Most people don’t give a second thought to taking over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. In addition, many people also have alcoholic beverages in their lifestyle at some point during the week. You don’t have to be a daily drinker to have problems with your digestion, especially when combined with OTC meds.
Many people take OTC meds for a variety of reasons today. Frequent headaches, body aches and pains, and attempts at controlling inflammation they have been told they have by a doctor. These medications are NOT meant to be used daily or regularly.
They cause enormous issues with:
* Protective barriers in the digestive tract.
* Gut leaking.
* Stress on the liver.
On the other side, comes alcohol. Basically, this does the SAME THING to the body as I just listed above. NOW combine these two powerful things together (that seem very minimal in our culture to consume) and you have A LOT of damage.
Over time, daily use (or even daily OTC use and occasional alcohol use) will lead you on the path of damage to your digestive tract. I have so many people that come to me with the intake of both of these things, and in addition, they have developed food sensitivities as well. Those came from some poor choices, but also the body already has a leaky gut and then foods escaping in the damage and then being tagged by the immune system.
The real reason that OTC meds are needed is RARELY addressed in standard health or medicine. One of the things I do is look at the ROOT cause of the need for those OTC meds. Are you having migraines or chronic headaches? There is a reason – let’s take a look. That usually is related to blood sugar balance, gut issues, and foods. Perhaps it is joint pain? There is inflammation from foods that you are eating that is causing that problem. Let’s take a deep dive and get at that root cause. Sometimes it’s microbes in the gut that need more balance or elimination – that is also something we can do together.
The first thing to remember though is that taking either of these two daily, and then combining them together daily is a disaster for your gut. So if you don’t already notice you will very soon. It’s very painful and eventually damaged and can’t function.
Where can you start to try to cut back or cut out your OTC use?
* Take a look at the number of processed sugars and carbohydrates daily
This is where many people start reacting and develop blood sugar imbalances. That sweet lollipop after work, or that piece or three of chocolate each night, that dessert after dinner, then combined with pasta meals, little to no vegetables, and even sugar and energy drinks, are contributors. Stick with water, cut out the drinks, and ditch the processed carbs.
* Pay attention to WHEN the symptoms occur.
What have you eaten in the last few hours if it’s a headache? If it’s joint pain start with the 12-36 hours before – what did you eat? Food journals are part of my intake and part of every single follow-up appointment because this is where we find the root cause of foods. There are other things that can contribute but we always look at the food to start. If you start noticing a connection with foods, eliminate those foods and see if your symptoms change. I bet they do!
* Be sure to drink at least half your body weight in plain water (and more) daily!
Dehydration plays a large part in body issues and feeling unwell. Many symptoms of feeling unwell can be relieved by having the right amount of water consistently and daily.
In terms of alcohol use, it should NEVER be combined with these medications. Ever. It’s very dangerous for the liver and is extremely toxic for the body.
If you are struggling with digestion, or you have been using these meds for a while and feel like you just need to stop and get to the root cause, reach out for a free consult. We can talk about what I do and if it works for your needs.