Acetaminophen is a wonder drug. It is generally safe to use, when proper dosing is followed, works great for pain relief, and does not upset your stomach as some other pain relievers may. Acetaminophen also has a dark side. I have read up to an estimated 17,000 overdoses per year cause serious health concerns and/or deaths per year.
Recently two articles caught my eye about Acetaminophen. The first was about a link between Acetaminophen and Celiacs. Celiacs, loosely described is a wheat or wheat gluten allergy.
When I discovered I was a Celiac, it was barely being recognized as an actual illness. A few years ago, estimates were one in one hundred and forty people of European descent had some level of Celiacs. Today, I am hearing estimates of more than one in one hundred people may be effected by Celiacs and are not aware of it, because it hides so well in our body unless it becomes an extreme sensitivity.
Celiacs is commonly thought of an auto immune disorder these days. I have seen Celiacs grouped with Multiple Scleroses, Gout, Diabetes, and Crones disease. Whether these are all variations of one issue is a hot debate in medical and scientific circles. Whether they too may be affected by Acetaminophen, I have not read about it. Seems like a possibility though.
There appears, from what I read, to be two new side effects to Acetaminophen according to the articles. One is Acetaminophen makes one more sensitive to wheat Gluten (Celiacs).
The second more serious side effect may be a disturbing link between Acetaminophen and ADD, when the pregnant mother takes Acetaminophen during her pregnancy.
As someone who was taking Acetaminophen three or more days a week, stopping has strongly reduced my gluten sensitivity, and returned my life to almost normal. No longer do I need to be concerned about a lone crouton in my salad making me ill.
I no longer feel sick with Celiac symptoms when I know I have not had eaten any wheat in the last three or four days. Eating oatmeal which is one of my main breakfast foods has not bothered me since I stopped taking Acetaminophen.
I have been told Celiacs itself, “Is all in my head” by a few odd people. I have to disagree with them. Celiacs is all in my digestive track. My head only notices how poorly I am feel.
As to taking Acetaminophen while pregnant, I have no opinion. It is obvious, years ago ADD and illnesses like it were a rare occurrence, and is now a minor epidemic. The article I read claimed a link between Acetaminophen use during pregnancy and ADD symptoms as the babies develop.
I do not have any medical advice to offer one way or another on this. I do not know if what I read is based on real studies or repeatable data. What I do know is not taking any Acetaminophen products has made me feel better.
If you are Celiac or have another auto immune disorder, you can determine for yourself if Acetaminophen has any effect on your body. It was as obvious to me, as not eating wheat in any form first was. Within a couple of days I started feeling a lot better.
As to pregnancy and Acetaminophen, this is a decision each Woman should make of her own volition, independently of other opinions. In any case it is a matter of risk verses reward. In my case the risk seemed small until I started to enjoy the reward.