NSAIDs – Causing More RA Every Day
NSAID’s are over the counter pain killers.
These are very commonly used by RA sufferers to get some pain relief. However, they are by far the worst drug you can take when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis since their side effect is to work directly against the gut healing process.
They Create More ‘Leaky Gut’ (Intestinal Permeability)
Tragically, many common RA drugs also increase intestinal permeability. Consequently, the pharmaceutical treatment of RA symptoms exacerbates the underlying cause leading to loss of intestinal integrity, thus facilitating antigenic absorption and contributing to persistence of the disease. The worst offenders are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) which always increases leaky gut. Increased small intestinal permeability caused by NSAIDs is probably a prerequisite for NSAID enteropathy, a source of morbidity in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. All NSAID’s cause leaky gut, including aspirin.
This study tested intestinal permeability in controls and in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis and found “Intestinal permeability in the patients was found to be significantly increased in comparison to controls. Of the patients, 6/7 (86%) not taking any prescribed NSAID’s at the time of study had normal results, whereas 23/29 patients (79%) taking prescribed NSAIDs displayed increased intestinal permeability.
Note also that Celebrex is meant to be better for the stomach than ‘normal’ NSAID’s. Manufacturers claim that COX-2 inhibition may help perpetuate the underlying degenerative process while relieving its superficial symptoms. Yet one researcher said “the short-term effects of (COX-2 inhibitors) on the pain and swelling of inflammation and arthritis may be achieved at the cost of an increased propensity to long-term tissue damage with which these cytokines have been associated.”
Personally, I have not seen people with RA do any better healing their gut using Celebrex than any other NSAID. It is my own personal opinion that Celebrex is not preferential to the other NSAID’s.
They Create Severe Gastrointestinal Problems – Especially If You’re Also Taking Steroids At The Same Time
As if the leaky gut issue wasn’t enough, the NSAID’s are associated with a 400% increased risk of upper gastrointestinal complications. Patients using steroids concomitantly with high-dose NSAIDs had the highest risk of upper gastrointestinal complications. Researches said “Whenever possible, anti-inflammatory drugs should be taken on their own and at the lowest effective dose in order to reduce the risk of upper gastrointestinal complications”.
A much more dangerous situation is when you’re taking steroids also. This study concluded “Steroids Patients taking NSAIDs who also are taking a prescription corticosteroid, medications like prednisone (in doses over 10 mg), have been found to have a seven-fold increased risk of having GI bleeding”
Best Alternatives To NSAID’s
The goal is not to stop taking the NSAID’s cold turkey. The goal is to substitute them with something that is less harmful for your body, or even better, make different changes so that you don’t need as many (or perhaps not need them at all).
a) Change Your Diet To Lower Pain Fast
The best solution of all is lower your pain with your diet. Then you’ll need less NSAID’s. This is hands down the most sensible solution. Most users can get off NSAID’s within a week. The best approach on the planet for RA reversal is the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
b) Exercise So That You Sweat
By far my preferred way of reducing daily pain is to exercise. Cardiovascular exercise for more than 30min per day in which you begin to sweat will lower pain levels, guaranteed, every time. The ideal level of exercise is one in which you break a light sweat for the duration of the exercise period. Bikram yoga is ideal. Stationary bike excellent. Swimming, rowing machine, or any other exercise that is low impact and raises your heart rate is going to be a good way to go. In addition to offering the pain relief aspect, exercise has the advantage over pills (of natural or artificial nature) because it gets the joints moving. This is good practice for preserving joints long term.
This has a mild effect on pain reduction for some people. Didn’t do a lot (if anything) for me. However, some clients have reported excellent pain relief from this by-product of tumeric. I see curcumin as a way of trying to transition away from NSAID’s, or at least a way of reducing the dose.
d) Milder Pain Killers
Some GP’s who have some general awareness of gut problems with NSAID’s recommend paracetamol instead of NSAID’s.
Paddison Program Member MicheleC has provided some good references for understanding the differences between NSAID’s and paracetamol along with a nice explanation on prostaglandins, COX 1&2 and natural COX2 inhibitors.
Note that paracetamol is not really regarded as an ‘anti inflammatory’ and accordingly the pain relief tends to be much less than NSAID’s.
Reverse The Damage NSAID’s Have Done
It is possible to reverse the damage that NSAID’s have done, even if you have been taking them for a long time. Like a wound on the outside of the body, so too does that gut heal. It does, however, take a little longer. You can heal the damage from the NSAID’s and improve your gut tremendously using the Paddison Program for RA.
NSAID’s will forever hold you back in your attempt to heal. In fact, it’s worse than this since they actually make your RA worse. The issue is, of course, that if you’re in serious pain then you need pain relief in some format. Well, if you’re not yet on the Paddison Program to reverse your RA symptoms, then start by finding more harmless substitutes to the NSAID’s rather than coming off them cold turkey. The best substitute is exercise. A lot of of it. You’ll turn your life around if you can substitute a bunch of NSAID’s each day for 30min+ of steady, sweaty exercise. I promise. Find an exercise that you can do each day that doesn’t aggravate your RA and start small and gradually increase each day.