“Pill Overkill: A Quick Fix with Consequences”

Pill Overkill: A Quick Fix with Consequences

    When playing football as a 10th grader at Franklin Regional High School, I was eager to learn from the 12th graders.  As the team put on their uniforms, a senior pulled out a bottle of Aspirin, dumped a few in his hand, and downed them instantly.  “What are you doing?” I asked him.  “Football gives me headaches, so I take Aspirin before each game to lessen them,” was his response.  Even in 10th grade, I sensed this wasn’t a healthy solution and decided not to follow his leadership.

    This past Saturday, March 11, 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discussed a lawsuit filed by NFL players for being overprescribed pain pills and anti-inflammatories.  According to the article, former Steelers player Jeff Hartings described the NFL as “a culture with rampant use of painkillers.”  Hartings actually reported that pills “were overused and abused when I played, even going back to my days at Penn State.”

    The most significant information in this article was how NSAIDs (Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, etc.) trigger kidney damage when taken prior to strenuous exercise.  Do you take NSAIDs prior to physical activities such as gardening, hitting the gym, or playing golf?  You may be setting yourself up for unnecessary kidney failure.

    If my teammate was taking pills in 12th grade, I wonder where he is today.  As one doctor pointed out, taking pills for pain and inflammation ages the body.

    The good news is there is a better way! You can improve your life and have a healthier future.  If you listened to your body the same way your listened to your favorite musicians, your life would be enriched.