Pain is an important, albeit uncomfortable, process that we often try to block.
It’s also how our bodies signal something’s wrong… alerting us to infection or injury.
Of course, I’ve written about the dangers of pain medications for quite some time.
But a recent headline piqued my curiosity…
It suggested that pain meds could affect an area that serves as the foundation to good health.
Don’t leave THIS unarmed
The headline read: “Are Pain Meds Bad for Your Gut?”
My first reaction: “Yes—they can cause ulcers.” But then I got to thinking… maybe there’s more to this headline than met the eye…
And, well, I was right.
This new study, led by Harvard Medical School researchers, suggests that blocking acute pain may damage the gut.
(Remember—the microbiome, the environment in which your gut bacteria thrive, serves as the foundation to good health. And a compromised microbiome leads to a whole host of chronic diseases.)
In fact, the researchers found that pain neurons in mice helped regulate the protective mucus that lines the gut. This mucus is released in response to inflammation. And it’s part of a process that protects the gut barrier from potentially harmful microbes and tissue injury.
So, when you pop pain meds, that process is derailed—often leading to gut dysbiosis (or gut imbalance), which paves the way for inflammation and heightens risk of painful gut conditions like colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Restore your gut
Now, I recognize this was an animal study. But what impressed me is that science is starting to figure out how molecules in the body interact between organs to help maintain health.
And it helps us better understand the gut-brain axis connection.
So, I quite agree that maintaining or restoring your gut health could be a simple way to help regulate the pain signaling process.
I’ve written a lot about ways you can build a healthy gut microbiome, but for today’s discussion, let’s keep things simple…
Eat lean protein, lots of vegetables, and little to no sugar. In addition, exercise, manage your stress, and take a live, high-quality, daily probiotic (with multiple strains and not too many colony forming units [CFUs]).
For a total gut transformation, check out my back-to-back features in the March and April 2019 issues of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here to learn about becoming one.
One last thing…
This study analyzed acute pain. And I quite agree that this type of pain can be protective when left untreated (assuming it’s not severe).
However, chronic pain is another story that you should discuss with your physician. Or—search the archives on my website for natural solutions to long-term pain.
Until next time,
“Are Pain Meds Bad for Your Gut?” WedMD, 11/16/2022. (webmd.com/pain-management/news/20221116/are-pain-meds-bad-for-your-gut)