Every senior at risk: NSAIDs may promote massive superbug infections
If you're over 65, you may want to think twice before using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Recent research suggests that NSAIDs promote one of the world's most dangerous hospital-born superbug infections: Clostridium difficile.
C. difficile affects about half a million people in the U.S. every year.
This nasty bug causes severe diarrhea, which results in dehydration often so severe it turns deadly.
In the new study, researchers looked at two groups of mice that were infected with C. difficile and treated with antibiotics.
One of the groups had been given indomethacin, a common NSAID, before the infection. The second group wasn't given NSAIDs at all.
In the NSAID-treated group, only 20% survived during the week they were observed.
This is a huge difference compared to the 80% that survived in the group that didn't take NSAIDs.
The collaborators who carried out this research resolved that even a small amount of exposure to these drugs before C. difficile inoculation can lessen survival rates and, at minimum, exacerbate the severity of the infection.
It's no wonder why the authors of this study warn us to think twice before using NSAIDs — especially those of us over 65.
And this includes some of the world's most popular pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), and naproxen (Aleve).
But this is only the tip of the iceberg of what this study revealed about NSAIDs.
Genetic and cellular examinations revealed that exposure to NSAIDs negatively alters the microbiome.
Even more, they diminish the production of prostaglandins, which are essential substances similar to hormones. Prostaglandins are vital for the health of your gastrointestinal system.
This combination creates the perfect storm for gastrointestinal problems and infection...
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It disturbs and stifles the body's natural immune response, which can potentially lead to a variety of other health issues.
In fact, other research shows that NSAIDs can cause or worsen the symptoms of colitis, an inflammatory disease characterized by inflammation in the lining of the colon.
Though the research on C. difficile and NSAIDs is the first of its kind, it should raise some questions about how often people should be using these types of drugs.
"Ultimately, these new results might guide how we treat people with C. diff, particularly with pain management," said Aronoff, the lead researcher in this study. "Right now, it's too early for our results to guide clinical care, but they should be a stimulus for future studies."
The research focused primarily on indomethacin, which is most often used for arthritis and gout pain. And though it's believed that all types of NSAIDs will show similar results, there's no reliable research on these different forms such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
However, until future research answers these questions, the best bet is to stay away from NSAIDs — especially if you are prone to infection.
Pain relievers that don’t belong to the NSAID family of drugs (such as acetaminophen) may be a safer option.
Plus, many new alternative treatments have surfaced in recent years that may prove to have fewer risks for long-term use.
CBD oil, frankincense, Ashwagandha — could natural options like these be the safer bet for issues like joint and back pain?
More on that in a future article.
To your health,
President, Clear Health Now