I know that being in any kind of chronic pain can be tough. However, it's important that you don't harm your health further in an attempt to relieve that pain. A recent study conducted at the University Heart Centre in Zurich, Switzerland, found that a remedy people commonly use to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis could actually be increasing their risk of dying from an entirely different health concern.
When you're in pain, it's easy to just reach for whatever's in the medicine cabinet. But you should think twice before you make a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) part of your regular routine. While NSAIDs will likely help relieve arthritis pain, that relief can come at a cost, and the cost is your blood pressure and your heart health.
Researchers recently conducted a study with 444 patients suffering from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. All of the patients had existing coronary artery disease or were at risk of developing it. The patients were divided into three groups, with each receiving a different pain-relieving drug. The researchers measured changes in their 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure over the course of four months.
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The groups that received ibuprofen and naproxen, both NSAIDs, saw average systolic blood pressure increases of 3.7 and 1.6 mmHg, respectively. Moreover, among the patients who had normal baseline blood pressure to begin with, 23.2% of those receiving ibuprofen and 19% of those receiving naproxen developed hypertension by the end of the study. These blood pressure increases, of course, also raise cardiovascular disease risk.
These findings are particularly significant for older patients who are likely to suffer from arthritis and be at increased risk of hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease. The good news is if your joints bother you, there's a way to get relief - without increasing your blood pressure or your risk of other diseases. It's called Ultimate Knee Relief. Not only does it contain herbs and nutrients that will support your joints and reduce inflammation throughout the body. But it's also an anti-inflammatory and a painkiller. However, it's able to reduce inflammation and pain using natural ingredients rather than drugs. In fact, it actually benefits your heart and could lower your blood pressure.
If your doctor recommends an NSAID as a routine way to get relief, I recommend that you try to find a way to reduce your intake of these medications. There are plenty of other ways to ease discomfort throughout the body that won't hurt you somewhere else. While ibuprofen can be helpful every once in a while, it shouldn't become an everyday crutch. Choose a safe, natural remedy instead.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD