If you’re taking something for pain, what are some of the silent side effects?

Dr Leisa

Our Western culture expects people to ignore the fact that they are in pain, or to numb it quickly. This can cause imore problems than meets the eye. Taking something to stop the pain isn’t always the easiest way out, and I’ll show you why.

By now, you all know that I write about lowering your inflammation for health. This also helps with your pain levels. I’m finding that while under quarantine for so long, many diets have included comfort food that can be quite inflammatory. This has raised pain levels for a lot of people out there who’ve either had pain already that worsened over the last couple of months, or actually caused pain that wasn’t there before. Either way, I’m going to discuss some options out there instead of reaching for over the counter Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS), or prescription corticosteroid medications. Even if you’re not taking opioids,or other prescription medication, NSAIDS and corticosteroids can be secretly dangerous.

Let’s start with NSAIDS. These can be gotten by prescription, or over the counter. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, Acetaminophen, are the most common. They appear to be safe and get the job done quickly, but they can cause underlying issues in different systems in your body. Many times, these issues are irreversible. Another thing you all know that I write about frequently, is gut health. There is sufficient evidence that shows that NSAIDS cause bleeding, inflammation, and ulceration in the stomach and small intestine. Most people feel that if they don’t have ulcers, burning or bleeding in the gut that they can see, they think everything is OK. What’s going on behind the scenes, is the disruption of the beneficial flora of the digestive system. Serious medical issues generally arise as a result. In most cases, patients and their doctors do not associate the use of these medications with the digestive condition. Other medication is then recommended or prescribed. This can cause more problems, and the condition isn’t resolving. One major condition is acid reflux, or indigestion. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) , or H2 receptor antagonists are then prescribed along with the NSAIDS.. I’ve written in an earlier article, where I discussed that the increased acid is a result of too little acid in the stomach, so the small intestine pumps in an excess of acid. Blocking the production of acid is not the answer. That is why the condition worsens. Many people feel they are now on a medical merry-go-round, and cannot stop taking the additional medications. I’ve personally had patients who have been on PPIs for many years, and had been unable to come off them, as their condition would actually worsen. Each time, I had this situation arise, the patient had reported a history of a course of care of NSAIDS, antibiotics, or both. It then takes some time to rebuild the patient’s gut flora back to a healthy level so they can discuss with their medical doctor about coming off of the medication. Caution must be taken prior to taking these types of pain relievers, so please read on to find an alternative.

Steroidal anti-inflammatories are a type of hormone that suppresses inflammation. This, in turn, reduces pain when they are prescribed for pain relief. Some side effects of these medications include, high blood pressure, headaches, muscle weakness, slow wound healing, and fluid retention to name a few. These side effects are serious, and frequently require yet, another medication to counteract those symptoms created by the corticosteroid.

What I’m trying to do here,is explain to you that things are not always what they appear to be. There is no magic pill. I ask that you think it through first. Ask for options. If your doctor has no options, seek them elsewhere, and then get back to them on your decision.
There are, however, alternatives available to you. Modifying your diet may not be as easy as taking a pill, but, done properly, it will have positive side effects, not negative ones. Acupuncture and chiropractic decompression, also when done properly, have been scientifically shown to relieve your pain naturally. They are also effective for many conditions of the body, not just for pain relief. A TENS unit, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, is another form of drug free pain relief. Joint and spine bracing can reduce pain, and prevent aggressive degeneration while you’re wearing the brace.

If you’d like to consult with me for alternative pain relieving methods that work, including getting a prescription for medical bracing, please call my office for a complimentary consultation.

For any questions regarding my articles, please email me at:

Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
18261 N Pima Rd Suite 115
Scottsdale, AZ 85255