Your pain killers aren't going easy on your liver, and this is why

Posted by Mike Miryala on


Managing pain naturally. As we grow old, or even when we have some minor accidents / incidents, we have a lot of pain, joint pain, different kinds of back pain, all of that.  And people tend to take medication to handle pain, right? I mean, let's hear out Mike's perspective on how he talks about pain with his patients at Pharmacies. 


Q: How often do you give pain medications? Do you guys give pain medications? Is it a very common thing? 


Mike: Yes. In America it's not. In general, as human body ages, it's a side effect of aging. So you tend to get body pains. Pain could be a variety of reasons because of illness, because of aging, because of fracture, because of accident. It could be anything. But generalized pain always comes in combination with the inflammation. So the foods which have anti-inflammatory tendencies factors, always good with pain medication. So that’s essentially capsaicin. So let's say, like you mentioned Sam, the red bell pepper has reds. Also, it has capsaicin in it. So capsaicin is, “one of the best anti-inflammatory and pain medication”. So adding capsicum to your routine diet. But too much capsaicin also causes heartburn. So it should be in moderation and drinking a lot of water with it. 


Especially pain associated with injuries, pain associated with surgeries, pain associated with aging, where people has bone inflammation, let's say between two cartilage points. Yeah, those type of things. Essentially, people, a lot of patients, they supplement with over-the-counter ibuprofen, over the counter insets, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. And also with acetaminophen, that is the Tylenol. So essentially, Tylenol is not good for pain. Tylenol is very harmful for the liver. So there is a study, it shows that Tylenol accumulates in your liver. As it metabolizes, it precipitates over the period of time. And there is a study, it shows at some point of time in your age, you can say how many milligrams of Tylenol your liver metabolized. Yeah. And it impacts very very negatively. 


Sam: Right. And then that leads to then these other health effects.


Mike: Exactly. My father in law is a cardiologist. When he told me… so when I'm too tired at night, I just like to pop 325, 500 Tylenol. And he asked me, hey, what are you taking? I work out every day. I'm in control, I'm in good shape. So he asked me, “why are you taking, what is that pill? What is it for?” I said, “when I'm too tired.” Tylenol has a sedative effect at night. So when you take it, your body temperature changes and you tend to fall asleep. So that's why I take it. It's generalized pain, generalized sleeplessness. So I just pop a pill. So he told me, and he showed me this study and I stopped taking it.


Sam: Yeah, well, there you go. And then it's like the whole point of all of this, what we're talking about is there are so many natural remedies and ways to manage these pains or just help yourself with sleeping. There's so many natural herbs and supplements that exist that even having a chamomile tea, having tea in general, there's a bunch of superfood mushrooms that you can have, and those also have relaxing effects for the body.


But ultimately, when we're just talking about pain and how we get older with time, and that is  really why it's so important to be eating these whole foods and integrating this rainbow diet is because if you are eating a really healthy diet everyday, your body is not going to shut down. Especially, also weight gaining, being overweight leads to the majority of these negative health effects. And being overweight is really hard on your bones, your muscles, and so that's also where a lot of this pain comes from, and that's what leads to inflammation.


So everything really starts from your diet - at the end of the day. Even exercising all the time isn't necessarily the best thing for you. There's a lot of studies that actually say just walking all the time, that is so much better for you than going and doing a HIIT workout, because that inflames your body also. And so you really should be listening to your body for what it needs. But ultimately, walking is the best thing to do. And then that plus making sure you're eating a wholefoods diet is what will lead to feeling your best. And if you're looking to lose weight, that's what will help you lose weight.


So a lot of these things that Mike has to see, a lot of these people, it's because if they had been integrating a whole food diet or eating the rainbow diet their whole lives, they probably wouldn't be in the place that they are today.


Mike: Yeah, let's say if people are especially patients who are eating what you say, probably they don't even see me because they don't need medication. 


Sam: Right. You don't see those people.


Mike:  I forgot to mention inflammation.There are several places, because of inflammation is the first and foremost side effect of any drug, what we dispense. So in other words, any prescription pain medication, any anti-inflammatory, majority of the blood pressure medication, majority of the diabetes medication, anything that you take inside in a pill form, it tends to cause inflammation, GI irritation, inflammation.


Yeah, it's a foreign body. The first side effect anybody will feel is the regurgitation and inflammation of the GI. It's intuitive because it goes into the body and it releases medication. And the majority of the medications are, it has a different PH than your gut. And when it interacts, first instance, it produces prostaglandin. Prostaglandin is the cause of inflammation. 


Sam: Interesting. So then that's why a lot of people have really tough digestive issues. Like whenever they're on medication, they usually have a hard time pooping. 


Mike: Yes. So I think it's just a suggestion. I mean, however Sumeet wants to or you all want to be moving forward probably we need to focus on rather we give out information. Probably we should give out, like customized examples of what people need. And let's say what people can take away from our live sessions.


Let's say if somebody is taking some medication, or if somebody has a real issue, and if they can ask a question in the chat.  Let's say Sam can give her side of the story, let's say side of her expertise, what food diet they can change it to. And I can put my side. What are the supplements they can take and what are the over-the-counter they can take? If there are any other prescription medication, we can balance the prescription medication. And if any, let's say, suggestion as a pharmacist, I can tell them, hey, you have to go back to when your next appointment. Hey, you ask your doctor to get a prescription for this, lower this and increase this. How about this food for your suggestion?


It's overall well being of a patient, well being of any individual who are healthy also.


Sam: Yeah, absolutely. Because I'm not saying that every food is going to heal everything right away. I understand that medication is needed at times. But if you're already on the trajectory of having to take medication or you’re not already there, this is the time to just fix anything that’s already happening to you so that you don’t have to take medication. Because that should always be the last resort. And I think that’s one of the biggest issues with the US is that our first resort is to go to medication as opposed to going to foods, and figuring out how eating a more wholefood diet is actually what’s going to make you feel a lot better, and potentially save your life.


Mike: Yeah. Essentially, lifestyle changes are not a switch on switch off. I mean even for the matter of a lot of these medications, especially if somebody has an acute condition, let’s say severe pain and they’re rushing to the emergency room, and they have a condition that they’re already seeing a doctor, that continues. But we can, for people who are already thinking to better their life and well-being, they need some kind of direction, some kind of help, maybe we can improve their quality of life.



If you missed Samantha's and Mike's discussion on Eat The Rainbow, you can still watch the full episode here (part 1) -->