Reasons Why Not Take Opioids to Ease Pain

Are you suffering from aches and pains? If you are well into your 60s and beyond, then you must have experienced them. They are awful, to say the least.

But before rushing off to your doctor for a painkiller prescription, you must give it a second or third thought. Here’s why:


What are prescription painkillers:
Prescription painkillers are mostly opioids – opium-based or opium-like compounds to relieve pain, i.e., Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Codeine, etc.

They work by increasing the brain’s production of dopamine – the chemical responsible for creating feelings of pleasure, excitement; the Adrenalin rush.

Opioids inhibit the body’s ability to feel pain; they make you feel great (even if the source of pain still persists).

They are addictive because they force the brain to produce artificial endorphins (another feel-good chemical naturally produced by the body). When its effects wear off, and the brain cannot take up the shortfall, you will be in pain again and will be forced to ask for it and in heavier doses, too.

Current estimates show that 3 in 10 adults, between ages 57 to 85, use at least five prescription drugs  – putting them at high risk for drug abuse and addiction, according to the Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

Aside from being addictive, the following are other reasons to them away.


1.  It’s killing a fly with a sledgehammer:
Opioids are intended to relieve acute pain after a surgery or chronic pains like arthritis, lower back pains, or trauma pains.

Taking them for age-related aches and pains like a headache, occasional lower back pain, muscle strain, or a migraine is an overkill and risky.

Should you consult a doctor for chronic pains, ask for non-addictive drugs. If that is not possible, be sure it is pain-specific. Don’t go for a one-drug-cures-it-all approach. Chances are that it will not be as effective, forcing you to ask or more potent types.

Whatever you are prescribed with, take it per doctor’s orders. Your health will be at risk if you venture outside of its parameters.


2.  Unnecessary cost: 
The prices of opioids cover a wide range, depending on application and potency. Some are as low as less than $10 dollars, while others can go as high as more than $200.

They may seem cheap on a per unit basis, vis-a-vis its purpose, over the long haul, they are a huge cost item in your budget.

Bear in mind that there a lot of options to ease age-related aches and pains which are cheap or cost nothing at all. Look for them and try them out. Only when you run out of options will you think about opioids.


3.  Risky to your health: 
Opioids first affect the brain, making it block out the pain. But it will also make you feel sedated and dizzy putting you at risk for falls. In fact, seniors taking opioids have as much as four times the probability of suffering bone fractures than those who don’t. And 68% of those are hospitalized, and out of this number, 87% die from their injuries. – National Safety Council.

Then they affect the entire body (slowing it down at times), like the digestive system where they may experience “opioid-induced constipation.”

Other than the digestive system, opioids also affect the kidneys.

The kidney is the body’s filtration system. It filters blood circulating throughout the body, extracting liquids (disposed of as urine), and other solids (disposed of as fecal waste).

And when you grow old, it becomes so delicate and sensitive to foreign substances like alcohol and drugs.

A study done last year showed that opioid users are more likely to develop kidney failure than those who are not.

Is that the end of the ugly effects of opioids on your body? No! It can trigger dangerous and life-threatening side effects or reactions with drugs against high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

I believe in the body’s ability to heal itself (provided it is not subjected to too much abuse), and going for do-it-yourself management of minor aches and pains.

I never have a headache that lasts longer for comfort. If I do, I will just “will” it away. Though I take Tylenol before playing tennis to ease the osteoarthritis pains in both my knees, I keep away from anything stronger than that.

It is a tough call for a lot of seniors. but it can be done if you just put your mind and heart into it.

Please share with other seniors to spare them the risks of taking opioids for their aches and pains.














How to Avoid Health Problems from Reheated Foods


Food for the next meal

Do you recycle food leftovers?

I do as well as you. It is convenient and economical, especially if you are a live-alone senior living on a tight budget.

But there are trade-offs. Reheated foods taste differently and there are potential health risks if not done well.

Be Healthy by Doing Things Your Way

my way

Doing things my way!

Do you want to live a healthy life? Then don’t burn your midnight candle searching for ways from the Internet. You can’t find them there. Don’t fall for things like:

–  Foods that Lower Cholesterol Naturally,
–  Super Foods that Help You Live Longer,
–  Walking may Reduce Cardiovascular Disease by 50% and many others.

They don’t work any more than I become a Caucasian by dying my Asian hair black. Here’s why:

1.  Old age brings a lot of medical issues. Nothing in the world can make you healthy if you are afflicted with any of them. You can only cope with them if you want to enjoy life.

2.  but if you are healthy at your age but nothing can make you any healthier than you already are.

Don’t change anything, just temper them. Changing your lifestyle is stressful and restrictive. It will rob you of the pleasures and joy of old age.


Health is not purely about healthy eating:
Good health for seniors is not just about nutritious foods. There are more important things that make one healthy.

For example, the leading causes of deaths among people 65 years old and above are heart disease and cancer. While these figures are irrefutable, saying that improper diet is one of the major causes of these diseases is going to polarize the health community.

Some will insist that food is crucial to good health, while others won’t. And both sides will present voluminous data to support their stand.

Joshua Rosenthal, founder, and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and author of the book Integrative Nutrition will not be on either side.

Mr. Rosenthal says,

“Eating well helps, but don’t expect it to work miracles. It can fill you, but it cannot fulfill you.”

Then he adds,

“If we are not physically starving, other dimensions of human experience are much more important than what we put in our mouths. The foods you eat are secondary to all other things that feed you – your relationships, career, spirituality and exercise routine. All that we consider today as nutrition is really just a secondary source of energy.”

To emphasize the point that nutrition, alone, cannot make you healthy, Dr. Mark Hyman, chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine and author of the book Blood Sugar chimes in by stating:

“95 percent of all illnesses are caused by or worsened by stress… it can disrupt almost all your body’s processes, making none of our organs immune to its effects. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, hypertension, depression, ulcers, headaches and chronic anxiety are all scientifically linked to chronic stress.”

Then he adds, “…the health of your mind and spirit and your sense of connection to your community has an immense impact on the health of your body, In fact…the biggest predictor of longevity is psychological resiliency – being able to roll with the punches life throws at us.”

My take on this…

Two weeks ago, I had chest pains in the evening which forced me to see a doctor the following day. After some examinations and questions, he said that it was not a heart attack.

However, he said that chest pains must not be taken lightly and told me to have some lab tests. He also cautioned me against my smoking – not for cancer because even non-smokers can get cancer. But it is a risk factor for heart attack or stroke at my age.

Towards the end of my consultation, I mentioned in passing that I regularly go for long drives or an overnight stay in beach resorts. He said, “That, too, contributes to good heart health.”

Nobody knows your overall health better than you. You, alone, know what is good or bad for you, what works or doesn’t work. And by this time you must have learned to do what is best for you and do things your way.

Note: All my lab tests were good, i.e., blood chemistry, ECG, and Treadmill.

Please share with other seniors to brighten their day – and do things their way!









How to Live Fully If You are a Diabetic


Diabetes – a daily struggle to live fully

If diabetes is a boxing match, I would be at ringside.

The analogy is appropriate without a reason. My younger sister and brother are diabetics, so are my remaining two uncles. More than five of the guys I play tennis with are diabetics. A cousin had his right leg amputated because of diabetes and a friend lost one of his eyes due to the disease.

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How to Beat Loneliness and Live Happily Ever After

Health Secrets


Me, lonely? Never!

Do you know how loneliness feels like? I do, so do 43% of seniors.

Loneliness makes you feel detached from society and from the world. It makes you feel lethargic, and without a sense of purpose.

It affects your appetite, your sleep, your relationship and your overall sense of well-being. And if you allow it to run your life, it can ruin it. In fact, experts suggest that we should attend to loneliness the same way we attend to diet, exercise and sleep.

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