In the May issue of my newsletter, Alternatives, I answered a question from a reader about whether or not I have changed my views on aspirin, considering it has been found to prevent heart attacks, cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Not to mention, millions of people regularly use aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium for pain relief.
My answer is still no—my opinion of aspirin or other NSAIDs has not changed. I still don’t feel the benefits outweigh the risks, and I don’t recommend its use.
NSAIDs are known to cause bleeding every time they are used. It then becomes a matter of how much and how severe the bleeding is each time. It could be bleeding in the stomach or other areas of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to ulcerations that can actually be life threatening. It could be bleeding in the retina of the eye, which can lead to macular degeneration. Or it can be bleeding of the gums. And one of the latest findings out of Holland shows that taking aspirin on a regular basis increases the incidence of micro-bleeding in the brain—which can lead to micro-strokes.
Increasing the chance of permanent blindness, internal ulcerations, and micro-bleeding in the brain are risks I’d rather not take. Fortunately, if you’re looking for effective pain relief without any of these dreadful side effects, you have several great options.
- For arthritis, turmeric, capsaicin and bromelain are terrific therapies. Turmeric also works for muscle sprains and strains.
- For fibromyalgia, malic acid and magnesium can be effective. Magnesium is also particularly effective for migraines.
- And for muscle cramps, try Traumeel and DMSO.
Now it’s your turn: What natural therapies do you use for pain relief?