Most everyone has taken aspirin at some point in their life whether it be to quell a nasty headache, relieve aches and pains, or just to take daily for preventative measures. But what if the very pill that you thought was helping you was actually hurting you instead? That’s what we’re going to talk more about.
What Is Aspirin?
Willow tree bark has been used for its therapeutic properties for nearly 2,400 years with Hippocrates even prescribing it for headaches. Through the centuries, scientists soon discovered how to extract the ingredient salicin, which through an oxidation process becomes salicylic acid, the main ingredient in aspirin.
Salicylic acid is used to treat a myriad of different ailments from aches, pains, inflammation, fevers, acne, psoriasis, and more. While there are some benefits to taking this over-the-counter pill, there are also some surprising dangers of it too.
The Debate About Aspirin
You may have heard that taking an aspirin daily can help prevent heart attacks and keep you healthy, but that information seems to be conjured up by big pharmaceutical companies looking to increase profits from people buying more of their product. In 2013, the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, made $1.27 billion dollars in aspirin sales alone.
Bayer then requested to change the labels of their aspirin to indicate that taking it daily would help prevent heart attacks in healthy individuals, but the FDA denied their request based on weak scientific evidence supporting that claim. Bayer, along with Pfizer, have both been sued multiple times for false claims regarding their over-the-counter pills and vitamins.
From the FDA website:
FDA has concluded that the data do not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.
Now there has been debate as to whether aspirin has any protective qualities against heart disease, as recent studies are showing numerous serious side effects of taking aspirin. Do the side effects outweigh the benefits?
6 Surprising Dangers Of Taking Aspirin
1. May Conceal A Cardiac Attack In Process
An average of 800,000 Americans succumb to cardiovascular disease every year, including strokes and heart attacks. This is a major reason why heart health has been so important, and also why aspirin has been hailed as a “miracle drug”. But studies have shown that instead of helping patients suffering from a heart condition, taking aspirin actually prevented doctors from seeing an actual cardiac attack in process. Because of this, the number of sudden deaths actually increased due to aspirin masking the cardiac event.
2. Fails At Preventing Heart Attacks
In addition to potentially masking a present cardiac event, aspirin has also been shown to have little to no effect on actually preventing a heart attack like many claims have made. Multiple studies have shown that taking aspirin can actually do more harm than good, and the GreenMedInfo.com website has over 60 articles on the toxic effects of aspirin.
3. Increases Your Risk Of Bleeding
Taking aspirin increases your chance for gastrointestinal bleeding because it interferes with the platelets in your blood, preventing them from clotting when they need to. One study even shows that taking aspirin daily can double your risk for gastrointestinal bleeding. There is also a higher chance of brain bleeding when taking aspirin, especially in the elderly who suffered any head trauma.
4. Causes Ulcers
Aspirin can lead to all types of gastrointestinal infections from bacteria as it eats away at the lining in your intestines causing ulcers, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disease(IBD), diverticular disease, and bleeding. If you’ve ever felt sick to your stomach after taking a dose of aspirin, now you know why.
5. Can Lead To Hearing Loss
Ever had a ringing in your ear? If so, you may be suffering from a condition called tinnitus which can be caused by exposure to loud sounds, ear trauma, or, (you guessed it), aspirin. If that’s not scary enough, regular long term use of aspirin can lead to permanent hearing loss, but luckily in most cases simply stopping aspirin use can reverse the condition of tinnitus.
6. Leads To Liver And Kidney Failure
Our kidneys and liver are some of the most important organs in our body because they help filter all the toxins from our system. Using aspirin on a regular basis can cause our liver and kidneys to become overloaded with the toxins from the aspiring itself, leading to disease and eventually failure.
While aspirin can help relieve aches and pains quickly, our dependency upon it as a wonder drug can cause a myriad of health issues down the line. But don’t think that taking another form of pain relief will be any better…Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetaminophen (Tylenol) both have their own health concerns from regular usage as well.
While it may not harm you significantly to take one of these pills every now and then, the best course of action would be to completely avoid any NSAIDs period. There are just too many studies showing the adverse effects of these over-the-counter drugs to go unnoticed, but luckily there are many natural ways to relieve headaches, reduce inflammation, and help aches and pains.
Here’s how to relieve headaches the natural way:
Have you experienced any side effects of taking aspirin? What alternative methods do you use for pain?