Let's Talk... Ibuprofen
It seems yesterday's experience with one more allopathic clinician was all I needed to speak out. I mean, I went so far as to post a complaint on Yelp. Without going into a lot of detail, I accompanied someone to a follow-up visit, being introduced as the 'plant medicine specialist' working with him. Don't ask me why he said 'plant medicine' ... he knows I use the word phytotherapy; however, I suspect he didn't think she would know what that was. Nonetheless, she was clearly annoyed and potentially insulted as she excitedly stated: 'this is an allopathic clinic!' and followed up with the question: 'why are you here?' She went on to emphasize her education and put off my concerns about the amount of ibuprofen this man takes and the potential effects it is having on his body.
You see, 2 weeks earlier, he paid her a visit in order to get some tests run. His blood pressure was high at the time and he's put on some weight. She, at the time and again yesterday, insisted he go on blood pressure medication. Apparently, she did suggest a change in diet as well, not knowing he eats primarily fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, seeds and nutrient-rich superfoods along with raw cheese and tortilla chips (because he enjoys snacking on them). For anyone who wants to get a little critical of this, go ahead .. the way I see it, his diet is better than many and because it's combined with essential oils, he's getting more from his food than most. So, why the weight gain? Wait for it ... yet, allow me to reference the post on Chronic Venous Insufficiency ... this is the same person I talk about in that piece. If you haven't read it, this guy has pain and ulcers on the heel of his foot and has not been able to exercise for months. At the same time, you must wait because there is more to why he's gaining.
During yesterday's visit, his blood pressure was still elevated and he had put on a few more pounds. Truthfully, the entire interaction appeared disjointed. He was pleased that for the most part, his test results came back MUCH better than he anticipated ... even the ulcers are nearly closed; however, there was one point he brought, not the clinician .... that his microalbumin was half a point higher than the 'within normal limits' range. Her reaction to his point was ... 'it's still high'. According to the Mayo Clinic, less than 30 mg is normal, 30 to 300 mg may indicate early kidney disease, over 300 mg indicates more advanced kidney disease ... his score was/is 30.5 mg. Ok, so I get that this is just over 30 yet, there's more going on that she didn't want to hear and attempted to put me in my place when I pointed it out that this gentleman has been taking ibuprofen consistently, every 3 to 4 hours for at least a year. Her reaction is I don't care what's causing it, I only care about what's happening and jumped right into the high blood pressure being the cause. As it is, I can't argue with that point; however, he is consuming a bit of ibuprofen and even though I've asked him not to take it, he claimed it was the only thing that made the pain tolerable and didn't think it was causing any problems. I disagreed; yet, who can argue with someone in pain and needing to get to work.
As it goes, she showed no interest in his taking ibuprofen and went on to dismiss me, expressing her disapproval of his refusal to take blood pressure meds. She simply tried to exercise her authority as much as possible no matter what was discussed. When she finally asked why we were even there I looked at her and said: 'because I cannot order tests and we needed your input as well as confirmation on what's going and whether or not 'things' are improving.' I don't have to tell you this statement didn't help. Between this and my attempt to let her know that ibuprofen can elevate microalbumin, she'd had enough of me.
Therefore, I decided to share the facts about ibuprofen just in the event there is someone out there taking it on a regular basis
- it elevates blood pressure levels in people already living with hypertension which means you do not mix the medications (this is why I'm glad he turned the blood pressure med down)
- it affects microalbumin levels because chronic use does lead to high blood pressure
- it's hard on the liver
- because it's hard on the liver (a.k.a. stressful), it triggers changes within the system diminishing glutathione production. In other words, it leads to oxidative stress; so even though it's an anti-inflammatory, it can lead to inflammation, and glutathione is essential for kidney health
- due to the stress, the digestion is slowed, minimizing the breakdown of glucose and protein (another number that never even got discussed was his blood glucose level which was minimally elevated as well) and increasing his appetite because he's not getting the nutrition needed for cell health and energy
- just because it is 'generally regarded as safe' ... take this disclaimer with a grain of salt, it's not safe ... especially when taken ALL the time
I find it rather interesting how quick people are to question what's natural and accept what is passed off as safe .... I mean this guy for as great as he is, has struggled with accepting the fact that the oils and superfood recommendations were not his problems. He was convinced that the Betain and the Mastic Gum were causing his bloating not the fact the ibuprofen was messing with his digestion and more. I guess this is my way of saying ....
PLEASE question the effects of your OTC's and prescriptions as well as be cautious with their interactions AND if you're adding natural remedies to your protocol, BE CERTAIN they DO NOT interact adversely. Manmade chemicals are NOTHING like natural chemicals which means the effects they have on the body register as stress prompting a series of changes in order to keep you protected! Don't believe high blood pressure is a message? Consider that it is; alhtough, not a request for medication.