Over The Counter Anti-Inflammatories Increase Stroke Risk

Common over-the-counter drugs that have previously been linked to a higher risk of heart attack may also elevate the risk of stroke.

Researchers have found that among almost 38,000 Taiwanese adults who suffered a stroke over one year, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)in the prior month may have elevated their stroke risk.

NSAIDs are a group of painkillers that include over-the-counter medications like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. These medications are available practically everywhere – from the supermarket, to the petrol station. This group of drugs also includes prescription arthritis drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors.

The link between COX-2 inhibitors and an increased risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular problems has been known for quite some time.

Vioxx (rofecoxib) and Bextra (valdecoxib) were pulled from the market in 2004 and 2005 respectively after they were shown to have caused thousands of deaths. A third COX-2 inhibitor, Celebrex (celecoxib) remains on the market.

For the study, researchers led by Dr. Chia-Hsuin Chang of National Taiwan University Hospital used information from Taiwan's national health insurance database to identify nearly 38,000 adults aged 20 years or older who had suffered a stroke in 2006.

The researchers also looked at the patient's NSAID use in the month before the stroke, and compared it to use in the prior three to six months.

The researchers found that use of any NSAID in the 30 days before the stroke was linked to an increased risk – of anywhere from 20 per cent to 90 per cent for most of the oral NSAIDs, depending on the drug.

The pattern was seen in patients with cardiovascular risk factors and those without.

Emed's Comment:

A 90% increase in the risk of stroke – what are we doing?

Many of us take these medications in the hope they can abolish our pain or ‘sore bit'. Often they achieve this goal quite well, but as this study shows – it is at a cost.

No good can come from using NSAIDs. They are often abused – many people take dozens of tablets a week to ‘mask' the symptoms, instead of treating the root of the problem.

Doctors regularly prescribe a daily dose of aspirin for stroke prevention. Aspirin thins the blood, which is commonly believed to prevent a stroke. Pity it could actually be causing one instead.

It's time that everyone realised that these so-called therapeutic medications could be causing illness and even death.

Luckily, there are effective natural alternatives that will treat the source of the problem.

If you suffer from pain or inflammation, you really should be taking a tissue-specific natural medicine, like Metagenics Kaprex or Inflavonoid Intensive Care.

Metagenics Kaprex is a gut-friendly anti-inflammatory designed to relieve pain and leave the gut unharmed. This natural medicine is ideal for the relief of inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatism, or pain associated with injury. This is an ideal alternative to nurofen and anti-inflammatories.

Metagenics Inflavonoid Intensive Care or Bioceuticals InflamEze Activ aid in managing inflammatory response, leading to a decrease in pain symptoms. Products like these can assist by providing temporary relief from arthritic pain, and will also help to maintain proper circulation and discomfort.

Either of these options are much better than taking a commercial painkiller. Not only are these tissue-specific, they will also effectively relief the inflammation and pain and fix the problem.

There are a few other ways to relieve your pain and inflammation, including:

  • Drink more water. We can't stress this enough. Dehydration can be a major cause of inflammation and pain, and can exacerbate symptoms. More often than not, a headache can be dispelled by drinking a couple of glasses of water, so before you reach for any medication, try this instead. Click here for more information.
  • Increase your fish oil intake. Fish oil is a great anti-inflammatory. It is required at a cellular level to reduce inflammation and maintain cell integrity. Not only can it help to relieve arthritic pain and joint inflammation, it is also fantastic for brain development and health and skin, hair and nail integrity. Click here for a range of great fish oils.
  • Keep exercising. Exercise is a great way to help dispel pain. You don't have to run a marathon to experience the benefits though – walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. Click here to read more.
  • Stretch daily. Stretching is one of the best ways to heal and promote a healthy body. Stretching can also help to relieve neck and back pain, and can also enhance the body's ability to heal itself. Click here for more information.
  • Cut the junk. Highly processed food, junk food, bread and wheat products and soft-drinks are all pro-inflammatory. Eat a healthy diet and feel the benefits. Click here for more information.
  • Experience muscle aches, cramps or spasms? Take magnesium. Magnesium is crucial for the health of our muscles and nerves. A good quality magnesium supplement, like those found under ‘Emed's Best Muscle Relaxants' will quickly dispel muscle pain and cramping and help you feel great for the next day or training session.

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