When you take ibuprofen every day, this is what happens to your body

Ibuprofen is one of the most common medications on the market. In fact, chances are you have a bottle or two of ibuprofen in your medicine cabinet right now. The painkiller and anti-inflammatory is sold under a variety of brand names including Advil and Motrin, and is widely used for a variety of ailments. Whether you have a headache or a fever, ibuprofen tends to be the go-to for people looking to be pain- and fever-free. 

According to WebMD, ibuprofen is classified as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug — more commonly known as an NSAID. NSAIDs work by stopping your body from producing substances that cause inflammation, which subsequently causes pain, swelling, and fever to dissipate. Since most forms of ibuprofen can be purchased over the counter without a prescription, the medicine is largely believed to be safe. However, ibuprofen doesn’t come without its risks — some of which can be life-threatening when not treated.

As it turns out, there are more than a few ways in which your body can react negatively to ibuprofen, especially if you take too much of it on a daily basis. Here’s what happens to your body when you take ibuprofen every day.

Your stomach will start to hurt if you take ibuprofen every day

If you take ibuprofen every day, you just might find yourself doubled over with a tummy-ache. 

One of the most common side effects that come from taking ibuprofen every day is stomach pain. And if you’re taking the pills daily on an empty stomach, you better believe your body won’t be thanking you for that. As noted by Everyday Health, as many as 50 percent of people who have tried ibuprofen for their aches and pains are unable to rely on the medication due to the abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other tummy troubles it causes them. So, if you’ve been popping ibuprofen like candy for a while, you might want to rethink that decision moving forward.

According to the Advil website, the NSAID can also cause “severe stomach bleeding,” which would call for a trip to the emergency room. Of course, if you’ve noticed slight discomfort after taking ibuprofen without food, it might help to eat a little something with the medication. However, if ibuprofen causes stomach pain even when taken with food, you should probably talk to your doctor about alternative medications, or scientifically proven natural remedies.

Your body will be at an increased risk of a stroke if you take ibuprofen every day

Even though ibuprofen is sold over the counter and you don’t need a prescription for the drug, it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Unless your doctor has specifically told you to take a certain amount each day, it’s best to stick to whatever the bottle recommends. This is because one of the biggest risks of taking ibuprofen every day is that you’ll be at an increased risk of having a stroke.

According to Mayo Clinic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increase your stroke risk. Because of that, it’s of utmost importance to only take the amount you need — and it’s especially important to try not to take the medication every day. While it’s clear that NSAIDs increase the body’s risk of having a stroke, there really isn’t a clear indication of why that is, as Mayo Clinic reports. 

All things considered, it’s better to be safe than sorry and stick to the recommended dosage when it comes to ibuprofen. After all, if you take ibuprofen every day, you’re only putting your body even more at risk for having a stroke – and no one wants that.

Taking ibuprofen every day could lead to kidney disease

Taking ibuprofen every day could negatively impact the healthy of your kidneys.

In case you didn’t know, your kidneys are pretty important organs. As noted by the National Kidney Foundation, your kidneys work to remove waste from your body, and also produce important hormones your body needs. Anyone can see why it’s important to keep your kidneys healthy; however, just like your go-to snacks are some of the worst foods for your kidneys, your go-to pain medicine just might be one of the worst medications for your kidneys. In fact, if you take painkillers like ibuprofen on a regular basis, your kidneys could get sick.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, longterm, habitual use of medicines like ibuprofen, naproxen, and high doses of aspirin can cause chronic interstitial nephritis — a disease in which the spaces between the kidney tubules become inflamed (via MedlinePlus.com). While sporadically taking ibuprofen in recommended doses shouldn’t hurt your kidneys, medicines like Advil and Motrin should probably be avoided if you already have kidney-related diseases or other issues.

Taking ibuprofen every day could lead to a heart attack

Ibuprofen may seen like an easy fix for aches and pains; however, if you take too much of it for too long, you might find yourself in pain with a devastating cardiac event.

The thought of having a heart attack is definitely scary. Fortunately, however, your risk of having one isn’t all that high when you’re young and healthy. That said, if you take ibuprofen every day, you could still have a heart attack — even if you’re constantly looking for ways to make your heart healthier. According to Mayo Clinic, if you have cardiovascular disease (or if you’re at high risk for developing it), taking NSAIDs every day could greatly increase your chances of suffering a heart attack. However, as Rekha Mankad explained on Mayo Clinic’s website, “Although aspirin is a type of NSAID, it doesn’t appear to be associated with a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.” 

If you have been taking Advil or Motrin regularly and start to notice chest pains or shortness of breath, you might want to switch to aspirin or talk to your doctor about alternative painkillers.

If you taken ibuprofen every day, you could develop internal bleeding

Ibuprofen is a medicine cabinet staple for many families across the globe, as the over-the-counter painkiller is widely believed to be safe for people of all ages. 

Whether you have a headache or a toothache, or you’re suffering from those pesky period cramps, ibuprofen is great for relieving pain. However, if you take too much of it every day, the NSAID can actually cause your body to bleed excessively.

Research from the Spanish Center for Pharmacoepidemiological Research in Madrid found that regular use of ibuprofen was fine; however, when taken in excess every day, things could turn worrisome (via Reuters). According to the study, higher doses of ibuprofen (such as 1,200 to 2,400 milligrams) could mean a “five-fold increased risk” of gastrointestinal bleeding or torn stomach lining. And as Alberta Health Services warns, if you already have gastrointestinal or rectal bleeding, taking ibuprofen or other NSAIDs to ease the pain might actually cause the bleeding to worsen. 

If you take ibuprofen every day, you might develop an ulcer

Ibuprofen is taken to relieve pain. However, when taken in excess, the NSAID could actually cause even more pain.

If you’ve ever had an ulcer, then you know just how painful they can be. According to Healthline, ulcers are caused by a reduction in the mucus in your stomach. When that mucus is gone, however, acids start to destroy your stomach lining, which often results in a painful ulcer. And unfortunately, taking ibuprofen daily for too long can actually lead to stomach ulcers, or ulcers that develop in your bowel system. In many cases, these types of ulcers might even lead to an emergency room visit.

“People think that if a medicine is available over-the-counter, it has no risks,” Doctor Byron Cryer, a spokesman for the American Gastroenterological Association told WebMD. He continued, explaining, “But about a third of all ulcers are caused by aspirin and other painkillers.” Added Dr. Cryer, “More than half of all bleeding ulcers are caused by these drugs.” In other words, if you want to avoid a painful ulcer, steer clear of unnecessary ibuprofen.

Taking ibuprofen every day could make your potassium levels skyrocket

When you take ibuprofen every day, you likely aren’t thinking about how it will impact your body’s potassium. However, perhaps you should give more thought to your potassium levels the next time you find yourself reaching for the Advil bottle. 

Generally, people only think about potassium if they feel they don’t have enough of it. According to Healthline, muscle cramps, weakness, and fatigue are all signs of low potassium, which is probably why many people rely on bananas for their post-workout refreshment. However, if you take ibuprofen every day — especially in high amounts — you might end up accidentally skyrocketing your potassium levels. Unfortunately, this could present some dangers to your body.

According to GoodRx, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen “raise potassium levels by causing the kidneys to hold onto potassium.” And if your potassium is too high, your life could be at risk. As noted by GoodRx, potassium levels over 5.5 can cause a person to go into cardiac arrest, which could prove to be fatal. So, before you take a few Advil as a hangover cure, consider trying alternative remedies instead. 

Taking ibuprofen every day isn't exactly great for your liver

Ibuprofen may be your best friend when a headache hits, but the NSAID definitely isn’t your liver’s pal. 

The health of your liver is obviously important, as it’s one of the body’s largest and most vital organs. And while there are plenty of things you can do to boost your liver’s health, not taking ibuprofen every day could just be one of the most helpful things you could possibly do for your liver. According to experts, if you take ibuprofen every day, you’re actually doing your liver a major disservice.

In fact, a 2020 study published in Scientific Reports found that ibuprofen can permanently damage the liver. “Overall, our data indicate that moderate doses of ibuprofen can affect liver more significantly than previously reported and include proteasome dysfunction, increased levels of H2O2, impaired glycolytic pathways and altered fatty acid synthesis and oxidation,” the study concluded. The increased levels of hydrogen peroxide can damage the liver, according to researchers who spoke with Medical News Today. As the researchers emphasized, it’s best to steer clear of ibuprofen unless absolutely necessary, despite its reputation of being a generally safe, over-the-counter medicine. 

You might get nauseous if you take ibuprofen every day

Ibuprofen may be the first medicine you reach for when a late-night of drinking and partying leaves you with a killer headache and unshakeable nausea. However, many people likely don’t realize that their preferred hangover cure could actually cause them to feel even more sick to their stomach.

Like any drug, ibuprofen comes with a handful of not-so-serious side effects. However, just because these side effects aren’t as serious as a heart attack, doesn’t mean they’re pleasant to deal with. This is especially true when it comes to nausea, a super common side effect of taking too much ibuprofen every day.

According to National Health Servicestaking too much ibuprofen can result in nausea and vomiting. And, in addition to nausea and vomiting, Healthline reports that constipation and diarrhea are also two of ibuprofen’s nasty side effects. Of course, these ailments might be avoided by remembering to take ibuprofen with food and not on an empty stomach, but that’s not a guarantee. 

Your ears might start to ring if you take ibuprofen every day

Taking ibuprofen every day has plenty of side effects — and some are more surprising than others.

While it might not be the most intense or dangerous side effect of taking ibuprofen every day, the drug could result in a ringing in your ears. Sure, it’s not as scary as damage to your organs or ulcers in your stomach, but a ringing in your ears can present a variety of problems. Additionally, there’s no cure for the condition — also known as tinnitus.  As noted by Harvard Health Publishing, tinnitus is defined as “sound in the head with no external source” and could present as ringing, buzzing, whistling, or even shrieking. 

As it turns out, ibuprofen might be the source behind that ringing you hear. “Some medications (especially aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken in high doses) can cause tinnitus that goes away when the drug is discontinued,” Harvard Health Publishing reported. If you take ibuprofen every day and notice that there’s a ringing in your ears, it might be smart to lay off the pills.

Taking ibuprofen every day isn't a safe move when you're pregnant

Add taking ibuprofen to the list of things you should avoid doing when you’re pregnant.

There are a lot of things you shouldn’t consume while pregnant, and most of them are fairly obvious. Alcohol, drugs, and certain foods are off-limits because they present a risk to your pregnancy. However, some medications (like ibuprofen) aren’t pregnancy-safe either — even if they don’t seem like they could present much harm.

According to the National Health Services, pregnant women should avoid taking ibuprofen within the first 30 weeks of pregnancy “unless the benefits outweigh the potential risk to your unborn baby.” As the NHS explained, taking the medication during this vital time for an unborn baby’s growth may lead to “an increased risk of complications,” including miscarriage. Of course, making healthy choices while pregnant is of utmost importance when it comes to the health of your little one. Unfortunately, taking ibuprofen while pregnant may just present more risks than benefits — especially during those first 30 weeks.

Taking ibuprofen every day could result in a muscle injury

Many people take ibuprofen or Advil to help manage their muscle soreness after they work out. However, if you take ibuprofen every day, you might end up with a serious muscle injury. 

According to experts, if you take ibuprofen every day, you’re putting yourself at an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis. As noted by Healthline, “Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of damaged skeletal muscle,” according to Healthline, and can lead to kidney failure if not treated properly. If you take ibuprofen every day, then your risk for developing rhabdomyolysis is even greater, especially if you’ve been taking other medications as well.

A 1997 paper concluded that ibuprofen was one of the leading causes of rhabdomyolysis in a patient who had also been taking another medication, “making what had been a safe dose for our patient become toxic, causing rhabdomyolysis and renal failure.” The paper also noted that it was of importance “because ibuprofen can be bought without a prescription and can affect the pharmacokinetics of concurrent drug treatment.” Even if you literally just ran a marathon, taking ibuprofen might not be for the best.

You could develop high blood pressure if you take ibuprofen every day

Taking ibuprofen every day is likely not doing your blood pressure any favors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, high blood pressure is an incredibly common condition in the United States; however, that doesn’t mean there’s no cause for concern. As the CDC notes, high blood pressure was a “primary or contributing cause of death in 2017 for more than 472,000 people in the United States.”

In even more terrifying news, ibuprofen is one of the most common causes of high blood pressure. You might not know it, but every time you pop one of those pills to help with a headache or high fever, you’re actually increasing your risk of high blood pressure. And then, when you have high blood pressure, your body is at a greater risk of other diseases. In fact, ibuprofen is so well-associated with high blood pressure that WebMD actually recommends taking aspirin or acetaminophen for pain, as those medications haven’t been linked to blood pressure levels skyrocketing to dangerous levels. “

You might feel weak or tired if you take ibuprofen every day

Typically, ibuprofen is taken by people who are trying to get rid of a headache, fever, or other types of general pain. If you’re taking the medication to help beat body aches associated with a hangover or the flu, you might not actually notice the fatigued feeling this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug can cause. However, one of the most common side effects of ibuprofen is a feeling of overall weakness.

While it might not sound as dangerous as some of ibuprofen’s other side effects, feeling too tired can actually be dangerous. Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter drug, but GoodRx still advises users not to “drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs mental alertness” until they know how it will affect them. While you might think that these types of serious warnings are typically reserved for other medications (such as narcotic pain medicines), feeling weak or overly fatigued is no joke. 

If you’ve been suffering from fatigue for a while, make a log of the medications you take every day. If ibuprofen is one of them, perhaps it’s time to look for a painkiller that isn’t associated with lethargy. 

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