ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Aspirin and ibuprofen are NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, used to reduce or relieve pain. But they can come with some pretty serious side effects if not used as directed.
Advil, aleve, aspirin – all over-the-counter drugs considered safe to use, but they do come with some serious side effects if used long term. These NSAIDs can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. Even if you are not at risk for these conditions, they can increase your blood pressure and cause kidney damage like they did for avid runner Barry Davis. His nine pills a day for three decades left him with only about 25 percent of his kidney function.
Davis says, “I never had any prohibition. No one said don’t do that.”
Charles Srour, DC Chiropractor at Pro Health Care explains, “These kinds of anti-inflammatories are meant to be taken on a short term to help with an acute pain or inflammation.”
But long-term use of NSAIDs can decrease blood flow and oxygen to the kidneys. They can also cause sodium and fluid retention. Srour says there are safer alternatives like turmeric, fish oil, and infladox for treating persistent pain.
“In some cases, the effect that they get is even stronger than what they would get with pharmaceuticals.” Explains Srour.
And that prevents the hidden damage caused by prolonged use of NSAIDs
Experts warn that if you’re already taking diuretics, or ace inhibitors, taking NSAIDs can put you at a greater risk for kidney damage.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.
KIDNEY DAMAGE AND NSAIDS
BACKGROUND: Kidney disease affects the body’s ability to clean its blood, filter extra water out of the blood, and help control blood pressure. It can also affect red blood cell production and vitamin D metabolism needed for bone health. When kidneys are damaged, waste products and fluid buildup in the body which can cause swelling in the ankles, nausea, weakness, poor sleep, and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the damage can get worse, and the kidneys may eventually stop working, which can be life-threatening. If the kidneys suddenly stop working, doctors call it acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. The main causes of this is not enough blood flow to the kidneys; direct damage to the kidneys; and urine backed up in the kidneys.
TOO MUCH ANTI-INFLAMMATORTY MEDICINE: It is estimated that about 15 percent of the U.S. population takes an NSAID regularly. Some of the most common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin), naproxen (Aleve) and celecoxib (Celebrex). They work quite well as pain relievers and help in reducing fever and inflammation. They are relatively inexpensive and available over the counter or, in higher doses, by prescription. There are also downsides to NSAIDs. Someone may experience digestive problems including stomach upset, heartburn, and ulcers. Kidney injury, easy bruising or bleeding, and mild allergic reactions (such as rash) are common as well. Less common side effects, including severe allergic reactions and liver injury, can be serious. NSAIDs can also raise the risk of heart problems. NSAIDs can be extremely helpful medications when used properly, however the risk of serious side effects goes up when taken in higher than recommended doses.
GAME-CHANGING TREATMENT FOR KIDNEY DISEASE: Around 15 percent of adults in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease. Naim Issa, M.D., a Mayo Clinic transplant nephrologist, says there is a class of medications to help people with chronic kidney disease. “Early detection of chronic kidney disease may help us actually treat and prevent patients ahead of time before the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation,” says Dr. Issa. A new class of drugs, SGLT2 inhibitors, is being called a game changer. The drugs were originally designed to treat diabetes. Medicines in the SGLT2 inhibitor class include canagliflozin, dapagliflozin and empagliflozin. The medications are used whether the patient is diabetic or not. “They are actually game-changer medications that help us prevent the progression of chronic kidney disease,” says Dr. Issa. Some lifestyle changes can help such as following a low-sodium, moderate-protein diet, avoid smoking, and getting plenty of exercise.
* For More Information, Contact: Jim Capalbo
Free weekly e-mail on Medical Breakthroughs from Ivanhoe. To sign up: http://www.ivanhoe.com/ftk