So today let's talk about what anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen may do to the stomach and our health since there's been a lot of talk about it in conjunction with this viral crisis. So first, what exactly is an anti-inflammatory?
It is said that an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). They work by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body. Okay, well that's simple enough. Right?
BUT, The U.S. National Library of Medicine states:
People that take Ibuprofen may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or a stroke than people that do not use it. The risk may also be higher is you have already had a heart attack or stroke, you smoke, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes. These events may happen without warning and may cause death. Ibuprofen may cause ulcers, bleeding, or holes in the stomach or intestine. People that are at a higher risk are the elderly, people poor in health or for people that drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks per day while taking ibuprofen.)
And sadly the FDA approves these drugs that are potentially harmful to us!
So why do these anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen cause havoc to the lining of the stomach and our health? Well, anti- inflammatory drugs decreases how much prostaglandin (that's the hormone they were talking about above) the body makes.
Prostaglandins protects the lining of the stomach from the damaging effects of stomach acids. So these anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen reduces the production of the hormone-like substance prostaglandin . . . lack of this hormone allows stomach acid to damage the lining of the stomach making holes and giving us ulcers.
So how does all this affect our health and lungs during this crisis we find ourselves in now?
Well, an anti-inflammatory drug like Ibuprofen not only affects the "bad" (inflammation, pain, fever), they also affect the "good" (blood pressure, AIR FLOW TO THE LUNGS, gastric pH, intestinal mucus, renal function) effects of prostaglandins!
In the lungs, prostaglandins not only modify pulmonary circulation, they also modify ventilation by constricting or contracting airways.
So let's dig a little deeper. The biggest reason anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen may effect this virus is due to the fact that they "inhibit" antibody production in human cells.
You see, antibodies are a blood protein produced in response to and counteracting a specific antigen. Meaning . . . Antibodies combine chemically with substances which the body recognizes as alien, such as bacteria, VIRUSES and foreign substances in the blood.
Antibodies recognize and latch onto antigens like VIRUSES in order to remove them from the body.
So just saying . . . IF we are taking anti-inflammatory drugs . . . they may be decreasing the amount of hormone-like substances called prostaglandin the body is making, therefore, reducing the protection of the stomach's lining causing holes which promote ulcers.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR TODAY'S CRISIS. . . IF you are taking anti-inflammatory drugs . . . they may effect our ANTIBODY response to specific antigens which are bacteria, VIRUSES and foreign substances in the blood.
If you'd like more information, feel free to contact me