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Health Tip of the Week: Dangers of Acetaminophen

The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever typically used for headaches, body aches and pain and fever reduction. As with all drugs and medications, acetaminophen enters the body through the stomach into the blood stream and is then processed and filtered by the liver.

The major problem with drugs like acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like Advil and Motrin is that over time, regular use has been shown to lead to liver damage.

One study from Harvard University found that 1000 of these pills taken over the course of your lifetime can triple your risk of liver disease. The bottom line is that these drugs should be avoided and only taken on an absolute needed basis.

As most everyone is aware, during pregnancy, all drugs are to be avoided unless there are life threatening issues for the mother and the unborn child. Drugs taken by the mother will cross from the mom’s blood stream through the placenta into the baby’s body. Drugs and medications can negatively affect the health of the unborn baby.

That being said, recent studies have shown that use of acetaminophen during pregnancy has been linked to attention and hyperactivity issues in children. The study published in Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology looked at 14,000 children ages 6 months to 17 years old. During the first 7 months of pregnancy, 43% of the mothers had taken acetaminophen “sometimes” during the prior 3 months.

Even more research exists that leads to the conclusion that acetaminophen should be avoided during pregnancy (unless under circumstances mentioned above). A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology found that acetaminophen use has been linked to autism spectrum disorder.

Another study in Pediatrics involving 210,000 mother / child pairs showed that acetaminophen use increased the likelihood of children developing neurobehavioral issues.

So, what’s a pregnant mother to do when faced with the discomforts of pregnancy? There are many foods that have an all-natural pain relieving effect on the body. Foods like ginger and pineapple have anti-inflammatory effects, as does the spice Turmeric.

Acupuncture is a very big help to pregnant women and can alleviate aches and pains and even morning sickness.

Chiropractic care is 100% natural, drug free health care. Many chiropractors specialize in obstetrics and help women through their 9 months of pregnancy. Common pregnancy related issues that present are lower back discomfort and pain, sciatica leg pain, carpel tunnel syndrome and pelvic imbalances. These conditions are all cared for without the use of drugs and medications.

In addition, some chiropractors are certified in Webster’s Technique (me). Webster’s technique takes pressure off the round ligaments at the base of the abdomen, which can free up space in the uterus, allowing babies to have more room to move and turn. This technique helps prevent or reverse breech baby positioning.


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