We received so much feedback in response to the email I sent recently about the passing of Tim Russert and heart disease that I thought you might find this article about asprin very informative.
I hope you enjoy the article…
An Aspirin a Day Keeps the… Doctor Here to Stay
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
Each year, one million people suffer from a heart attack; and half of them die.
At least 600,000 Americans have a stroke, which is the third leading cause of death.
Aggressive attempts have been made throughout the years to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease, including the daily use of aspirin.
Aspirin therapy helps prevent blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots.
This, in turn, keeps blood thin and flowing more smoothly, thus lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes. (Both are usually the result of a clot lodging in a narrowed artery and choking off the tissue’s blood supply.)
But there is a gray cloud inside this silver lining. Although aspirin appears as a simple over-the-counter treatment, it is in fact a drug that produces side effects-many of which can be severe.
Long-term aspirin use has been linked to cataracts, macular degeneration, kidney damage and peptic ulcers. Aspirin irritates and erodes the stomach lining and often leads to gastrointestinal bleeding. The chance of bleeding is even higher when aspirin is used in combination with other anti-inflammatory drugs.
In addition, aspirin therapy can cause bleeding in the brain, especially in elderly folks. Healthy people taking aspirin as a preventative measure to ward off stokes can also develop bleeding. Supposedly the occurrence is rare; nonetheless, the risk is still there.
As if that isn’t bad enough, research is now showing that many people are resistant to aspirin. That is, aspirin does nothing to protect them from heart attacks and strokes.
In fact, taking aspirin makes them more susceptible to both conditions. Apparently, the clotting ability of their blood is strong enough to prevent aspirin from doing its job. This action makes their situation worse and increases the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke.
Some researchers suggest that any where from 20 to 49 percent of the population is aspirin-resistant. A recent analysis of 2,367 people found that 26 percent were resistant to the effects of aspirin.
Of these individuals, 33 percent suffered a heart attack, stroke or other health problem. Although it is not completely understood, resistance may be higher in men, diabetics, smokers, and those who have high blood pressure.
Unfortunately, many doctors continue to prescribe aspirin on a routine basis to their patients. As is often the case in our society, medication is thought to be the solution for all of our ills. Because every drug has side effects, they should be used very cautiously.
Also, one of the most effective blood thinners are proteolytic enzymes. Not only do they thin the blood naturally, but they also cleanse the blood of toxins, kill viruses and bacteria, eat away at excess fibrin (scar tissue) and reduce inflammation and pain.
Often times, there are other, safer ways of preventing disease or getting one’s health back. For example, exercising, eating right, and controlling stress greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.
Several studies have found that garlic as well as fish oil lowers cholesterol and thins the blood, protecting against clots. Antioxidants found naturally in fruits and vegetables help prevent everything from cancer to heart attacks.
Bromelain, a natural enzyme in pineapple, acts as an anti-inflammatory and also keeps plaques from developing in artery walls. Bromelain is just one of the 11 proven pain relievers that are found in “Heal-n-Soothe”. You can learn more about this all-natural anti-inflammatory here.
Eating small amounts of chocolate has even been associated with reducing heart disease risk. Research shows that cocoa beans contain natural plant chemicals that are good for blood flow.
However, milk chocolate contains considerably fewer of these chemicals, compared to dark chocolate. It contains a lot of added sugar as well. So look for bars with a minimum of 60 percent cocoa and not too much added sugar. Chocolate, of course, is high in calories, so go easy on your consumption.
While taking aspirin regularly may be beneficial for some people, it is not without risk. And in many cases, aspirin may do more harm than good.
All drugs have side effects, including over-the-counter medications, so their use should be carefully considered.
Healthy lifestyle habits and other natural remedies need be taken into account as alternatives to drugs whenever possible.
So, dump the aspirin and use the safer and proven alternatives.
Talk to you again soon…
Jesse Cannone, CFT, CPRS, MFT
P.S. Have you watched the videos we recently added to the website? Right now there are 3… one on back pain at work, one about sciatica and one about inversion therapy. Watch the videos now here
Written By: Updated: July 1,2008