated with inflammation. This alerts your body that something is wrong. Prostaglandins heal by increasing the blood flow and are part of the body’s way of dealing with illness. But ibuprofen blocks the production of prostaglandins and prevents blood vessels dilation that cause inflammation and eventually healing.
A concern should rise from the fact that these prostaglandins have many other important jobs within the body, and NSAIDs can block them all. So when we treat our pain, fever, and inflammation, we also negatively affect other critically important functions throughout the body, with the resulting problems.
The problem with using ibuprofen to lower pain is that there are side-effects, or toxicity. The toxic effects of ibuprofen are many and are very common. These include:
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Bleeding stomach ulcers
- Increased blood pressure, or hypertension
- Congestive heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Changes in color vision
- Infertility in men
The Ugly “Black Box Warning”
You definitely do not want the above “side-effects.” But these aren’t even the biggest problems with NSAIDs. The biggest problem with NSAIDs is that they carry black-box warnings.
Cardiovascular Thrombotic Events
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause an increased risk of serious cardiovascular thrombotic events, including myocardial infarction and stroke, which can be fatal. This risk may occur early in treatment and may increase with duration of use. Ibuprofen tablets is contraindicated in the setting of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.
NSAIDs cause an increased risk of serious gastrointestinal adverse events including bleeding, ulceration, and perforation of the stomach or intestines, which can be fatal. These events can occur at any time during use and without warning symptoms. Elderly patients are at greater risk for serious gastrointestinal events.
When a medication is shown to have severe toxicity that can lead to death the FDA requires that it be printed in a black box on the label, so it stands out. The following is required to be on all containers of ibuprofen in the United States:
Yes, a black-box warning is the FDA’s attempt to let you know that you can end up in a coffin or casket if you are unlucky enough to suffer one of a medication’s serious reactions. This all means that tens of millions of people today are at risk of heart attacks, strokes, and GI bleeds from America’s love affair with NSAIDs.
Ironically, ibuprofen inhibits the healing of joints and bones. The scientific literature makes it abundantly clear that NSAIDs have a significant negative effect on cartilage, which causes an acceleration of the deterioration in osteoarthritic joints.People who have arthritis and all sorts of pain start taking ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. This may not be an issue if taken for short periods of time or intermittently, but if taken regularly, ibuprofen prevents healing of bones and joints.
What’s worse, those who take it regularly for joint pain may be inhibiting the repair of the joint leading to joint replacement. In fact, one long-term study showed that those who take ibuprofen are twice as likely to require knee replacement surgery.That’s right, the very thing everyone thinks of the help arthritis is causing the arthritis to progress more rapidly! This is why those of you who have taken NSAIDs for years or decades still have joint pain. Although NSAIDs temporarily help with pain, they actually degenerate your joints; therefore, arthritis sufferers keep taking NSAIDs because the pain persists.
If we take the pain away by blocking the normal pathways, we also take away the healing ability. Pain is a signal that something is wrong. Prostaglandins are needed for healing. If we just block pain, we prevent healing.
Prostaglandins are found in almost every cell of the body. They’re hormones that perform localtasks as needed.
Prostaglandins Protect the Heart
- Prostaglandins dilate blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure and increases blood flow.
- Prostaglandins constrict blood vessels in other cases to prevent internal bleeding.
- Prostaglandins inhibit clotting of the blood in some cases, and form blood clots when a vessel is damaged.
Prostaglandins Help Reproduction
- Prostaglandins help the sperm to get to the egg and fertilize it.
- Prostaglandins assist in normal menstrual flow by triggering the muscles in the uterus to contract.
Prostaglandins Helps Heal and Defend Your Body
- Prostaglandins help the transfer of energy and inflammatory signaling processes. These pathways are vital to initiate a defense response against foreign invaders that enter the body.
- Create pain and inflammation in injured joints and start the healing process.
Prostaglandins Protect the Gut and Help Against Ulcers
- High levels of prostaglandins are found in the gut, which protects the stomach and small intestine from damage.
Prostaglandins Can Calm Allergies
- In addition to their effects on bronchial smooth muscle, prostaglandins may also have an anti-allergic activity that may prove useful in the treatment of asthma.
As you can see, these hormones are not the villains we make them out to be. They are extremely useful on a local and intermittent basis. However, when ibuprofen is used to prevent them from being made, all their normal functions go away as well. While our intention is just to stop the pain in one area, we end up shutting down the whole system all over the body! This is why ibuprofen has so many toxic effects.NSAIDs also do the following:
- Increase cardiovascular problems, like heart attacks, by 40 percent to 60 percent
- Increase the risk of heart failure by 60 percent
- Increase the risk of miscarriage by 80 percent
- Increase the risk of hearing loss up to 20 percent
- Increase the risk allergic reactions in people with asthma by 10 percent to 30 percent
Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen
There are natural ways to relive inflammation and pain that don’t require us to shut down our prostaglandin hormone system.