Every day, millions of people around the globe reach for seemingly innocent pain medications to relieve headaches and backaches as well as the pain and inflammation of arthritis. Are these drugs really safe? If not, is a better alternative on the market?
Science has known for some time that ibuprofen and naproxen, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), harm the protective lining of the stomach and intestines. In recent years, this class of drugs has also been found to increase the risk of heart attack and stroke dramatically. In addition, research shows they skyrocket the risk of death from any cause. The drugs have been presumed harmless for many years, but now their serious safety issues have come to light.
Is Celebrex Safe?
A NSAID subclass called COX-2 inhibitors, medications also used for pain and inflammation, are gentler on the stomach; but this advantage comes at a price. Two of them were removed from the market because they, too, were found to pose a pronounced cardiovascular risk. This action left celecoxib or Celebrex on the market, so the FDA asked Pfizer, the manufacturer, to fund another study to ascertain the effect on the heart. The conclusion was that Celebrex causes no greater heart risk than ibuprofen or naproxen, which seems to give the impression of relative safety. But is it?
Live in the Now presented the question to integrative physician Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum. “No, it is not safe. The industry-funded study showed Celebrex is mildly less likely to kill you than ibuprofen, but it is still deadly. Natural remedies are on the market that are as effective in relieving pain as these dangerous drugs, but they present no risk to life. Conversely, they actually prolong life,” he said. “For example, in a head on study with Celebrex, a special herbal mix called Curamin was more effective than the drug and has numerous side benefits instead of side effects.”
“Glucosamine is another supplement that shows promise for alleviating arthritis. A study found it was associated with a 17 percent lower risk of death compared to a placebo,” Teitelbaum adds.
Is Tylenol Safe?
Tylenol, or acetaminophen, has long been called the doctor’s choice for pain relief. Once again, any perceived safety is an illusion. Due to its severe liver toxicity, it sends 56,000 people to the emergency room each year. As acetaminophen is contained in more than 600 medications, people often inadvertently consume it in doses larger than the maximum recommended amount. Consequently, accidental overdoses lead to 150 deaths annually. According to natural health practitioner Dr. Joseph Mercola, the drug can cause liver toxicity even when taken at recommended doses for two weeks.
Natural Pain Relief
While the health hazards associated with pain medications are very substantial, you don’t have to suffer. As Teitelbaum noted, natural remedies are available that prolong life rather than put it at risk. Here are two options:
- Curcumin: A 2004 study published in the journal Oncogene found curcumin was an effective alternative to ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin and celecoxib for inflammation. Moreover, a 2014 study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging determined curcumin worked as well as ibuprofen for relieving arthritis of the knee.
- Mangosteen: A number of laboratory and animal studies in addition to a few small-scale human studies suggest mangosteen has anti-inflammatory properties. Although this research appears promising, doctors say it’s too soon to ascertain the role of the fruit in treating arthritis. However, Dr. Frederic Templeman, considered the world’s foremost expert on mangosteen, has used it successfully to treat arthritis along with muscle and joint pain unrelated to arthritis.
Curcumin and mangosteen don’t have a downside and they come with a host of positive health effects. As all pain medications take quite a toll on health, we encourage you to try these natural alternatives.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.