Painkillers, are they bad, or are they good? Yes, they are great for masking pain, but do they do anything? Long term use of painkillers can cause many problems. Taking strong painkillers or just regular painkillers frequently for a long time can cause liver and stomach damage. Additionally, it may not even help the underlying problem. Perhaps after this blog, there will be more awareness about the side effects of pain killers.
Overuse of painkillers can lead to both liver and stomach damage. Let’s start with the most common painkillers that we can find over the counter; Paracetamol. The recommended daily allowance of Paracetamol is 4000 mg, which is equivalent to around eight tablets. However, many other medications already consist of Paracetamol in the formula, so this makes it hard to keep track of the amount that the body is intaking. Going over the recommended daily allowance can lead to long term liver damage or even liver death as well. Even if you stick to 4000 mg daily and do not exceed it, the daily or frequent use of this amount of painkillers is detrimental to your health.
Another common painkiller are NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs); iburoprofen, asprin and diclofenac are only a few that falls into this category. This category of painkillers can damage the stomach if it taken for long periods. These should only be taken under the recommendation of a GP. NSAIDs interfere with the production of mucus in the stomach. The mucus in the stomach forms a mucosal layer to prevent gastric acid from eroding and damaging the stomach. With a decrease of mucus production in the stomach, it becomes more susceptible to gastric ulcers. Study has shown that even taking NSAIDs just once is enough to cause irritation and inflammation of the stomach.
Finally, painkillers serve a purpose, but do they get to the root of the problem. By masking the pain, you may make the original problem worse. This is because pain is a way for our body that something is not right and should be looked into more thoroughly. If the painkiller covers the pain, we would have no idea that the area is injured or has a problem, and we would continue our activities. This may further aggravate the injury leading it to become a long term problem. Taking painkillers is like temporarily covering a leaky roof rather than repairing the problem. It will always keep coming back, and over time it’ll just get worse and worse.
So it’s up to whether or not you want to fix the problem and for your body to heal from the inside, or just mask the symptoms.
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