If there’s one thing that has the power to bring Americans together, it’s got to be pain. It’s a universal experience. We ALL have to deal with it from time to time.
That’s why over-the-counter painkillers are some of the best-selling items in any drug store. In fact, some folks won’t leave home without a few Tylenol or Advil stashed in their bag or wallet just in case an ache or pain pops up.
Maybe that even describes you.
And the potential side effects or risk for long-term dangers? Sure, you know all about them. After all, I’ve been sure to keep you in the know over the years.
But you need pain relief NOW. So if you’re like a lot of folks, you’ve chosen to worry about all that later.
Well, my friend, it’s officially time to stop waiting for later. Because a pair of new studies reveal even more disturbing problems linked to common pain pills. It turns out they’re far riskier than you might think.
Fortunately, I’ve also got some options to help ease the pain without facing the dangers of over-the-counter painkillers.
You know the old bartender’s line “Pick your poison,” right? Well, the truth is when you’re standing in the painkiller aisle at your local drugstore, looking over the options, that’s pretty much what you’re doing.
Because they’re all poison on some level. And two new studies have revealed a couple more ways these pain meds can mess with you.
‘Safer’ painkiller raises blood pressure
Some 116 million Americans have high blood pressure. And 90 percent of those cases are classified as “essential hypertension.” That means docs don’t actually know the cause.
Except maybe NOW we do know the trigger in some cases. Because if the new study is any indication, at least some – and perhaps many – of those folks could be battling hypertension caused by their painkiller usage.
We already know high blood pressure is a risk of NSAID pain-killing drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and all its derivatives). In fact, people prone to hypertension often avoid those meds as a result.
Instead, they turn to acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain since it’s been labeled a “safer” option for those with blood pressure issues.
But, it looks like acetaminophen is not the safer pain-killing option after all. In fact, four grams a day – spread out over four doses – was linked to the same jump in blood pressure we see with NSAIDs.
And keep in mind acetaminophen is also hidden in dozens, if not hundreds, of other products marketed for everything from pain to sleep to cold relief. So it’s easy to see how you could accidentally reach those dosages.
This research was billed as a study on “prescription” doses of these pain meds. But the truth is that’s also the maximum dose on the label of the over-the-counter versions. And for folks battling chronic pain, it’s often their standard dose too.
The new study estimates this daily dose of acetaminophen could raise the risk of heart attack and stroke by 20 percent due to that blood pressure jump.
Looks like it’s not “safer” in the least.
Pain relievers linked to ringing ears
A second study looks at a broader range of painkillers and uncovers another danger.
It’s not a deadly condition like a heart attack or stroke. But it’s certainly something you want to avoid just the same. Because this pain med side effect could put a major crimp in your lifestyle.
It’s called tinnitus. It’s not technically hearing loss, but the phantom ringing noises that are the hallmark of the condition can interfere with your ability to concentrate on conversations and listen to the things around you.
The study finds that regular aspirin (NSAIDs), COX-2 inhibitor, or acetaminophen use can potentially trigger tinnitus.
For example, frequent use of NSAIDs and acetaminophen can raise the odds of the ear-ringing condition by about 20 percent. While using COX-2 inhibitors just twice a week can also increase the risk by the same amount.
These aren’t the only dangers you could face with these pain meds, of course. Painkillers have also been linked to heart problems, kidney damage, internal bleeding, and more.
Fortunately, there are other options you can try. One of them may turn out to be the natural pain solution you’ve been hoping for.
First, non-drug therapies, including acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, floating, and heat therapy, can often work wonders for most forms of chronic pain.
Second, you can try topical painkillers that include natural ingredients such as MSM, DMSO, and capsaicin. They’ve been proven to be quite effective in many cases, too.
And third, consider natural inflammation fighters. I’ve got a list of my seven favorites right here.