There is no denying that the bathroom medicine cabinet is a man’s best friend after a long night of drinking.
Even the mildest hangover – a dull ache in the neck or even the slightest throbbing pain in the head – can make it difficult to function at work, at the gym, or at home.
We need to be on our A-game to deal with the daily barrage of dumbasses in life, so popping over-the-counter pain medications just sort of becomes part of the recovery process.
Along with some coffee and a little breakfast, these cheap pills can set a man straight and get him through the day as though he never touched a drop of liquor.
Unfortunately, there’s a common misconception that these drugs are relatively safe since they don’t require a prescription. Most people assume acetaminophen and ibuprofen are totally harmless.
After all, we’ve been taking them for things like fevers and other feel-bad situations since we were kids.
In reality, these drugs are stronger than you think and pack some nasty side effects that can tax the body in ways that could end up being regrettable later in life.
So in the interest of keeping all you fun-loving bastards alive and kicking and relatively healthy for many years to come, here is a list of reasons to be careful-as- shit with conventional painkillers.
Acetaminophen Can Kill Your Ability to Show Empathy
When tearing into a bottle of Tylenol, it might be difficult to imagine that the decision can hinder your ability to connect with others at an emotional level, but some studies have shown that acetaminophen actually has this bizarre side effect.
It is part of being a mentally sound human to have empathy towards others. It allows us to feel with people, as opposed to just feeling sorry for them. It can be experiencing happiness for a coworker who just got a promotion or glum because one got shit-canned.
Essentially, empathy is an emotion that separates the good fuckers out there from the raging assholes.
People with the ability to show compassion will listen to others, understand how it feels to be in whatever situation they are in, and legitimately give a damn.
Empathetic people might say things like “Man, that sucks,” or “Right on, good for you!” when sharing in other people’s shit. But acetaminophen seems to strip it away.
Some studies show the drug can also reduce the ability to trust others.
This common over-the-counter medication, which appears to restrict serotonin levels – a necessary chemical in producing happiness and empathy — might be turning us into slight psychopaths incapable of this emotion.
So be careful with the Tylenol, okay Jeffery Dahmer?
Acetaminophen Can Trash Your Liver
Taking acetaminophen regularly has been known to cause as much liver damage as a regular booze habit.
Medical experts say that liver toxicity can occur in those who consume more than 4,000 milligrams per day. That is roughly eight 500-milligram pills from a bottle of extra-strength Tylenol.
So if you’re throwing back three or four pills in the morning and another few in the afternoon to get through the aches and pains of life, your liver is enduring some trauma that could eventually result in cirrhosis.
Furthermore, people who drink alcohol regularly are at an elevated risk of liver destruction. Even low doses of this pain reliever in conjunction with beer, wine, and liquor is an evil combination.
If you are one of those taking acetaminophen to combat a hangover, you are really giving the old liver a pounding.
The good news is any damage done to this vital organ (up to the point before cirrhosis) is reversible with more focus on a healthy diet.
If a physician says your liver enzymes are out of whack, rest assured the days of drinking and pill popping may be over. That is if you want to stay alive.
It is also important to remember that acetaminophen is an active ingredient in a lot of cold medicines too, so just be aware of that.
Nobody wants to check out because of cirrhosis and we damn sure don’t want it to be because of NyQuil.
Ibuprofen Is Better for the Liver, But It Can Lead to Stomach Trouble
A man can really save his liver some turmoil by merely opting for ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen. It is less likely to develop liver toxicity from this drug than the other.
But even ibuprofen comes with risks. It has been known to eat away at the stomach lining and cause ulcers.
Anyone who enjoys spending Taco Tuesdays with their buddies and feasting on spicy foods and tequila shots needs to know that even the smallest ulcer is going to put a damper on those festivities, big time.
While your friends are scarfing down fat ass burritos covered in hot sauce, you’ll be fucking around with yogurt cups.
Ibuprofen Can Result in Kidney Failure
In some rare cases, the consumption of ibuprofen can lead to kidney failure. This is most likely to happen in people with health conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Most healthy men need not stress over the possibility that this medication will put them on dialysis before the age of 40.
But, as most of us have learned by now, anything in this weird, wild world is possible.
Health experts say if a person experiences nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, and weakness, and changes in urine output, that is a good sign that the kidneys are not functioning correctly.
At that point, you will be praying to the Gods for an ulcer instead.
How To Use Over-The-Counter Pain Medicine Wisely
While it is not likely that any of us are going to stop taking some kind of over-the-counter pain medication anytime soon, we must do whatever we can to reduce harm to our bodies.
Of course, not consuming large doses of this stuff is a solid first step.
Also, eating Vitamin C and herbal supplements like Milk Thistle are recommended when it comes to protecting liver cells from oxidative damage.
Incorporating Milk Thistle into your morning ritual is highly recommended, especially if you drink more than you should.
Although the reviews are mixed on whether it actually works, some studies have shown that it does decrease inflammation and contribute to cell repair.
Considering that some of the latest research indicates that liver disease deaths are up right now in men between the ages of 25 and 34, it sounds like you poor bastards need all the help you can get.
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