Health Front: More Side Effects of Tylenol and Advil

By DR. JERRY DeCAPUA, TRT Contributing Writer

• Combining acetaminophen pain relievers (Tylenol) and even light amounts of alcohol can more than double the risk of kidney disease, new research suggests. For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 10,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition survey. Almost half the people who combined acetaminophen and alcohol reported health problems or dysfunction related to the kidneys. If one drinks alcohol regularly, they should not take acetaminophen. Of course, they wouldn’t want to take acetaminophen for a hangover either. They may want to avoid over-the-counter medications altogether.

• Popping a pill may make your pain go away, but it may do some damage to your ears. Say what? According to researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, women who took ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for two or more days per week had an increased risk of hearing loss. The more often women took these medications, the higher their risk for hearing loss. Also, the link between these medicines and hearing loss tended to be greater in younger people, under 50 years old. The study was published in an issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Data from 62,261 women ages 31 to 48 years was accumulated and studied. Younger women who took ibuprofen 2 to 3 times per week had a 13 percent increased  risk of hearing loss, while the women who took it 4 to 5 days a week had a 21 percent increased risk of hearing loss. Women who took acetaminophen 2 to 3 days a week had an 11 percent increased risk of hearing loss.

According to the World Health Organization, adult-onset hearing loss is the sixth most common disease burden in high-income countries. Over 50 percent of American adults suffer from high-frequency loss by the time they reach 60 years old. One third of women in their 50s and nearly two-thirds in their 60s are experiencing hearing loss.

• Learn a new language and stave off dementia for years, notes the largest study of its kind. There’s more evidence that learning a second language later in life can delay your brain from aging, and losing your mind. Conducted by the University of Edinburgh in Hyderabad, India, the largest study of its kind found that speaking two languages slowed the start of three types of dementia- including Alzheimer’s disease- by 4.5 years.

“Being bilingual is a particularly efficient and effective type of mental training,” said Dr. Thomas H. Bak in the journal Neurology. When learning a new language, we selectively activate one and deactivate the other. This kind of switching requires focused attentiveness. That kind of attention keeps the brain nimble and wards off cognitive conditions such as frontaltemporal dementia and vascular dementia, the new study found.

While the University of Edinburgh study was completed in India, previous studies were done in Canada. Researchers have found that patients who spoke a single language developed the first symptoms of dementia at age 61, versus age 65.5 in those areas that were bilingual. The effect of bilingualism on dementia onset was independent of other factors including education, gender, occupation and whether patients lived in urban or rural areas. No educational or cultural variables were as effectual in offsetting brain aging as was learning and speaking a second language

• A romantic relationship can change when one partner slims down, and not always in a good way, new research suggests. In a study of 21 couples at North Carolina State College, it was found that relationships do usually change for the better when one partner loses 60 pounds. However, there appeared to be a dark side appearing while one of the partners lost weight. When some partners watched their partner getting slimmer, they felt threatened or jealous. Some partners felt nagged by their suddenly healthy partner who was losing weight and wanted them to follow suit.
The research found that most couple’s interactions were positive and they felt closer when losing weight. However, when a partner who didn’t lose weight was not supportive or resisted the household changes in diet and exercise routines, the effect was negative. In a relationship, partners compare their own bodies to their partner’s. When one partner loses weight, the other one often takes stock, so to speak. When one partner loses weight and the other does not, it makes the unsuccessful one feel inadequate.

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Date
December 4th, 2013

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