Over the counter pain meds, NSAIDs, may cause serious kidney damage

Some over the counter pain pills can cause some serious health problems, and there are some effective alternatives you may not know about.

When buying over the county pain medications, it's easy to assume they are safe, but that's not always the case. One man, Barry Davis, found this out the hard way.

"I came from a healthy human being to someone with failing kidneys, I'm in stage IV," Davis said.

Davis has only about 25 percent of his kidney function left because of the counter pain medications like Advil and Aleve. These medications belong to a class known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS.

Davis, once an avid runner, said he took up to nine pills a day for three decades after consulting his doctors.

"I never had any prohibition," he said. "No one ever said don't do that."

Doctors may not have warned Davis, but the National Kidney Foundation advises that while NSAIDS are "usually sage for occasional use," they can lead to chronic kidney disease.

"These kinds of anti-inflammatories are meant to be taken in the short term to help with an acute pain or inflammation," said Charles Srour of Pro Health Care.

Davis now sees chiropractor Charles Srour, who said there are safer alternatives for treating pain long term. He recommends the herb turmeric, specifically curcumin, fish oil and complexes like infladox, which combine supplements.

"In some cases, the effect they get is even stronger than what they get with pharmaceuticals," Srour said.

Davis said he assumed buying medicine over the counter meant it was sage. He urges others not to make the same mistake.

"I'd think twice for sure," said Davis.

Srour said aspirin is also an NSAID, but here is far less documentation that it causes kidney failure in comparison to ibuprofen.

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