Do you like the arthritis pain relief you get from over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pills (like ibuprofen)? But do they "bother your stomach"? Take an honest assessment of your eating habits. Think about your diet before you declare the cheaper NSAIDs off-limits and switch to the more expensive coxibs like Celebrex® or Bextra®. (Each costs about $100 per month!) If you tend to skip meals or eat poorly, any anti-inflammatory will cause indigestion, heartburn or a bleeding ulcer!
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) work by cooling off inflammation wherever it smolders. The theory is: No inflammation, no pain. Inflammation happens because of an elaborate sequence of biochemical reactions in your body. Some of the steps in these reactions lead to good work elsewhere, like controlling normal blood-clotting, and defending the stomach's lining from the acid within. NSAIDs block these reactions, and could interfere with your body's healthy housekeeping. This is where their "side effects" come from.
When you swallow an NSAID tablet, don't imagine that it sits in your stomach and burns a hole on contact. Instead, it is absorbed into your bloodstream, and then floats around and takes effect. One of these effects is arthritis pain relief. On the other hand, it could also hinder your stomach's ability to protect itself. You can help your stomach and reduce the chance of side effects by eating properly.
A sound diet requires you to eat frequent, small meals and healthy snacks throughout the day. Having food in your stomach will give the acid something to do, rather than digest the stomach itself! It's not just a matter of "take it with food." By fueling and replenishing your body with a healthful eating plan, you could also do without fancy heartburn pills like Prevacid® (about $150 per month!)
Good health and a state of "wellness" means you respect the way all of your organs and systems are interrelated. Do everything you can to sustain your body's vigor and balance in order to ward off anything that threatens it with pain and disease--or threatens your wallet with the cost of brand-name drugs!