Is Aspirin Safe?

Flaxseed

Beyond its typical use as an analgesic for occasional headache, fever and body aches, aspirin is frequently recommended by doctors to help a wide range of health conditions.

There is much documentation supporting the little white pill’s ability to prevent heart attack and stroke, as well as number of other serious health concerns such as the formation of blood clots in high-risk individuals. Although, more recently, an increasing number of potentially serious side effects associated with its daily use have come to light.

 

What are the Dangers of Taking Aspirin?

When taken regularly over an extended period of time, even very small amounts of aspirin can lead to the formation of painful stomach and intestinal ulcers. Larger servings have been associated with tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and it is known to interact poorly with a number of other pharmaceutical drugs. There is also a small, but noteworthy, potential for allergic reactions; particularly in younger children.

Aspirin is the oldest of what are known as “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” Its underlining ability to help thin and improve blood flow has been known for years. Now, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UAE) in the United Kingdom, it appears that this double-edged sword may also increase the risk of developing Crohn’s disease in some individuals by up to five times [1].

 

How are Crohn’s Disease and Aspirin Connected?

Crohn’s disease is a devastating form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that can cause severe irritation, and even bleeding, throughout the entire digestive tract. While the exact cause of the disease is not yet fully understood, it’s impact on sensitive digestive tissues is undisputed.

This, coupled with Aspirin’s tendency to cause ulcers with prolonged use, is what led University researchers to investigate the connection between the two. By conducting followup investigations on 200,000 participants who had been involved with an earlier European study, started in 1993, which focused on the link between cancer, nutrition and aspirin use.

The research teams tracked volunteers aged 30-74 living in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Italy. It wasn’t until 2004 that a small but statistically noticeable number of them began to experience Crohn’s disease.

While only a small percentage (about one in every 2000) of the subjects involved developed the disease, the rate appears to be about five times the expected average for a population sample of that size.

Researchers caution that while the numbers suggest strongly that there is a connection between regular aspirin use and Crohn’s, further investigation is needed. Patients taking the drug for other serious health concerns, such as stroke and heart attack, should continue as directed by their healthcare provider.

What are your thoughts? Let’s discuss, in the comments below!

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

References:

  1. Dr. Andrew Hart. Regular use of aspirin increases risk of Crohn’s disease by five times. University of East Anglia. 2010 May 4.

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  • Maria Dorfner

    Question: What is the mg of the aspirin taken by participants in this study?

  • Robert Weaver

    Aspirin is an anti-inflammatory drug. How does it become a contributor to an Inflammatory Bowel Disease? Ulcers are different matter and their incidence is not controversial.

    On an unrelated matter, the author seriously needs to fix his confusion regarding the use of “it’s” vs. “its”. The expression “it’s” means “it is”. It’s embarrassing to witness its misuse as a possessive.

  • John

    1. What was the dose of aspirin used? 2. Aspirin is a salicylate drug, and salicylates are one of the main treatments of Crohn’s disease. Hard to believe that a drug that helps the disease would cause it.

  • dogg

    My mom was put on calcium for osteoporosis, and aspirin for her heart. The calcium gave her deposits in her carotids, 100 percent on one side and 50 percent the other, and calcified heart valves.

    The aspirin gave her macular degeneration and reduced kidney function.

    We took mom off of both. With elimination of calcium supplements, her blood pressure has lowered, her arrhythmia has decreased, and her pulse has slowed.

    We replaced the aspirin with ginkgo biloba, and her macular degeneration has seemed to stop progressing, and her blood thinning is controlled. Also, she seems to have more mental alertness.

    Aspirin comes from a natural substance, but is manipulated and refined, like all drugs, which causes side effects that can be worse than the cure.

  • paradox

    I had a friend who was allergic to aspirin. He had to wear a medicalert bracelet to warn of this. One aspirin would send him into poptentially deadly convulsions. Aspirin is not a panacea.

  • http://users.beagle.com.au/peterl P.M.Lawrence

    He can’t spell “led”, either – he thinks it’s “lead”.

  • Terence

    Isn’t Univ of E Anglia the same group that used falsified data to stir up the global warming hysteria? I would be very slow to accept their research on any issue.

  • CHARLES

    PLEASE ADVISE:

    HOW MUCH OF WILLOW BARK = 2 ASPIRINS? THNX

  • Dr. Edward Group

    Charles,

    Thank you for your question! I suggest you take willow bark as a tea or capsule. To make a tea, boil 1 to 2 tsp. of dried willow bark in 8 oz. of water for 10 to 15 minutes and allow it to steep for 30 minutes. You can drink three to four cups of the tea per day. Capsules containing powdered willow bark are available through health food stores and nutritional supplement providers. Take 60 to 240 milligrams per day to relieve pain and inflammation. As with any herb I would also be diligent about the quality (organic would be ideal) and the credibility of the company you are choosing to purchase this from. If you find that you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will be more than happy to help you.

    -Dr. G.

  • Christine Mattice

    Great article (although a bit scary). My husband takes an aspirin a day for his heart disease. Unfortunately, he is also a diabetic, and his sugar has starting going way too high recently. Do you know if aspirin usage can affect one’s blood sugar levels? If so, perhaps we should talk to our family doctor and his cardiologist!

  • Peter

    “led” vs. “lead” — both are correct!

    ***
    lead: verb, led, lead·ing, noun, adjective

    verb (used with object)
    1. to go before or with to show the way; conduct or escort: to lead a group on a cross-country hike.
    2. to conduct by holding and guiding: to lead a horse by a rope.
    3. to influence or induce; cause: Subsequent events led him to reconsider his position.
    4. to guide in direction, course, action, opinion, etc.; bring: You can lead her around to your point of view if you are persistent.
    5. to conduct or bring (water, wire, etc.) in a particular course.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/led

  • John McIntosh Jr

    take ginkgo biloba in place of Aspirin. :)

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