acute liver failure

  1. How anyone can overdose on acetaminophen without realizing it

    How people overdose on painkillers

    Americans overdose on the painkiller acetaminophen every single day, and new research shows how quickly and easily it can happen to almost anybody.

    In a series of experiments, 500 outpatients were tested on proper acetaminophen doses.

    It was a test they failed, often spectacularly.

    Many of them didn't know that the same drug is used in everything from cold remedies to painkillers. As a result, a patient with a headache and runny nose might take two drugs with acetaminophen without realizing he just doubled his dose.

    And in the tests, nearly half of the patients showed they were at risk of doing just that.

    But even when given proper dosing information, many people still didn't get it right. More than a quarter showed they could exceed the daily limit for the drug, and 5 percent could've exceeded that limit by as much as 50 percent.

    Fortunately, no one actually took the drug for the study so no one overdosed in the name of science.

    But most people don't have researchers looking over their shoulder -- and that's why acetaminophen overdose is now the nation's leading cause of acute liver failure.

    The daily limit is supposed to be 4,000 mg in any given 24-hour period, but I have a much better way to cut the risk of overdose as well as all the other side effects linked to this drug: Don't take any if at all possible.

    For simple pain relief at home, I recommend either curcumin or MSM. A great
    go-to for just about any kind of ache and pain is Soothanol X2 from our affiliates over at NorthStar Nutritionals. Just rub a few drops of this remarkable pain reliever with MSM where it hurts and the pain starts to melt away in a matter of minutes.

    For ongoing pain issues, consider a drug-free treatment such as acupuncture or cold laser.

    And for recurring pain issues, don't just treat the symptom -- find the cause and correct it. For more help treating chronic pain, contact the Stengler Center for Integrative Health.

  2. Another bad use for painkillers

    Hearts have been broken for about as long as there have been hearts to break -- but it's only in recent years that people began to rely on drugs to get over the emotional toll of rejection.

    And if a new study is any indication, self-medication for this "condition" is about to get dangerously easy.

    Acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, is already one of the most overused drugs on the planet, with overdoses now the nation's leading cause of acute liver failure.

    But now, researchers claim this same med can help with more than just physical boo-boos. Because both physical and emotional pains are processed in the same part of the brain (the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex), the same meds used for one can supposedly help with the other.

    To make that point, researchers assigned 62 people to either 1,000 mg of Tylenol or a placebo, and asked them to keep emotional journals for three weeks.

    Sure enough, those who took the drug had fewer hurt feelings over that time.

    In an earlier study, the same researchers found that Tylenol helps dull emotional pain in nine days.

    And in another sequence of experiments, they used videogames to make people feel excluded and found that people who took Tylenol were less bothered by this high-tech version of classic social rejection.

    The researchers admit that popping Tylenol for emotional pain probably isn't the best idea in the world, but you can bet that message is going to get lost in the wilderness.

    And that's where this one can turn ugly fast -- because along with the risk of liver failure, acetaminophen overdose is responsible for 56,000 trips to the emergency room and hundreds of deaths every year in the United States alone.

    This drug has also been linked to a host of side effects, including stomach bleeding, abdominal pain, an increased risk of blood cancer and even severe allergic reactions.

    One recent study found that even small overdoses taken over several days --- what scientists call a "staggered" overdose --- can actually be deadlier than the big overdoses taken by people who attempt suicide.

    So no matter what form of pain you're going through -- physical or emotional -- this drug is a bad choice.

    Stick to natural options instead, including time itself. It might not heal all wounds, but it does a pretty good job with emotional pain.

  3. The painkiller deception

    I know plenty of people with arthritis who are left wondering why even the most powerful drugs never quite do the trick. So they take more – and higher doses… all the while still fighting pain and getting no better.
  4. Pain for the painkillers

    Finally, folks in the mainstream are ready to talk common sense when it comes to painkillers.

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