A recent article on MSNBC.com caught my attention.
“A pair of studies suggests that the common painkiller acetaminophen — better known as Tylenol in the U.S. — may be fueling a worldwide increase in asthma.
…. His team followed more than 1,000 Ethiopian babies over three years. When the toddlers turned one, the researchers asked the mothers if their babies had breathing problems, and how much Tylenol they had used.
About eight percent of the kids began to wheeze between ages one and three. Those who had been given Tylenol during their first year — before they had breathing trouble — had up to seven times the odds of developing wheezing.”
“The researchers estimate that Tylenol could potentially be responsible for up to four in 10 of all asthma symptoms, including severe ones such as waking up gasping for air once a week or more.”
What really bugged me was this (emphasis mine):
“But large-scale clinical tests are necessary before anyone cleans out their medicine cabinet, stressed Amberbir, whose findings are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.”
According to Kanabar, dropping painkillers entirely is probably a bad idea, and might cause a child to feel worse and drink less liquid, which could slow recovery.”
Here’s the thing, folks. Are you ready?
Painkillers (of any kind) do NOTHING to help your body heal.
If your body is fighting an infection by raising your temperature (giving you a fever) and you take a chemical that lowers that temperature, you are actually WORKING AGAINST YOUR BODY’S ABILITY TO FIGHT THE INFECTION. You are not helping!
Dr. Mendelsohn has a great chapter in his book, How To Raise A Healthy Child…In Spite of Your Doctor, on the function of fever and when to be concerned. If you don’t have this book, I highly recommend it as a resource.
Headaches and other pains serve a purpose. They are warning signals that something is not right and needs attention. If you remove the warning signal without discovering the cause, further damage is sure to ensue. More on this in How To Avoid Headaches-Naturally.
Besides taking away any good that the ache or fever may cause, the toxins put in when you take these medications actually make it harder for your body to heal; there’s more work to do now, as it has to deal with what you put in immediately, and cannot use the same amount of energy now to get better.
So, in my opinion, dropping painkillers entirely is probably a very GOOD idea.
That being said, remember that every little thing you do makes a difference in either direction. In other words, if you cut down but still take something once in a while, you are still better off than you are popping a pill with every ache. So remember to take babysteps and not be too hard on yourself when making these changes. Progress does not mean doing somethings ALWAYS or NEVER, just that you are headed in a direction you know to be good.
Even I don’t ALWAYS do the “good” things and NEVER do the “bad” things. Just do what you can do.
Avoiding OTC and other medications definitely falls under number 9 of my 10 Simple Steps to Transform Your Family’s Health. I’m excited to be working (slowly but surely) on my eBook on this same topic. It will be available FREE to those on my newsletter list, so if you’re not signed up for it, go ahead and do it (on the left sidebar) so that you won’t miss a thing!
So, do I think that taking Tylenol causes asthma? I have no idea. But, I do know that the more junk that goes into your body (including Tylenol), the more likely your body is to scream at you in protest (think: symptom). Asthma is a symptom, a warning signal. So whether or not it has a direct cause is not my focus.
Just ask yourself: Does it promote health or hinder it?
There’s your answer.