Natural alternatives to drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen
by Charles Poliquin
Here’s an interesting fact: The body doesn’t like doing things that cause pain. If it hurts a golfer’s lower back to stretch into a full backswing, their body will instinctively find ways to alter its biomechanics to prevent experiencing that pain again – even if it results in a few extra strokes on the scorecard. To resolve this crisis and maintain their game, golfers and other athletes will often turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Likewise, other athletes have turned to NSAIDs to deal with pain and inflammation that often is associated with playing sports at an elite or even recreational level. There’s more.
Pain and inflammation are associated with many common activities, such as headaches, arthritis and menstrual problems – and consider that on any given day, an estimated 20 percent of Americans suffer from back pain. As such, an estimated 30 million Americans take over-the-counter drugs daily to deal with pain and inflammation. This is not a good thing, as there are many consequences from using these drugs, especially if taken regularly. Let’s begin.
In 1999 The New England Journal of Medicine published a report that extrapolated that the deaths per year from NSAIDs are 16,500 – that’s per year – just from the gastrointestinal side effects. That was over a decade ago! And the FDA reported that in the first three months of 2008, there were over 2,700 deaths from NSAIDs. Even one dose has its risks. According to a 2009 report in the Annals of Medicine, complications can occur from taking anti-inflammatory drugs and the risk is “is present from the first dose.” Side effects include liver problems, stomach upset, blood disorders, vision problems…well, you get the idea. That’s bad news.