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Avoiding dangerous drugs when possible is always smart, as they come with huge side effects and can’t be naturally incorporated into your life like herbs, and foods such as turmeric. One of the more potent and efficient active ingredients in turmeric is curcumin and is associated with preventing and lessening the effects of many illnesses. Since turmeric is food it can be naturally incorporated into your diet to sustain its benefits over an extended period. Replacing these benefits with drugs that give similar relief but offer detriment as well is an easy way to improve your lifestyle.

Turmeric and Curcumin to Avoid The Side Effects of Dangerous Drugs

Turmeric is a herb that has been used for 4000 years as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive problems, liver ailments, skin diseases, and wounds. It is an antioxidant and stimulates the gallbladder to improve digestion.

Many of the benefits of turmeric come from its active ingredient curcumin. This component only makes up a small part of turmeric, but a lot of research is being done to show if curcumin can heal certain ailments and how much of it will be needed to do so. [i]

With more research being done and the side effects of other drugs piling up, turmeric could be a good thing to add to your life. With the advisement of a doctor and some research, turmeric can be used to supplement or complement drugs to fight diseases and conditions you might be facing.

Drugs are often made up with high doses of chemicals meant to treat one thing. This very particular focus often pushes other health complications to the side leaving chances for complications and other dangers which could be avoided with curcumin in high enough doses.

Atorvastatin

This drug is used to lower cholesterol. However, Atorvastatin along with other statins are associated with muscle diseases like myopathy and rhabdomyolysis. Although these side effects are rare, they are still life changing and lead to weakness, cramps, stiffness, and spasms. [ii] [iii]

Other side effects include:[iv]  [v]

  • Liver problems
  • Stomach and abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Yellowing eyes
  • Complications with liver disease, kidney disease, and alcohol
  • Damage to unborn baby when pregnant
  • Headaches
  • Back and side pain
  • Runny Nose
  • Painful Urination

How Curcumin Can Help

However, a “standardized preparation of curcuminoids” involving curcumin was looked at in an 8-week study with 67 type 2 diabetes patients and researchers found that it assists blood flow just as well as atorvastatin. Showing a significant reduction of stress on blood vessels, and inflammation causing problems especially for patients with type 2 diabetes. [vi]

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids treat dozens of ailments such as acute lung injury and chronic anterior uveitis, which is long-term inflammation of the front of the eye. This drug can be taken orally, inhaled, injected or done topically. All of these methods come with its set of side effects.[vii] [viii]

When taken orally you may experience:[ix]

  • Pressure in the eyes due to fluid retention
  • High blood pressure
  • Mood, memory and behavior problems
  • Thinning bones and skin

When Inhaled you may get:[x]

  • A fungal infection
  • Hoarseness
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A side effect of applying the drug topically is:[xi]

  • Skin lesions

And when injected you may have:[xii]

  • Skin thinning
  • Loss of color
  • Facial flushing
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure

Other issues that may occur with taking Corticosteroids are:[xiii]

  • Acute stress
  • Increase cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Myopathy

How Curcumin Can Help

A study done in rats with lung injuries found that curcumin reduced inflammation and irritation of their injury by decreasing stress and stopping inflammatory cytokines with similar effectiveness as corticosteroids. While this is an animal study, it does show that curcumin and turmeric have potential to be more efficient in humans than these dangerous drugs by reducing severe inflammation. [xxvii]

Another 2008 study in rats found that curcumin also can protect lungs involved in transplants from injury, by suppressing inflammation in the same way. [xiv]

Prozac

Prozac is an antidepressant which can cause minor to severe side effects, making them last resorts.

Side effects of Prozac include: [xv]

  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Diarrhea

More serious effects are:[xvi]

  • Chills
  • Hives
  • Trouble breathing

And Rare but Severe effects are:[xvii]

  • Excessive Cheerfulness
  • Bleeding stomach
  • Giant hives
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Mania
  • Ulcers
  • Seizures

How Curcumin Can Help

A study in mice found that when using 100mg of curcumin for every kg, the mice weighed that it had similar effects to drugs like Prozac. The mice were as energetic evident as they swam and climbed more after ingesting curcumin. This study is promising because it is indicating that there might be alternative for people who feel the side effects of these drugs daily. [xxvi]

Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has been associated with inhibiting the spread of tumors. However, these benefits can come with a side of pain and discomfort, illustrating the need for more natural options.

You’re at risk for:[xviii]

  • Abdominal pain
  • Sour Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble Breathing

Rarer conditions are:[xix]

  • Bleeding hums
  • Bloody Stools
  • Depression
  • Hives

Signs of Overdose are:[xx]

  • Dizziness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Restlessness
  • Cramps
  • Hallucinations

How Curcumin Can Help

Finding natural ways to inhibit tumors without side effects is valuable. A 2004 study on tumor cells discovered that you need a smaller dose of curcumin than Ibuprofen, aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to inhibit the genes responsible for spreading tumor cells. Indicating that Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory and could be able to fight cancer.[xxi]

Oxaliplatin

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This drug is for treating colorectal cancer but has significant side effects for doing so such as:[xxii]

  • Bleeding gums
  • Blistering
  • Burning and itching skin
  • Chills
  • Difficulty breathing, articulating, moving, and swallowing
  • Swelling
  • Thirst

How Curcumin Can Help

Oxaliplatin shouldn’t be the only thing you’re using to suppress cancer. A 2007 study on rats in the journal Oncogene found that curcumin was effective at inhibiting different colorectal cell lines from spreading and creating tumors. At the very least you should include turmeric or curcumin supplements into your diet regularly for long-term prevention, while also using it if you have colorectal cancer as curcumin and oxylipin can be more powerful together.[xxiii]

Metformin

This drug is used to treat type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar. However, it has been associated with a potentially fatal disease called lactic acidosis, which also comes with tiredness, trouble breathing, stomach pains, dizziness, and slow heart rate. [xxiv]

Other side effects include:[xxv]

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach Pain Heartburn
  • Gas

How Curcumin Can Help

A 2009 study in the Journal of Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Community found that curcumin can mediate our body’s ability to produce glucose and how much glucose our bodies can handle with much more potency than metformin. While this study was done in cells and not humans, it offers some promise that turmeric and curcumin will be beneficial for helping those with type 2 diabetes without additional side effects.[xxvi]

Conclusion

While the research isn’t conclusive, adding turmeric or curcumin supplements to your diet’s not hard as many great recipes call for the flavourful ingredient. Start getting the potential benefits of curcumin now as it has various benefits but doesn’t come with the side effects.

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

Sources:

[i] Turmeric. University of Maryland Medical Center. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[ii] Myopathy Information Page | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Nindsnihgov. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/myopathy-information-page. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[iii] Maji D, Shaikh S, Solanki D, Gaurav K. Safety of statins. Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2013;17(4):636. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.113754.

[iv] atorvastatin oral : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Pictures, Warnings & Dosing – WebMD. WebMD. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-841/atorvastatin-oral/details#precautions. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[v] Atorvastatin (Oral Route) Precautions – Mayo Clinic. Mayoclinicorg. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/atorvastatin-oral-route/precautions/drg-20067003. Accessed April 13, 2017.

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[vi]Usharani P, Mateen A, Naidu M, Raju Y, Chandra N. Effect of NCB-02, Atorvastatin and Placebo on Endothelial Function, Oxidative Stress and Inflammatory Markers in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Drugs in R & D. 2008;9(4):243-250. doi:10.2165/00126839-200809040-00004.

[vii] Neumann R. Chronic Anterior Uveitis. 1st ed. The American Uveitis Society; 2003:1. Available at: http://www.uveitissociety.org/Resources/Documents/Patient%20Education/cau.pdf. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[viii] Lal B, Kapoor A, Asthana O et al. Efficacy of Curcumin in the Management of Chronic Anterior Uveitis. Phytotherapy Research. 1999;13(4):318-322. doi:10.1002/(sici)1099-1573(199906)13:4<318::aid-ptr445>3.0.co;2-7.

[ix] Corticosteroids for Rheumatoid Arthritis. WebMD. 2017. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/corticosteroids-for-rheumatoid-arthritis. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[x] IBID.

[xi] IBID.

[xii] STANBURY R, GRAHAM E. Systemic corticosteroid therapy—side effects and their management. 2017.

[xiii] IBID.

[xiv] Sun J, Guo W, Ben Y et al. Preventive effects of curcumin and dexamethasone on lung transplantation-associated lung injury in rats. Critical Care Medicine. 2008;36(4):1205-1213. doi:10.1097/ccm.0b013e31816a06fc.

[xv] Common and Rare Side Effects for Prozac oral. WebMD. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6997/prozac-oral/details/list-sideeffects. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[xvi] IBID.

[xvii] IBID.

[xviii] Sanmukhani J e. Evaluation of antidepressant like activity of curcumin and its combination with fluoxetine and imipramine: an acute and chronic study. – PubMed – NCBI. Ncbinlmnihgov. 2017. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21928724. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[xix] IBID.

[xx] IBID.

[xxi] Takada Y, Bhardwaj A, Potdar P, Aggarwal B. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents differ in their ability to suppress NF-κB activation, inhibition of expression of cyclooxygenase-2 and cyclin D1, and abrogation of tumor cell proliferation. Oncogene. 2004. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1208169.

[xxii] Oxaliplatin (Intravenous Route) Side Effects – Mayo Clinic. Mayoclinicorg. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/oxaliplatin-intravenous-route/side-effects/drg-20068166. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[xxiii] Lynne M Howells, Anita Mitra, Margaret M Manson. Comparison of oxaliplatin- and curcumin-mediated antiproliferative effects in colorectal cell lines. Int J Cancer. 2007 Jul 1;121(1):175-83. PMID: 17330230

[xxiv] Metformin-Associated Lactic Acidosis. Medscape. Available at: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/827622. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[xxv] Metformin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More. Healthlinecom. Available at: http://www.healthline.com/drugs/metformin/oral-tablet#Highlights1. Accessed April 13, 2017.

[xxvi] Kim T, Davis J, Zhang A, He X, Mathews S. Curcumin activates AMPK and suppresses gluconeogenic gene expression in hepatoma cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 2009;388(2):377-382. doi:10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.08.018.

Image Sources: 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Aspirin1.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ad/Kurkuma.jpg/1280px-Kurkuma.jpg

 

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