Doctors of chiropractic are increasingly skeptical about indiscriminate use of pain-relieving medication, including the over-the-counter variety. The potential benefits are not without serious risk, particularly for pregnant women.
Flashy ads and celebrity endorsements hail these drugs as powerful, yet safe enough for everyday use. But what the snazzy sound bytes and glossy layouts don't reveal is that NSAIDs may be hazardous, even deadly - especially when used on a daily or weekly basis.
Previous research demonstrates that NSAIDs trigger gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding, high blood pressure, cataracts, kidney disease and headaches. According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 76,000 people are hospitalized each year due to adverse reactions from these medications. And, an estimated 10,000 - 20,000 individuals die each year from taking NSAIDs.
A just published study recently added to the list of potential NSAID side effects. According to a report in the February 3, 2002, issue of the British Medical Journal, these medications bolster women's risk of miscarriage.
WHO CONDUCTED THE STUDY?
The study, "Risk of adverse birth outcome and miscarriage in pregnant users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: population based observational study and case control study", was conducted by researchers in Denmark.
WHO WAS ENROLLED IN THE ANALYSIS?
The study tracked 1,462 who had taken prescription NSAID medication during their pregnancies or during the 30 days prior to conception. In addition, researchers investigated the pregnancies of 4,268 women who had miscarriages and 29,750 women who had live births.
WHAT DID THE FINDINGS REVEAL?
NSAID use was significantly associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. On the other hand, there was no correlation between NSAIDs and an elevated risk of birth defects, low birth weight or pre-term birth.
WHERE ARE NSAIDs HIDING?
Even some so-called "natural" remedies may contain NSAIDs. Consequently, if you're thinking about having a baby, avoid any products containing NSAIDs. The following list of generic names for common NSAIDS will assist you in your search:
THE DRUG-FREE PAINKILLER
Pain is commonplace during pregnancy, particularly backache. A full 10 percent of expectant mothers miss work due to back discomfort. So what's an achy mum-to-be to do if she can't pop pain relievers? For many mums, chiropractic is the all solution they've been searching for.
Why is chiropractic such an effective alternative to medication? Because doctors of chiropractic go to the root of the problem, rather than masking symptoms with drugs. For example, pregnancy-related back pain is linked to mechanical imbalances triggered by the hormone relaxin, which is released during gestation. Relaxin "relaxes" ligaments in the low back and pelvis. Consequently, the bones connected to these ligaments shift, generating pain. When these imbalances occur in the hipbones they are called sacroiliac dysfunction. When they affect the bones of the spine they are known as vertebral subluxation.
Chiropractors restore alignment and motion to the spine and hips with gentle and effective maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments. These maneuvers have been shown to eradicate pregnancy-related back pain. And, studies suggest that regular prenatal chiropractic adjustments may also ward off pain during labor.
To prevent future pain, doctors of chiropractic often suggest exercises and massage therapy for their pregnant patients. Doctors may also provide nutrition and stress-reduction advice.
THE PERFECT SHOWER GIFT!
Are you attending a shower for an expectant mum shortly? A gift certificate for a prenatal chiropractic checkup is the perfect gift for any mum-to-be.