ALERT: Regular use of common painkiller increases cardiovascular risk

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common-painkiller(NaturalHealth365)  If you are like most people, when you have a headache, chronic pain, muscle aches, or pain from an injury, you reach for acetaminophen and don’t give it a second thought.  After all, it is one of the most common first-line treatments for pain, mainly due to the belief that it is safe and does not cause significant adverse health effects.  But, some studies suggest there is a problem.

Evidence is now emerging that shows regular use of acetaminophen can have a negative impact on blood pressure in people who have hypertension.

New study calls into question safety of common pain pill

Results of a trial published in February 2022 in Circulation showed that regular use of acetaminophen could raise blood pressure.

110 individuals participated in the placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study.  They were divided into two groups.  One received the placebo, and the other received 1 gram of acetaminophen four times a day for two weeks.  This was followed by a two-week “washout” period, and they transitioned to an alternate treatment.

The 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure was taken for each participant at the beginning and end of each part of the treatment segments.  At the culmination of the study, 103 individuals completed it in its entirety.  After reviewing the data, the authors concluded that taking 4 grams of acetaminophen daily increases the systolic blood pressure in people with hypertension compared to those taking a placebo.

This indicates that regular acetaminophen use can negatively impact cardiovascular health.  What may be even more concerning, though, is that the blood pressure increase occurred within a very short period.

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Here are some natural ways to relieve pain

Since NSAIDs and naproxen also raise blood pressure, it may seem that there aren’t many (if any) suitable methods for relieving pain.  The truth is, there are several ways to relieve pain without taking harmful drugs.  For example, quercetin, Boswellia, feverfew, butterbur, turmeric, white willow bark, and devil’s claw root are well-known for containing pain-relieving natural compounds.

Topical pain relievers

Many creams and ointments on the market work great for pain.  Look for those that contain comfrey, cinnamon, or capsicum/capsaicin.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy, stretching and/or massage can do wonders for a lot of different types of pain.  Many people think it is only worth exploring for pain from injuries or after surgery, but it also helps with chronic pain caused by various diseases and illnesses as well as pain from conditions caused by aging.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin

This is commonly used for arthritis pain and joint pain.

RICE

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.  This is what RICE stands for and is suitable for injuries like sprained ankles or sore knees.  But if it isn’t better within 24 hours, you may want to see your doctor.

Lose weight

If you are overweight, losing a few pounds can take some pressure off your joints and spine, which may ease your pain.

Exercise regularly

The human body was designed to move, so naturally, non-movement can make it hurt.  Exercising regularly helps keep you flexible and strengthens the muscles that help support your core, spine, and extremities.

Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet is always a good idea, but eating organic food is associated with a reduced risk of pain.  Naturally, this way of eating will help your body function better, relieving certain types of stress.

If you’re overweight, eating lots of organic vegetables and fruit is a great way to shed unwanted pounds off your body.  Keep in mind, eliminating certain foods like highly processed foods that contain sugar, sodium, and chemicals will naturally decrease your risk of sadness and anxious thoughts.

Manage your stress

Stress causes you to feel pain more acutely.  It can take minimal pain and turn it up quite a bit.  Take steps to manage your stress with relaxation techniques, meditation, exercise, and counseling.

Address any depression or anxiety

Depression and anxiety increase your perception of pain.  Seeing a counselor and taking care of your mental health will make you happier and could decrease or even eliminate your pain.

Omega-3 fatty acid

Omega-3 offers a host of health benefits, including decreased pain when taken regularly and helping the body function at a more optimal level.  And it’s perfect for your heart health.

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation puts stress on your body, and stress increases your pain sensitivity.  So make sure you are getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night.

Stay hydrated

Even low-level dehydration can cause muscle cramps, aches and pain … so drink plenty of water daily.

Always check with your doctor before taking any natural pain relievers to ensure they don’t interfere with your other medications.  Many of these natural remedies will also lower your blood pressure and improve your cardiovascular health, which has multiple benefits.

The key is to take care of your body and be kind to yourself.

Sources for this article include:

AHAJournals.org
AARP.org


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