Think twice before reaching for that “harmless” OTC pain killer!

We’ve seen this all too often haven’t we?  Many of us are likely guilty of doing it.  We have a headache and reach for the Exedrin.  We have a backache and reach for the Aleve.  We have a fever and reach for the Tylenol.  We are hung over and reach for the Advil.  Maybe a little more for our arthritis and other joint pains.  Oh, and let’s not forget that they help relieve soreness after a tough workout!

We pop them like candy.

In a world where a premium is placed on total comfort and numbing pain, pharmaceutical companies have led us to believe that these “harmless” over the counter NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) are the answer to all of our problems and are totally safe to use.  They run commercial after commercial showing people with huge smiles talking about how the usage of this or that NSAID allows them to live life to the fullest.  To make matters worse, pharma companies have also convinced our doctors to recommend NSAID usage to patients who experience pain (a brilliant move, since everyone tends to trust their doctors).

But are NSAIDs really safe?  Moreover, do they really do what they purport to do (reduce inflammation)?  As it turns out, no…not so much!

Chronic and even casual usage of NSAIDs contribute to increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut.  Why does that matter?  Because leaky gut allows undigested food, toxins, bacteria, mold, and even feces into your bloodstream and is a prominent cause of inflammation in your body.  Leaky gut is also directly linked to autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, MS, crohns, eczema, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.  It’s also associated with NAFLD (Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease),  as well as allergies and food sensitivities to commonly eaten and usually benign foods like chicken, beef, or certain vegetables.

This study shows that increased intestinal permeability is a PRECURSOR to type 1 diabetes, lending credence to the postulation that type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition.

This study shows leaky gut is associated with kidney damage.

Finally, here is a study that shows leaky gut is linked to MOF (Multiple Organ Failure).

Do I have your attention yet?

While NSAIDs are efficient at short-term relief of inflammation and pain, consistent usage of them actually INCREASES inflammation in your body, damages your intestinal tract, compromises your immune system, makes you more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, and allergies.  Below are several studies that confirm this:

This study found that NSAIDs “disrupt intestinal barrier function” (aka cause leaky gut)

This study concluded that NSAIDs usage is “associated with significant morbidity and occasionally mortality”

This study confirms that NSAIDs actually cause INCREASED inflammation in your body.  One of the many paradoxes of modern medicine.

Another study confirming that NSAIDs cause leaky gut.

This study shows that NSAIDs, which are commonly taken to alleviate the pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis, actually make RA conditions WORSEN.

So what’s the takeaway here?  

  • Avoid pain killers like the plague.
  • Use other natural ways to alleviate inflammation and pain such as taking turmeric, quercetin, and ashwagandha supplements.
  • Consider eating a more anti-inflammatory diet.
  • Drink plenty of fresh, clean water every day.
  • Most importantly, move away from the habit of “masking” your pain and inflammation with the usage of NSAIDs.  Start thinking about finding the root causes of your pain and inflammation and work to correct those.  If you are interested in getting to the root of your pain to eliminate it you can schedule a free 20 minute consultation with me to discuss.

Do you know anyone who pops NSAIDs like candy?  If so, please pass this article on to them.  You may well just save a life!

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the comments section below!

Rick Gold

Rick Gold, Functional Wellness Practitioner
Gold Functional Wellness, Inc.

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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of the author, unless otherwise noted.  The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of the author.  Rick is not a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician and he does not claim to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.

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