I’m willing to bet you’ve taken ibuprofen at some point. Many folks have swallowed those innocent looking pills hundreds and maybe even thousands of times in their life.
After all, it IS one of the most commonly used medications in the United States. And this NSAIDs “cure all” reputation for relieving all kinds of pains from headaches to muscle aches makes it easy to see why it’s so popular.
Heck, I’ll admit I’ve even taken ibuprofen myself many times – BEFORE I knew the truth.
There was a time I thought ibuprofen was safe. And like millions of other Americans I used it on occasion for everything from common everyday aches and pains to toothaches to fever.
One day I sealed my remaining stash of ibuprofen in a Ziplock bag and dumped it into a drug-disposal bin at the pharmacy. My only regret is having to sacrifice the bag.
3 ways ibuprofen can HURT or even KILL
I made the switch to safer options. And I’ll let you in on the secret in a moment.
First, let me give you the reasons I tossed about $20 worth of pain pills into the pharmacy bin that day.
1. Internal bleeding: The early hype about ibuprofen was that it would be far safer for your GI tract than other meds.
Well, not so fast. Too much ibuprofen CAN trigger internal bleeding. And it’s VERY EASY to accidently take WAY too much. For a few reasons.
First, there are the high-dose prescription versions.
Second, in the age of the Internet, it’s not hard to figure out how many “normal” pills equal a prescription dose. That leads some folks to dangerously “prescribe” it for themselves by taking multiple pills.
And then there are multi-ingredient products that include ibuprofen in the mix, but it isn’t always obvious it’s in there. So it’s easy to see how accidently combining products containing the NSAID can happen sending you over the “safe” limit.
This is a risk with other pain pills, too, leading to 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths due to internal bleeding from NSAIDs every single year.
According to a report released by the American Gastroenterological Association, a study found folks taking high doses of the drug were 3.5 times as likely to experience internal bleeding as those receiving a placebo. And even worse, the bleeding started quickly… after only three days of usage.
2. Kidney damage: Over time, too much ibuprofen can ALSO damage your kidneys.
Ibuprofen works by blocking both your COX-I and COX-II enzymes, which play an essential role in the way your kidneys work.
Messing with those enzymes could be like a punch right to the kidneys. And you can face water retention, rising blood pressure, and difficulty processing essential minerals such as sodium and potassium.
In the worst cases, it can add up to acute renal failure with kidneys quitting altogether.
3. Heart dangers: Damage to the heart is the biggest risk of all in every sense. But the worst part about it is you won’t even know it’s happening. Well, until it’s too late.
Unlike the bleeding risk, which can send you right to the hospital… hopefully in time for treatment… the heart damage happens quietly, over time, in the background.
The first and only warning sign could be the BIG one. And that, of course, is a heart attack or stroke.
Since it can happen even in folks with NO previous heart issues, you (and your doctors) might not even blame the drug. But the truth is ibuprofen could have contributed to your heart issues, even if you are only an occasional user.
Even the FDA admits, “There is no period of use shown to be without risk.”
The solution, of course, is to avoid ibuprofen. But that’s not much of a solution when you’re in pain.
That’s why I encourage you to try natural anti-inflammatories instead. Capsaicin, green tea, and – my favorite – curcumin (I use it for knee pain myself) are all effective NSAID alternatives that don’t come with dangerous ibuprofen side effects.
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