Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative?

A recent Reuters' article opened with the following stunning sentence:

"Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is 'equally hazardous' in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said."  

The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you may remember, was spurred by the nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths caused by the drug between 1999-2003. Despite the fact that scientific research had accumulated as early as 2000 linking Vioxx to increased heart attacks and strokes, the drug's manufacturer Merck, and the FDA, remained silent as the death toll steadily increased.

The Reuters report focused on new research published in Lancet indicating the risk of heart attack increases as much as a third and the risk of heart failure doubles among heavier users of NSAID drugs.

INFLAMED: Our Default Bodily State

Why are so many folks taking NSAID drugs like ibuprofen anyway?

Pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast becoming default bodily states in the industrialized world. While in most cases we can adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions by altering our diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures, these approaches take time, discipline and energy, and sometimes we just want the pain to stop now. In those often compulsive moments we find ourselves popping an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain.

The problem with this approach is that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves along with the pain...

Ibuprofen really is a perfect example of this. As mentioned above, this petrochemical-derivative has been linked to significantly increased risk of heart attack and increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (when combined with aspirin), with over two dozen serious adverse health effects, including:

  1. Anemia[1]
  2. DNA Damage[2]
  3. Hearing Loss[3]
  4. Hypertension[4]
  5. Influenza Mortality[5]
  6. Miscarriage[6]

Ibuprofen is, in fact, not unique in elevating cardiovascular disease risk and/or mortality. The entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to have this under-recognized dark side; cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality score highest on the list of over 100 unintended adverse health effects associated with their use. See also our analysis of the rarely acknowledged dark side to aspirin: The Evidence Against Aspirin And For Natural Alternatives.

So, what does one do? Pain is pain. Whether it happens to you, or you witness it in another (which can be worse), finding relief is a top priority.

 

Ibuprofen Kills More Than Pain, So What Is The Alternative?

Research on Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

Here is some evidence-based research on alternatives to ibuprofen, sourced from the National Library of Medicine:

  1. Ginger – A 2009 study found that ginger capsules (250 mg, four times daily) were as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea). [7]
  2. Topical Arnica – A 2007 human study found that topical treatment with arnica was as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis, but with lower incidence of side effects.[8]
  3. Combination: Astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba and Vitamin C - A 2011 animal study found this combination to be equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.[9]
  4. Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – A 2003 animal study found that a compound in Chinese skullcap known as baicalin was equipotent to ibuprofen in reducing pain.[10]
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study found that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having less side effects.[11]
  6. Panax Ginseng – A 2008 animal study found that panax ginseng had analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.[12]
  7. St. John's Wort – A 2004 animal study found that St. John's wort was twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.[13]
  8. Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries – A 2001 study cell study found 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 and 2.[14]
  9. Holy Basil – A 2000 study found that holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory activity comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.[15]
  10. Olive Oil (oleocanthal) – a compound found within olive oil known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.[16]

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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

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marijuana helps arthritis



I'm a "retired" Realtime Broadcast Captionist.  While I was still able to work, suffering from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage ten years earlier, I didn't have the opportunity to smoke pot regularly because of my professional commitments, but I knew that I had arthritis in my neck, and I knew that smoking a single joint after my night shift, around 5:00, 6:00 a.m., would ease the pain in my neck.  My health deteriorated, related to the hemorrhage, and I became unable to work any longer.  I surrendered my beautiful little house on a half acre of paradise on a rural lake in Peterborough, Ontario, and moved into another little house my daughter-in-law bought for me so I could keep my precious cats and dogs.  My four cats and two elderly dogs and I have been renting it cheaply for three years.  It's located closer to my youngest son and his dear wife, and their one-year-old baby, in Newmarket, Ontario.

Now unable to work, I went bankrupt.  After earning $3,000 a week for ten years, $1.5 million, I'm surviving on a meager Canada pension, an old RRSP, and help from my family.

My total body arthritis mushroomed here.  I have a ghoul of an assigned doctor, who prescribed 8,000 mg of acetominophen every day, and I weighed 84 pounds.  He later denied the outrageous 8,000 mg, and settled into a 4,000 mg dose, which I'm taking about 2,000 of. 

He prescribed Naproxin, which I quickly replaced with turmeric and circumin.  He prescribed Pfeizer's statins which I took for about a week and saw they devastated my formerly healthy digestive tract, and while singing the praises of statins, he prescribed a different one.  I think I took two, maybe three, pills, and never took another one, and a year later my bowels continue to be a war zone.

I also got eye cataracts, which a fantastic local surgeon repaired with his God-spirit.

Realizing I was on my own with respect to my long-term recovery, I became a heart and soul devotee of GreenMedInfo, after passing from the armies of other "natural health sites" who give you six, eight hours to buy one of their products.  Being in Ontario, it's taken me three years to find another doctor, who my much-loved pharmacist recommended.

I read every word that you publish, and instead of Naproxen I'm taking turmeric and circumin.  Vitamin D3, a growing list of natural remedies.  For Omega-3 I take krill oil, and I'm learning about coconut water, milk, and oil.  You, not Ontario medicine, are keeping me alive, and I continue to read your inspired work.

Thank you for existing.  Thanks also to Cameron, who has helped me to understand the workings of my vexing Bill Gates, a Bilderbergers anchor, computer.

I'm so grateful that you exist.

geothink68@rogers.com

 

 

 

 

 

marijuana helps arthritis



I'm a "retired" Realtime Broadcast Captionist.  While I was still able to work, suffering from a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage ten years earlier, I didn't have the opportunity to smoke pot regularly because of my professional commitments, but I knew that I had arthritis in my neck, and I knew that smoking a single joint after my night shift, around 5:00, 6:00 a.m., would ease the pain in my neck.  My health deteriorated, related to the hemorrhage, and I became unable to work any longer.  I surrendered my beautiful little house on a half acre of paradise on a rural lake in Peterborough, Ontario, and moved into another little house my daughter-in-law bought for me so I could keep my precious cats and dogs.  My four cats and two elderly dogs and I have been renting it cheaply for three years.  It's located closer to my youngest son and his dear wife, and their one-year-old baby, in Newmarket, Ontario.

Now unable to work, I went bankrupt.  After earning $3,000 a week for ten years, $1.5 million, I'm surviving on a meager Canada pension, an old RRSP, and help from my family.

My total body arthritis mushroomed here.  I have a ghoul of an assigned doctor, who prescribed 8,000 mg of acetominophen every day, and I weighed 84 pounds.  He later denied the outrageous 8,000 mg, and settled into a 4,000 mg dose, which I'm taking about 2,000 of. 

He prescribed Naproxin, which I quickly replaced with turmeric and circumin.  He prescribed Pfeizer's statins which I took for about a week and saw they devastated my formerly healthy digestive tract, and while singing the praises of statins, he prescribed a different one.  I think I took two, maybe three, pills, and never took another one, and a year later my bowels continue to be a war zone.

I also got eye cataracts, which a fantastic local surgeon repaired with his God-spirit.

Realizing I was on my own with respect to my long-term recovery, I became a heart and soul devotee of GreenMedInfo, after passing from the armies of other "natural health sites" who give you six, eight hours to buy one of their products.  Being in Ontario, it's taken me three years to find another doctor, who my much-loved pharmacist recommended.

I read every word that you publish, and instead of Naproxen I'm taking turmeric and circumin.  Vitamin D3, a growing list of natural remedies.  For Omega-3 I take krill oil, and I'm learning about coconut water, milk, and oil.  You, not Ontario medicine, are keeping me alive, and I continue to read your inspired work.

Thank you for existing.  Thanks also to Cameron, who has helped me to understand the workings of my vexing Bill Gates, a Bilderbergers anchor, computer.

I'm so grateful that you exist.

geothink68@rogers.com

 

 

 

 

 

Balancing Truth



I absolutely agree that it s better to find the source or cause of pain then just take a pill.  For years, traditional doctors insisted that my near constant upper back, neck and migraine like headaches were just "stress" and prescribed pain killers. They wanted to put me on things like Tylenol 3. I refused.

One bout of bronchitis too many in a two month period finally got an x-ray and MRI that showed pronounced and advanced cervical stenosis. Surgery and massage have almost entirely eliminated that pain. Physical therapy is helping to correct musculoskeletal imbalances from years of nerve impairment, further relieving pain.

However, when I had to have knee surgery to remove an out of control benign cyst (diagnosis: PVNS), all the alternative medicine in the world did not do a thing for the post surgical pain.

Thankfully, I was able to get off them quickly and (drug free two weeks after surgery) and get back on the alternative medicine I normally use to treat PTSD and muscle pain.

It's true that massage and acupuncture do far more to relieve pain and even heal it. However, what so many forget is that for some of us, a bottle of an over-the-counter NSAID will give more pain relief at a $$$ price we can afford than one session with a massage therapist or acupuncturist.

Yes, I know that the cheap price masks the more costly long term health damage but when your body aches to the point where you cannot function but you must because if you do not work you do not get paid, that bottle of NSAIDs can seem like a god send. It isn't enough to tell people that NSAIDs kill. There has to be affordable and readily available alternatives to the NSAIDs to help all people.

Other options for pain



Thanks for you excellent article and the various options given.

Alas, Ibuprofen is available over the counter in Israel for use of all age groups.......!!

 

Inhibition of prostaglandin production



Ibuprofen works well for menstrual cramps because it inhibits prostaglandin production. I didn't see this particular effect listed here. Is there a natural substance that does that?

You forgot marijuana-the oldest pain medicine in existence



The faster medical marijuana is legalized, the more quickly the deaths from chemical drug poisoning can be eliminated.

Patients with endometriosis and PCOS are asked to stay on ibuprofen like pain killers from first menses to last. That is at least ten days a month of continuous large-dosage ibuprofen intake for 35 years (for most women-some have longer cycles). Many women do exactly what the doctors say in regard to this kind of dosing. This does not include all of the other drugs they are on to offset ibuprofen's side effects. They end their lives dying in agony as all of their internal organs fail them due to chemical toxicity.

 

That doesn't mean getting stoned is healthy.



Do a quick search on "marijuana DNA damage" or "marijuana cell damage" or "marijuana lung damage".  Masking pain rather than addressing its cause is still just an escape rather than a solution.  Nothing against pot smoking, it's just not a cure-all or without its own consequences.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090805110741.htm

Medical Marijuana does not mean getting stoned



For some, using marijuana will always mean getting stoned. However, the assumption that all marijuana users indulge until stoned is not true. 

And I did a Google search on "Marijuana lung damage". There are studies of actual users that show that marijuana users actually have better lung function compared to tobacco users and non-smokers.

http://www.marijuana.com/threads/usa-study-smoking-marijuana-not-linked-with-lung-damage.293383/

Doing anything to excess will harm the body. It would be wise before dismissing medical marijuana that a lot of the health warnings are smoke screens intended to persuade the public to keep it illegal. (Pun fully intended)

And for the record, no, I do not smoke anything. I watched too many adults in my family kill themselves with cigarettes before fifty. I know from personal experience that I am allergic to marijuana.

 

pain killers



"When we think of taking an alternative pain-killer to ibuprofen, we are still thinking within the palliative, allopathic medical model: suppress the symptom, and go on about our business. It would behoove us to look deeper into what is causing our pain. And when possible, remove the cause(s)."

It will always be this way because when someone is in pain they want to be out of pain as quickly as possible.  In that regard, people will follow the palliative model brought forth by allopathics.  But once out of pain, they may try to "look deeper" into the pain and it's many possible causes.  Removing the cause, not so much, if it involves changing eating habits.  I, for one, love sourdough bread, raw dairy and potatoes - so I have no intention of eliminating them from my diet.  I don't eat those foods every day (except the dairy) but I still won't be giving them up after almost 60 years of no problems from them.  I probably am the exception, in that I rare;y take or need pain killers, but instead I use massage, acupressure, etc.

 

reply



True we do look to remove the pain as fast as possible. I do think it would be in our best interests to look into it further like you said and, this gives me some ideas! Massage and healthy living alimentation are very good

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