According to a report in Harvard Women's Health Watch, "Each year, overdoses of acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol and other brands) account for more than 56,000 emergency room visits and an estimated 458 deaths from acute liver failure."
The publication acknowledges that the drug is not harmful when the proper directions are followed. However, experts also warn acetaminophen users to be careful about combining the drug with other over-the-counter or prescription drugs. They also say that it should never be taken with alcohol, or when alcohol is still in the bloodstream, like when you have a hangover.
Interestingly, there is something even more common that you likely ingest every day that could be a major hidden health risk ...
No. 2: Water intoxication
Women are often told that a great way to lose weight and stay healthy is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. However, there is actually something called "water intoxication," or hyponatremia, that can literally kill you.
According to an article in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, "Water intoxication provokes disturbances in electrolyte balance, resulting in a rapid decrease in serum sodium concentration and eventual death."
There is particular concern about people who become dehydrated while participating in sports, and then try to replenish themselves by drinking gallons of water.
With an increasing number of women participating in endurance events such as marathons and triathlons, the concern over hyponatremia has grown. In fact the New England Journal of Medicine reported in 2005 that 13 percent of runners in the Boston Marathon in 2002 drank too much water and ended up with mild hyponatremia.
Of course, some hidden health risks don't come from outside of us, but rather from within.
No. 1: Fibromyalgia
Before fibromyalgia was labeled as an actual disease, many women who complained of being fatigued and having pain all over their bodies were dismissed as merely being stressed out or just not coping with the aging process very well.
We can only imagine how incredibly frustrating that must have been for the women who suffer from this painful disorder.
Today, most doctors are aware that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are very real. But there are still many women who think what the doctors used to think -- that it is either all in their head or just a natural part of getting older. These women need to get the facts.
According to the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia almost exclusively targets women. Right now about 2 percent of the U.S. population has this chronic disease, and the risk increases with age.
Women who feel chronic fatigue and muscle pain need to talk to their doctors immediately.