You’re hearing this from a woman who popped 4 ibuprofen like it was no big deal after volleyball practice in high school. Thankfully, now I know what NSAIDs can do to your body. NSAIDs are “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs”, which include Naproxen (Aleve) and Advil (Ibuprofen) and lots of others. In July 2015, the FDA strengthened warnings on these drugs because they are being associated with more and more heart attacks and strokes. This is from a recent report on WebMD: “The risk of heart attack and stroke can happen even in the first few weeks of using the drugs. And that risk is greater the higher the dose. These worse odds apply to people with or without a history of heart disease, the FDA says.” It has long been known that taking NSAIDs long-term can injure your kidneys (particularly Ibuprofen), and liver damage can occur as well (particularly with Aspirin). The bottom line is to remember that NO DRUGS are without side-effects. Just because they are sold over the counter does not mean they are safe. Please use them with great caution.

If you’re really ready to kick them to the curb, here are some great alternatives you’ll want to research! Boswellia (Indian Frankincense) in capsule-form helps with arthritis, RA, inflammatory bowel diseases and asthma; Curcumin (Turmeric) a great anti-inflammatory effect in the body; Essential Oils (Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, Lavender, etc…); Capsaicin (available in a cream or patch, made from chili pepper so use great caution); Arnica (gel-form) helps with muscle/joint pains. There are 2 more herbal options, but you must make sure they do not interact with any current meds you are taking: White Willow Bark (used for centuries for pain, arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis or headaches) and Cat’s Claw (helps pain and inflammation and contains antioxidants). None of us want to be in pain, but remember there is always a big picture to consider. Are you doing things that are healthy for your body? How are your lifestyle choices, particularly your diet? Are you eating inflammatory foods that are making your body hyper-sensitive to pain? If so, no amount of “natural pain reliever” is going to help.

Back in June I wrote an article about “6 pain fighting foods”.  And join us for the October Wellness Workshop on Tuesday, October 13th @ 5:30pm where we’ll discuss what stress does to our bodies…it’s one of my favorite workshops because you get to really know what’s going on in your body and why!