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 gutincluding 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.

c) Curcumin
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.


Paddison Program

Clint Paddison

Clint Paddison has recovered from crippling Rheumatoid Arthitis and now assists others with this disease via the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis, the Paddison Podcast and the blogs on www.paddisonprogram.com

  • Carmen Canann

    Although I am not yet totally pain free, I have stopped taking advil and aspirin. RA has been in me for 6 years. I never did accept/take any prescription drugs. Diet, exercise and acupuncture are my chosen tools. I am healing.

  • KKD

    You also have to block the 5Lox pathway with boswelia. The cox and lox pathways work symbiotically with each other to create inflammation. If you block both you will be better off. 5 lox inhibitor and curcumin.

  • Sherri Burich

    I get uterine contractions from therapeutic doses of curcumin. Does anyone have ideas?

  • Constance Williamson

    I was diagnosed with severe RA a year ago. I am on 10mg prednisone a day. Tried going down to 7 1/2 mg but couldn’t do it. Recently stopped methotrexate. Did not work for me. Now on leflunomide-arava. 20mg daily. If it works, I will have to stay on these two drugs until I can start seeing difference with change in diet. Can you please tell me if there is an alternative to Greek yogurt. I eat it with fruit and gluten free Granola every morning. Thanks for all the amazing videos. I will be signing up for your program shortly. Looking for a quality rice cooker. No more uncle Ben for me.

  • HeatherRaeHealthCoach

    I have been working with a chiropractor and following an anti-inflammatory diet to heal a leaky gut which was identified through a food/additives intolerance test. With these pain relief drugs readily available over the counter and antibiotics in overuse via numerous paths, the number one health problem in industrialized countries may be hyper-permeable intestines and compromised gut microbiome. The Healthy Gut Summit may be coming around again, loaded with info on restoring repairing the gut. When I think back on all the damage I did to myself with diet and pain killers for menstrual cramps, unknowing and all the while, trusting the government and medical establishment … many of whom are my former classmates from boarding school and university, sadly, who continue to defend their protocols of vaccines, antibiotics at every reunion.

    • Lisa Starr

      my allergist and rheumatologist both
      said a food intolerance test was a junk test.. not worth the money.. so who do you believe?

      • LedaRose Cedar

        I trust acupuncturists trained in this ancient Chinese healing arts. I went before diagnosis. He found allergies I didnt know I had. Also improved my life energy. I never follow medical route once im diagnosed. Industry is inbed with pharma that include toxics as in vaccinations, pyshed floride in toothpaste and know squat about nutrition and the body-mind. Alternative healers always found more effective.

  • Bernie Schaefer

    Hi everyone I am on day 3 of the program, I have been flaring since Saturday, different areas of the body .. With different pain levels but what do you do when you are in severe pain? I couldn’t just ignore it 🙁

    • Delia Gomez

      This is what I’m so so afraid. The pain and do have to not take any pain pills once you start the program?

  • Fozia Masood

    Hi .thanks Clint for wonderful information and making our way to the right path . Just want to know in dairy products should we also have to avoid eggs. Plz guide. Thanks

    • Delia Gomez

      I’m wondering that too… No eggs?

  • Caroline Racher

    Well the information the Paddison program has provided so far seems to be the most sensible and credible I have read and have only just started on the daily emails … and believe me I have tried everything … I’m suffering from an auto immune illness and autonomic problems and now it’s attacking my joints … no doctor seems to be able to help and believe me I have seen many so it’s down to me now … I was once a hard working person spending my career saving life’s and protecting the vulnerable , a healthy fit mother to within a year a house bound wreck with no life and most importantly a failure to my beautiful son … I hope that PADDISON You can bring me some of my life back and many others too as I have about given up hope … good luck and best wishes to everyone

  • Appu Dasa

    I have to take Ecosprin for my heart. But I do not take any medication for RA and stopped Methorextate more than 6 months ago. I am into Meditation Mindfulness and Insight for over 10 years now and do so daily. Also I gave up drinking milk.

  • Delia Gomez

    Hi! In 08 I was diagnosed with RA, someone told me to take cod liver oil. I did and soon after I had no pain. After a few app with my RA dr. I stopped going to see her and for 8 yrs I was in remission and in 2016 it came back hard. Im taking methrotraxate with one week of predisone, but was on sulfasalazine which I got very bad at times it was hard to walk. This week I will start humira. I have read about the Padderson program and now I have started to watch what I eat. No meats, lots of veggies I even tried the celery and cucumber juice. Its hard. When I’m in pain I get so depress and crying plus crying because of the pain. The Padderson program sounds so inspiring I read lots of peoples comments. I need and I want to heal.