A couple days ago, I posted two articles on my personal Facebook page about the unsafe and life-threatening risks of NSAID pain killers (Ibuprofen in particular). The article showed an increased risk of cardiac arrest from short-term use. This concerns me greatly because I have a lot of clients, friends, and family over the years who have taken Ibuprofen for both short-term-use and long-term-use. I have even seen flavored Motrin (another form of Ibuprofen) used for kids and for conditions which can easily be helped naturally, such as menstrual cramps.
I am always concerned because I have never seen a medication without very severe long-term-use health risks. When the first of these articles came out originally about the long-term-use risk, in 2005 from Harvard, I didn’t even bother to post it on my Facebook page. I felt it was obvious to anyone who knew me that long-term-use of any medication is a big health risk. However, when I read the results of a more recent study about short-term-use of Ibuprofen causing life-threatening cardiac arrest risk, it popped my eyes wide open, and I decided to write a post immediately!
“It means I could die from a toothache if I use Ibuprofen for the pain!”
Normally, as a natural health practitioner a large part of our job is to address people getting away from their need for long-term-use of risky medications. I’m not talking about a medical practitioner here, unless a medical practitioner has further developed themselves into an actual health practitioner. A medical practitioner and a health practitioner are definitely not the same thing. A health practitioner is specifically trained, or trains themselves to understand how medications always have these eventual devastating costs! A purely medical practitioner doesn’t have many options other than prescribing risky medications and would be unlikely to acknowledge the riskiness of their own tools as compared to other natural and much safer options.
A “health practitioner” is critically aware how the longer a medication is used the higher the risk that a devastating cost is going to occur for that individual or maybe… it is already occurring for that individual and the person and their medical support is not aware yet how it is causing or exacerbating their condition…
This specifically reminds me of a woman who I met doing a lecture on homeopathy in a health food store over a decade ago. She became a client. During her interview it was revealed how she was using Ibuprofen daily to handle her back pain. Her chief complaint though was how she could no longer function and do her work to support her and her son because she did not have the energy or capability. The cause for her debility was unknown to her medical doctors. Just by reducing her need for the medication improved her health greatly. As the Ibuprofen use decreased, her energy and capability for her work increased.
Simply put, my job as a “health practitioner,” who utilizes natural remedies, is to help people become accurately and acutely aware of what their health relies upon. I empower the person to heal themselves so any drugs they are using would naturally become unnecessary if possible. Once a person becomes healthy they enable themselves and their doctors to further reduce their risk to life or limb by letting go of the now unnecessary long-term-use medications.
Hopefully, you already have an extreme concern with long-term-use of medications. If not, then please become aware. In this day and age, it is super critical for our health to only use medications when necessary, to save life or limb when there is not a safer alternative available. It is also super critical to remove the original challenge (lifestyle issues) to life or limb as soon as possible so these medications can be dropped, otherwise, the threat of any long-term-use medication may become a worse issue than the original condition.
Shocking recent discoveries about risks of medications
Now, in recent years, there have been many studies coming out with surprising health risks from the use of medications completely unknown prior. Recently, some of these have been a bit shocking, even for me, as to what those devastating health risks actually are.
To note a couple, unexpected to me, risks of medications:
Many over-the-counter cold and flu medications were pulled from the shelves and/or relabeled because of life-threatening risks just a few years ago. Also, a very large group of anticholinergic drugs like common Benadryl have been found to cause irreversible dementia. The longer the use of anticholinergic medications, the worse the dementia symptoms become. Quite a lot of prescription and over-the-counter medications are anticholinergic. It is wise to look up personal medications to see if they fall into this category. (Recently, I have seen articles trying to minimizing this issue by categorizing levels of how anticholinergic a medication is. Be careful, this is new information, and no one knows if that will pan out to be the truth of how it works.)
It is not surprising how drugs cause ailments. What is surprising, is how many of the common ailments our society suffers from are self-inflicted from our medications. Even more surprising, is how we continue to be unaware of these relationships between medications and our ailments.
Notably, this most recent article shouts out to us that there is not only the long-term-use risks to medications but we are also very unaware and faced with hiddne short-term-use risks too. This investigation about Ibuprofen stimulates an entirely new level of awareness about commonly accepted medications. This study shows how even short-term-use of Ibuprofen can increase cardiac arrest which is extremely eye-opening, because we don’t feel it coming. I can feel great relief of pain with my medication then shortly later I can be gone.
It means I could literally die from a toothache if I use Ibuprofen for the pain!
It’s opened my eyes in surprise. It is the tip of the iceberg too…
I always worried most about long-term-use for my clients and myself. I didn’t even bat an eye when some of my clients would tell me in their follow-up interview how they only used half the amount of Ibuprofen this week, as compared to the last. I have been willing to dabble with short-term-use myself when I was in severe pain and a more natural remedy was not readily available. It is very tough to think when you are in debilitating pain and research to find a remedy. Luckily, that was only once in the past decade, but it was this very ibuprofen which I chose to use on myself (for a toothache)!
Since I misinterpreted that short-term-use was safer, I felt a need to let people I care about also know about this short-term-use risk. So, I posted the original Harvard study on Facebook showing long-term-use risk, almost without thinking, followed by this more recent article showing the shocking short-term-use risk.
Guess what happened next? An individual responded to the post with a genuine and obvious question but one which had not occurred to me. This concerned person asked, “what are the safer remedies?” What a brilliantly obvious question! This question woke me up to a need and inspired this post. It reminded me how others would not know natural remedies like I do and may not have an alternative. It also reminded me how I need to be more prepared with my own remedies, so I won’t grab something life-threatening to handle my pain in the future.
A friend actually got to my Facebook post before me and helped me out by answering this individual, they wrote “with prevention, so to speak, is probably your best bet and Ron can definitely give more info. on this than I can.”
I did a quick reply on Facebook, and I figured I needed to present this for you as well. You may have seen this on my Classic Homeopathy Facebook page or somewhere else. Either way, the information is important and needs to be addressed with more care.
The following is my Facebook reply for the concerned person asking, “what are the safer remedies?” (it is edited a bit further for privacy and grammar):
“What are the safer remedies?”
This question has got two answers…. my Facebook friend is definitely on the right track here with prevention. Prevention works great with an individual who is looking to avoid pain and the use of harmful medications in the future. Knowing and exploring natural safe remedies for pain prior to needing them in a desperate situation is a great start when addressing the potential for acute pain management in a future situation.
Also, a big part of my alternative health practice is about teaching people how to heal themselves so they no longer need risky medications they are already using. Many of the clients over the years have reduced and most have completely eliminated medications because they no longer need them. That is quite different than prevention….it is addressing health!
If a person has chronic pain, I would suggest seeing an alternative health practitioner to work with the specific issues which are keeping their need for risky and/or long-term-use medications, so they may eventually let them go when no longer needed.
That is the first answer.
The second answer is more specific:
The items I use for pain for myself and my family when in need are things like white willow, a gemmotherapy which contains salicylic acid, or aspirin (please don’t use if sensitive to salicylates or aspirin). Magnesium is effective as a muscle relaxer and calming agent. Some enzyme therapies like bromelain, from pineapple, can reduce general inflammation and pain. However, I would change my diet first in order to make them more effective with certain situations.
I definitely use a lot of homeopathic remedies for pain in particular. They are extremely successful and many times work even without a dietary or lifestyle change.
I use a remedy called Bryonia Alba on myself for occasional optical migraines brought on by stress. Chocolate may also bring them on, and Bryonia will prevent or stop them too. Bryonia is extremely effective if I take it right away when I see the visual disturbance, then I don’t get any pain at all. If I don’t take the Bryonia, then I can be incapacitated completely to the point of lying on the floor with intense pain and nausea. The only time I missed work from an ailment in the past 27 years is for this very reason.
However, I also make sure I understand why the migraine came on and I change the situations which brought it on for me.
I hope that helps some …
By their nature, natural remedies and lifestyle changes that help with pain are very specific to circumstances for the specific individual. If the natural remedies were generic, like medications, then it is quite probable we would have the same complications and harm we see occurring with mainstream pain drugs.
I recommend finding natural remedies which work for you and to gain experience with them prior to extreme need. Otherwise, like I did with Ibuprofen for my tooth, you might wind up using a potentially life threatening medication to address the pain because nothing else is familiar or available to you.
It would be of great benefit for people to explore natural remedies for their specific types of pain which they are prone to suffer from before they occur, or while they occur in milder states.
It took me a few trys before I found Bryonia which stops the pain of my optical migraines before it even begins.
I do teach classes on homeopathy and other natural remedies. Please let me know if you are interested in learning about and attending my classes.
This is a link to the article about short-term-use risk from NSAIDs (Ibuprofen): https://academic.oup.com/ehjcvp/article/3/2/100/2739709
This is a link to the Harvard article on long-term-use risk: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fda-strengthens-warning-that-nsaids-increase-heart-attack-and-stroke-risk-201507138138
Thank you for reading and looking for natural answers in addressing your health,
“There is no effectiveness… without safety first!“