Therefore, numerous people choose the easy way out and opt for over-the-counter drugs, such as ibuprofen, which stops the pain immediately.
While these drugs may be a quick-fix-solution to soothe pain, they don’t tackle the root cause of the pain and inflammation. They merely mask the symptoms and allow your body to get more inflamed, instead of providing a long-term cure and solution.
NSAID side effects
Statistical data reveals that there were approximately 30,000 cases of heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest as a result of Vioxx usage between 1999 and 2003. A 2000 study revealed that these medications lead to increased heart rate and are linked to heart failure and strokes. However, FDA, Merck, and other pharmaceutical companies remained silent on this issue.
A separate study published in Lancet found that usage of NSAID drugs can increase the risk of heart failure by 100%.
And that’s not the only thing. NSAID drugs are associated with numerous side-effects. DNA damage, hypertension, anemia, miscarriage, increased risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac death, influenza and hearing loss, to name a few.
In addition, long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as Ibuprofen (Advil) or Diclofenac (Voltaren) is equally dangerous in terms of heart attack and stroke risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.
There is another way
People who suffer from chronic pain, such as arthritis patients, can safely consider taking low dosage when the pain is too much to handle. However, lifestyle changes should be taken into account as well to fight the root cause and naturally reduce inflammation levels.
For most people altering their diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures is all it takes to improve their quality of life dramatically.
Here are 5 evidence-based alternatives to Ibuprofen
1. Ginger capsules (250 mg, 4 times a day): A 2009 study found that ginger capsules were as effective as mefenamic acid and ibuprofen in relieving pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea or pain associated with their menstrual cycle.
2. Holy basil (Tulsi): Another study found holy basil, also known as Tulsi, to contain anti-inflammatory compounds with similar effects as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.
3. Turmeric extracts: Turmeric extracts are as effective as ibuprofen for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis, and cause fewer gastrointestinal issues, too.
4. Cat’s claw: It is probably the most well-known natural alternative to ibuprofen. It contains an anti-inflammatory substance that blocks the production of prostaglandins and automatically reduces the pain. The maximum daily dosage is 1000 mg up to three times daily.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study found that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain and without side effects.
And the list actually goes on. Other natural compounds that have shown to be equally effective as ibuprofen in reducing pain and inflammation include topical use of arnica; a combination of astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba, and vitamin C; Chinese skullcap; Panax Ginseng; St. John’s Wort; and olive oil.