Another reason not to use ibuprofen or aspirin: chronic use increases your chance of getting breast cancer. A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examined the effect of the use of these drugs on 2391 women and concluded the following: "Ibuprofen use was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and long-term daily aspirin use was associated with an increased risk of ER/PR-negative breast cancer." I've long compared the use of these drugs for pain to putting in ear-plugs when your car makes a funny noise; rather than fixing the problem you are just avoiding the symptoms. With over 36,500 deaths per year just from gastro-intestinal problems due to these drugs, and even more from heart-attack, stroke, and cancer, it appears that a better analogy would be to put in ear plugs and throw a monkey wrench in your engine when your car malfuncttions! Read the study here Aspirin and Ibuprofen and Breast Cancer
The National Institutes of Health published a review of research showing a link between Parkinson's Disease and Pesticide use. Rates of Parkinson's are much higher in commercial farmers. More surprisingly, people who use pesticides in small gardens at home are also at increased risk. The researchers concluded "From the epidemiologic literature, there does appear to be a relatively consistent relationship between pesticide exposure and Parkinson's Disease. This relationship appears strongest for exposure to herbicides and insecticides, and after long durations of exposure." Eat organic! Organic foods are grown pesticide and herbicide free. They have a higher nutritional content and are poison-free. Remember that pesticides and herbicides are poisons by design--made to destroy life. Organic farming is also better for the environment as it requires building the soil rather than depleting it. The article is free here: Pesticides and Parkinson's, Is There a Link?
A study in the prestigious journal, Neurology, documented the link between multiple sclerosis and hepatitis B vaccination. Researchers found a 3.1 fold increase in onset of multiple sclerosis within 3 years of the vaccination! You can read the summary of the study here: NEUROLOGY 2004;63:838-842
A study in the journal Pharacotherapy looked at the effect of taking either aspirin or tylenol for the flu. What they found was no surprise; a "striking correlation" between the use of these drugs and longer duration of the flu. That's right, taking tylenol or aspirin prolongs your flu! It is a well established fact that these drugs cause "leukopenia", or a decrease in white blood cells. These are the very cells you desperately need to mount a response against the flu! Remember also that a fever is the bodies way to activate your immune system. As your temperature rises your immune cells become many times more active. Also, many foreign invaders (bacteria and virus) do not thrive at higher temperatures. Trust your body's wisdom--when you are cold you shiver to warm up, when you are ill you develop a fever to combat disease. Read the abstract here Aspirin and Tylenol Prolong Illness. Read about my favorite herb for cold and flu here.
Cytokines are inflammatory proteins that your body secretes to control and direct immunity and inflammation. Some of these cytokines are responsible for lowering pain threshold, thereby making it easier to hurt. These same cytokines have receptors in the brain that are associated with "sickness behavior"--the behavior of depression and decreased energy. It has even been shown that elevated levels of these cytokines can cause clinical depression! A recent study sought to quantify the effects of chiropractic care on these cytokines. After chiropractic treatment cytokine levels fell dramatically. Interestingly, this reduction in pro-inflammatory cytokines was throughout the body, not just in the area of the manipulation! The result is not only less pain and inflammation, but less depression and more energy. This study is very exciting as it adds to the foundation of how chiropractic effects and improves overall wellness and health. Cytokine Study JMPT
A new study found chiropractic care very effective in treating older adults with spinal stenosis. Spinal stenosis can be a painful condition where boney growth occurs within the spinal canal. This narrows the spinal canal, compressing the spinal cord. The study utilized a table that provided "flexion distraction"--a table I use in my practice. The average improvement in symptoms after 3-5 weeks of care was 65%! Syptoms of spinal stenosis can include low back pain, leg pain occuring in one or both legs, often made worse by walking and relieved by sitting down and hunching forward.
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2006, 7:16. This article is available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/7/16