Avoid ‘heart attack in a bottle’

Practitioners of alternative medicine and mind/body healing have long sought to impress upon people the need for natural pain relief.

But of course, TV commercials and ads tell you when things hurt to reach for a bottle of aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen for relief — and promise their safety.

Yet there is a constant stream of clinical studies that tell a grimmer tale…

The latest issue of a respected medical journal warns of the highly elevated risk of heart attack from taking everyday pain relievers — just like you have in your medicine cabinet right now.

NSAIDs elevate risk of heart attack…

The May issue of the British Medical Journal offers sobering data on the elevated risk of heart attack from use of over the counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

In their review of studies from Canadian and European computerized drug prescription or medical databases, the researchers “compared risk of acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) in NSAID users with non-users, allowed for time dependent analyses, and minimized effects of confounding and misclassification bias.” Nearly 450,000 individuals were included in the study.

The scary findings…

After reviewing all the data, researchers found that:

  • Taking any dose of NSAIDs for one week, one month, or more than a month was associated with an increased risk of heart attack;
  • With use for 1-7 days, the probability of increased heart attack risk was 92% for celecoxib, 97% for ibuprofen, and 99% for diclofenac, naproxen, and rofecoxib;
  • Greater risk of heart attack was documented for higher dose of NSAIDs.

Make safer pain-relief choices…

Pain-relief is a necessary component to improved wellness and quality of life. And it is important to know that there is a vast spectrum of natural pain-relief methods easily available to you.  When experiencing pain, especially chronic pain, please consider the natural options before taking NSAIDs. Here are some suggestions.

  1. Consider all treatment options. This means looking into everything from meditation to massage, tai chi to yoga, acupuncture to chiropractic, supplements to diet for relevant pain-relief methods.
  2. Get More Sleep. Sustained, deep sleep is one of the best ways to decrease chronic pain by allowing your body to rest and repair. My suggestions for getting the best sleep ever, are found here.
  3. Practice yoga or tai chi. Practicing slow-moving mind/body practices like yoga and tai chi are proven ways to destressing the mind while invigorating blood flow and improving range of motion while relaxing tight muscles. Learn more about the healing powers of yoga and tai chi.
  4. Take natural pain-relieving supplements, like SAMe. Studies have shown SAMe supplementation to be comparable to the pain-relieving effects of Celebrex by the second month of taking the product but without the side effects. You can learn more about AMEe and other natural supplements for pain and inflammation here.
  5. Use topical pain-relieving gels and creams. When it comes to swelling, stiffness and general pain at the surface, applying some topical products can make a world of difference. And there are many more than just Bengay. Have a look at this review.
  6. Use proven methods for back pain. Numerous studies have led doctors to admit that the best solutions for chronic back pain (read more here) are found in practices like yoga and tai chi and treatments like acupuncture.
  7. Qigong Relieves Fibromyalgia. If you suffer fibromyalgia then finding a local qigong group or teacher may be the best way to find lasting, gentle pain relief. I’ve written more about this here.
  8. Take a global approach to arthritis and migraines. When it comes to chronic pain syndromes like arthritis and migraines, the best approach is a holistic one. I urge everyone who suffers arthritis to adopt the holistic plain advocated in my book Arthritis Reversed; and all chronic headache and migraine sufferers to follow the plan outlined in my book, Headaches Relieved.

Please head the findings presented and reduce your chances of unnecessary, and potentially deadly, onset of heart attack by refraining from taking NSAIDs. At the very least, make natural alternatives your first line for pain relief.

Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.