They’re in every medicine cabinet, the go-to for almost any ache or pain. We usually buy them in huge quantities – 500 capsules a bottle is not uncommon – and we go through them fast. Too fast (30 billion doses are consumed annually in the United States).
They’re NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and aspirin. NSAIDs make up one of the most widely used drug classes in the U.S. The good news is they work, or why else would we take them so constantly. The bad news? Well, except for aspirin, all over-the-counter NSAIDs now have an FDA “black box warning” on their label about raising the risk of heart attack and stroke, plus other side effects. Side effects like an increase in high blood pressure, kidney damage in some people, and severe gastrointestinal problems.
Why So Good, And So Bad?
NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain by blocking the production prostaglandins. There are many things that go on in your joint tissues and cells during the inflammation process. One of the functions of prostaglandins is to signal your body to send more white blood cells to a damaged area. This increased blood flow contributes to the redness, swelling and pain you feel in that area. It’s by inhibiting prostaglandins and other chemicals associated with them, that NSAIDs reduce inflammation and pain.
Unfortunately, some of these chemicals protect the lining of your stomach. In addition, NSAIDs interfere with the process that’s critical in blood clotting. You can probably guess the result. NSAIDs can cause ulcers in the upper gut, and then interfere with those ulcers ability to clot when they bleed.
And ibuprofen can also hike blood pressure – usually in people who already have high blood pressure. But there’s research supporting the fact that people with normal blood pressure can also see a change as well. Plus, there’s research showing that NSAIDs can cause damage to the kidneys.
These health concerns are not meant to create panic as these problems tend to happen only after long-term or heavy use. You shouldn’t worry about taking the occasional NSAIDs for a headache, sore joints, or other aches and pains. But with 30 billion doses being taken annually in the U.S., it’s probably time that there’s more public concern as too many people are taking too much.
There’s little doubt that NSAIDs have revolutionized the treatment of pain. They’re the favorite treatment for inflammation in joints and other painful conditions. But as with almost anything, too much of what you think is a good thing can have disastrous results. There has to be a balance.
Inflammation is a Natural Response
The body’s natural response to tissue damage is inflammation. Neurological research supports the importance of inflammation as part of the healing process. This is something that has been misunderstood until the past few decades. The idea that inflammation is the enemy of health, and a condition that needs to be suppressed and or eliminated, has changed.
As mentioned, tissue that’s damaged becomes inflamed as the blood releases chemicals – histamine, kinins and prostaglandins – into the tissue cells. These chemicals promote the dilation of small blood vessels around the damaged tissue. This allows more blood to flow to the cells and results in the redness and heat associated with inflammation. By blocking the effectiveness of prostaglandins, pain is reduced but your body is restricted from the normal inflammatory response that’s so critical to healing.
Normal inflammatory response prevents the spread of tissue damage and allows your body to dispose of cell debris and pathogens, which then gets cells ready for the repair process. What you want is something that helps support or speed up the process naturally, and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have little clinical support that they actually work.
Joint Comfort and Normal Inflammation Process
Novo Renew uses a joint comfort blend of eight, restorative ingredients as it serves these multiple functions:
Novo helps your body maintain its normal inflammation response, so it can heal naturally.
When inflammation occurs, Novo gives your body the building blocks it needs to begin restoring damaged cells.
Novo helps your immune system modulate by flushing free radicals that result from metabolic waste out of your system.
Helping healthy people maintain a normal, balanced inflammatory response is one key to long term joint health. Rather than relying on NSAIDs so heavily, give your body the opportunity to heal naturally.
Live joyfully. Then recover naturally with Novo Renew.