Do you suffer from nagging chronic pain such as headaches, neck pain, muscle pain or arthritis? Do you reach for good old ibuprofen to subside the pain? I am sure we all have a bottle in our medicine cabinets. Research is showing, however, that popping a few of the trusty pills may not be a good idea. (1)
Ibuprofen can harm your health – Research says
Ibuprofen may hurt you more than it helps. According to doctors, ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) , can have some serious health risks. The FDA warns that they can increase your chances of heart attack and stroke. The longer you continue taking the drug on a regular basis, the higher your chances of developing a heart condition. If you are over 40, your risks are even higher. (1)
It is not just the FDA and doctors trying to scare you, however. A recent research published in The British Medical Journal has studied 7 million patients. They found that participants taking any form of NSAIDS within the 14 days before the study had a 19% higher chance of developing heart failure. The effects of the heart failure were dependent on the dosage.
The study also found that risk factors also depend on the type of NSAID taken. Ibuprofen specifically has shown a 20% risk of a heart failure.
Out of the 7.6 million people in the study who had been prescribed an NSAID, 92,163 participants landed in a hospital with heart failure. Most of these people were over 77.
Researchers stated that though the study confirmed that ibuprofen and other NSAIDs increase the risk of heart failure, there is still limited information to understand all factors, in particularly regarding dosage. Further studies are recommended to gain more understanding of the subject. (2)
What can you do about inflammation without using ibuprofen?
You don’t have to rely on ibuprofen and other NSAIDs to deal with inflammation and pain. There are natural options available.
Turmeric is one of the best superfood spices you can use instead. Research has shown its effectiveness for inflammation and pain. When you by a turmeric supplement, make sure it has added black pepper which makes it 2,000 times more effective. Besides taking a supplement, you can cook and bake with turmeric and add it to your smoothies. (3, 4, 5, 6)
Ginger is turmeric’s best friend when it comes to natural medicine. Research verifies its effectiveness for pain and inflammation. You can make ginger tea, cook and bake with it, add it to your green juices, smoothies, dips and of course, buy supplements and meal-replacement mixes made with ginger. (7, 8)
Natural Alternatives to Ibuprofen
Eating a generally anti-inflammatory, whole foods and mostly organic diet is the key to health and a pain-free life. Ditch processed foods, processed sugars, sweeteners, additives, and preservatives. Limit animal products. Focus on greens, vegetables, sprouts, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and whole grains.
Along with your healthy diet, focus on an overall healthy lifestyle. Drink lots of water, exercise, get plenty of sleep, avoid stress, meditate, and find ways to relax.
A healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce or eliminate pain, aide healing from health issues, and prevent health problems in the future. You don’t need ibuprofen when you have nature.