Pain helped by NSAIDs, the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, is a definitive sign of a fatty acid imbalance. Whether you feel better from a baby aspirin, ibuprofen or a major player in the market today like Vioxx or Celebrex, these medications work off your biochemistry by adjusting eicosanoid levels in your body to help fight inflammation. Series 2 eicosanoids, which are pro-inflammatory, can become elevated when a person eats too many of the saturated fats; dairy, shellfish, egg yolks and red meat. Although these fats are necessary in moderate amounts (especially in a developing fetus), the typical person eats far too many. To compound the problem, they also consume less of the anti-inflammatory Omega 3 and 6 fats. Omega 3 fats are fish and flax oils while Omega 6 fats are vegetable oils, legumes, nuts and seeds. The imbalance of too many inflammatory promoting saturated fats and the lack of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 and 6 fats is exacerbated by a diet containing partially hydrogenated (trans) fats. NSAIDs help by somewhat correcting/adjusting this imbalance. Since your body is not deficient in NSAIDs, they should be used with caution. Research shows them only to be effective within 48 hours of trauma, although many people take large amounts of these medications every day. NSAIDs in any amount or strength will cause gastrointestinal bleeding. They will also deplete sulfur levels which are very necessary to detoxify hormones through your liver and interestingly enough, repair your cartilage. Probably the same joint pain you are taking the NSAID for is the same one you are also depleting the necessary sulfur that is necessary to heal it. That’s no good.
Side note: Don’t think that the easy way out is to take an NSAID and still eat poorly. And don’t think that “popping” them will either help with inflammation or not help it at all – it can make it worse. Taking NSAIDs, especially when you don’t need them not only causes the problems noted above but they can also cause a chemical reaction in your body that will create 10 to 100 times more inflammation than the original inflammatory reaction you may be trying to fight. This is called a leukotriene reaction. This is very common in the person taking these medications frequently and seeing little or no change, or takes them for “prevention” before and after exercising.