An Aspirin a Day, Keeps the Doctor Away

There are more health fads and medication trends out there than you can count. Some are particularly beneficial, some tend to work slightly, others tend to make little to no difference, and then there are those that actually do more harm than good. One such trend is the ‘an Aspirin a day, keeps the doctor away’ that replaces the Apple from the fruit version of this phrase.

Today, we’re weighing in both sides of this particular medication trend. Let us examine what is Aspirin and Aspirin Therapy, along with its apparent benefits and associated risks.

What is Aspirin?

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or an NSAID that works by inhibiting the function of a certain enzyme in the body which works to signal the brain about perceived pain in any part of the body. This leads to the prevention of an area becoming inflamed, reducing the swelling and tenderness that follows an ailment. It also works to inhibit the formation of blood platelets that are responsible for the blood clotting. Most often, Aspirin is used as a pain killer used to treat acute heart pain or Angina, as well as to prevent blood clot formation during and proceeding a cardiac surgery.

What is Daily Aspirin Therapy?

The Daily Aspirin Therapy is the intake of low doses of Aspirin on a regular basis. After evaluating your current health status, your doctor may prescribe for you a dose the ranges anywhere from 81 milligrams to 325 milligram of Aspirin.

How Is It Beneficial?

Low doses of Aspirin, are regularly prescribed to patients that suffered from a stroke, or a heart attack to diminish the risk of a clot forming and lodging in one of the essential blood vessels. It is also prescribed to patients suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, have had a stent placed in the coronary artery, or have undergone a coronary bypass surgery. Studies show that 81 milligrams of Aspirin, taken on a regular basis can significantly lower the risk of heart attack for men aged 50-75. It is also known to decrease the risk of stroke in aged 60-69. Recent research has also provided increasing evidence which suggests that regular intake of low doses of Aspirin can help reduce the risk of multiple forms of cancer. It effectively reduces metastasis, or the spread of the disease, decreasing the risk of cancer affecting distant organs by up to 50 percent.            

How is it Harmful?

While there are undeniable benefits of daily aspirin therapy, it is not recommended for everyone – particularly the low risk patients that have not, and do not suffer from any cardiovascular condition. It is said that slow trickled amounts of Aspirin that accumulate over the years in a low risk patient of heart attacks, and has the capacity to severely harm anyone who is considered a normal, healthy human being by medical standards. It is known to cause stomach ulcers, leading to moderate or severe gastrointestinal bleeding, as well as hemorrhages or bleeding in the brain.

What Should You Do?

More often than not, people dismiss consulting a primary care physician as completely unnecessary before making any significant change to their health regimen. However, it is important for us to know that no one knows our health better than our doctor. Before you consider changing your dietary habits or lifestyle, or consider the addition of a supplement, or medication to your regular routine, be sure to consult your primary care physician for their expert opinion.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Parikh at Health One Family Medicine to go over your health concerns and needs by calling 469-262-5762, or visit www.healthonemedicine.com for more information. 

Author
Health One Family Medicine

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