Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Pain is something that comes with aging — achy feet, stiff knees and hurting hips are all par for the course.
And even if you do your best to stay active and keep your joints healthy, there are times when the pain becomes too much.
So like most folks, you might reach for an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (the active ingredient in Advil) or acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol).
While you’ve likely heard these are bad for your liver, kidney and stomach problems, you may not know there’s a new health threat linked to these drugs — one that could alter your quality of life permanently.
This new threat is hearing loss. And research proves that women who take just two ibuprofen or acetaminophen a week could be risking permanent damage to their ears.
For the study, researchers analyzed health data from over 55,000 women and found a significant link between self-reported hearing loss and the prolonged use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen.
After crunching the numbers, they found that women who took these drugs only twice a week over a six-year period raised their risk of developing hearing loss by almost 10 percent.
This means simply taking two doses a week could bring you closer to a life of isolation, confusion and limited communication.
These results back a previous study that links over-the-counter painkillers to hearing loss in men. And the bad news only gets worse — the researchers also found that nearly one in six cases of deafness in aging people could be due to painkillers.
While the cause of the link remains unclear, experts believe that these drugs cut the blood supply to your ears, which can cause hearing damage over a long duration. Short-term use posed little threat.
Fortunately, there’s a natural way to cut your pain without reaching for these deafening drugs.
It’s called curcumin, and it’s the key chemical in the spice turmeric. It can help reduce inflammation and has been a proven pain fighter in several studies.
In one study, folks who suffered from arthritis pain took 200 mg of curcumin daily. At the end the study, they experienced decreased pain and increased mobility. Plus, this dose reduced a series of inflammatory markers, which can up your pain levels.
These types of results aren’t shocking when you consider that many studies have shown curcumin to reduce inflammation in several parts of the body.
Curcumin is available at supplement stores and can also be incorporated into your diet by consuming more of the spice turmeric.
However, the body doesn’t easily absorb curcumin. To get the most out of this inflammation-fighting spice, be sure to choose a supplement that has optimized curcumin. This way, you can get the most of this incredible herb’s pain-busting powers while ditching deafening drugs.
Managing editor, Living Well Daily