Prescription painkillers are well known to have several negative gastrointestinal side effects, including constipation, nausea, vomiting, bloating and cramping. So, why are many doctors in the US prescribing opioid medications for chronic abdominal pain? A new study from the American Gastroenterological Association recently reported that outpatient clinics across the United States witnessed opioid use for chronic abdominal pain more than double from 1997 and 2008.
Since pain is a very subjective symptom, doctors may sometimes overlook or mistreat a patient based on their pain levels. This obviously poses a risk to chronic pain sufferers. Patients taking opioid medications to treat abdominal pain, may experience an increase in the severity of their pain, and are also at risk of ignoring additional health issues that could be the main cause of their pain. According to co-medical director for the Waismann Method, Dr. Michael Lowenstein, chronic abdominal pain can sometimes be an indicator of a more significant problem, like stomach or cervical cancer.
As patients, it is vital to understand the potential risks and consequences involved with taking any medication, so you can ask questions and make informed decisions about your healthcare. The rise in treating chronic abdominal pain with prescription painkillers is part of a growing epidemic in the US to over-prescribe opioid medications. In addition, doctors may be prescribing these medications to provide instant relief for patients who are in extreme pain, without fully evaluating the risks and potentially negative consequences.
If you are experiencing chronic abdominal pain or are currently taking prescription painkillers for this condition, we encourage you to ask your medical professional for appropriate testing to explore other treatment options.
For more information on choosing an opiate detox program for yourself or a loved one, we welcome you to contact our office directly. The Waismann Method is a safe and proven treatment for opiate dependency that utilizes the most advanced medical techniques available. The rapid opiate detoxification procedure is carried out in a full-service hospital in Southern California by board-certified anesthesiologists while patients remain under deep sedation, so patients experience minimal conscious withdrawal or suffering. Following medical treatment, patients are taken to Domus Retreat for an assessment to determine any underlying causes of dependency, and a customized aftercare plan is assigned to ensure a healthy and effective transition to life without opiates.
Patients treated with the Waismann Method achieve an extraordinarily high success rate because they no longer fight the constant physical cravings for opiates that have led them to relapse in the past.