Effects Of Continuous Use Of Painkillers On Your Body
Painkillers are meant to help ease pain, but what if they’re doing more harm than good? Recent studies have shown that painkillers can have negative effects on your body, from increasing your risk of heart attack to causing addiction. If you’re taking painkillers regularly, it’s important to be aware of these dangers and talk to your doctor about other options.
We were lucky enough to get some insights from Chris Bertiaux, the primary therapist from Lantana rehab center in North Charleston about the effects of painkillers on your body. So let’s have a look at that.
Regular Use Can Lead To Dependence
When you take opioids for a long time, your brain chemistry changes. The opioids attach to your brain’s natural pain-relieving receptors and activate them. This causes your brain to make less of its own natural pain relievers.
Long-term exposure to these drugs alters the way receptors in the brain work, leading to changes in behavior and mood. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on the drug in order to function normally.
Moreover, it can also cause the brain to become more sensitive to pain signals. As a result, people who abuse these drugs often find that they need increasingly larger doses to achieve the same level of pain relief.
This can lead to cravings and withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not taken. If you are taking painkillers or opioids, it is important to be aware of the risks of addiction and talk to your doctor about any concerns you may have.
Can Induce Liver Injury
Acetaminophen is a common ingredient in painkillers and fever reducers, and it is also available as a standalone medication. While it is generally safe when used as directed, acetaminophen can cause liver damage when taken in large doses or when used more frequently than recommended.
In severe cases, acetaminophen poisoning can even lead to death. The risk of liver damage is greater in people who already have liver problems, and alcoholics are especially vulnerable.
Acetaminophen is metabolized in the liver by enzymes that are normally present in hepatocytes (liver cells). These enzymes convert acetaminophen into harmless products that are then excreted in the urine. However, at high doses or with chronic use, these enzymes can become overloaded and begin to produce toxic metabolites, leading to liver injury.
For this reason, it is important to be aware of the potential risks before taking any medication that contains acetaminophen. If you experience any pain or discomfort after taking acetaminophen, be sure to seek medical attention immediately.
Increase Risk Of Cardiovascular Disorders
Painkillers are a go-to for many people when they’re experiencing pain. But did you know that some painkillers can have negative effects on your cardiovascular system?
For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, especially if you already have heart disease. This is because NSAIDs can cause your blood pressure to rise and can also lead to fluid retention.
Another type of painkiller, opioids, can also be dangerous for your heart. Opioids can cause drowsiness and slow your breathing, which can, in turn, lead to a decrease in blood oxygen levels. This can be particularly dangerous if you have preexisting heart conditions.
In addition, painkillers can contribute to the formation of blood clots, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. While the risks associated with taking painkillers are relatively low, it is important to be aware of these potential dangers before starting any new medication.
Potentially Harmful To Your Kidneys
Kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood and removing waste from the body. When painkillers are taken in large doses or for extended periods of time, they can cause the kidneys to work harder, which can lead to kidney damage.
When you take painkillers, they travel through your bloodstream to your kidneys, where they’re filtered out and excreted in the urine. However, some of the medication can build up in your body, causing kidney damage.
In particular, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and naproxen are known to cause kidney problems. NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation, but they can also inhibit blood flow to the kidneys, which can lead to kidney damage or even failure.
Symptoms of kidney damage include fatigue, nausea, and fluid retention. If left untreated, kidney damage can lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of taking painkillers before starting any new medication.
So, the next time you are in pain and reach for a bottle of painkillers, think about how they might be affecting your body. Are there any natural remedies that can help you? Are there other ways to cope with the pain? Consider these questions before popping another pill.