If you’ve been with me for a while, you may recall me writing about aspirin some time ago.
To catch you up, a friend’s post on Facebook really got me in a tizzy.
This is what my friend wrote:
“The entirety of the data is absolute. If you’re not taking a baby aspirin every day, you are making an important and ignorant mistake for your health… period.”
Now, he’s a smart guy. With a lot of followers. And I was shocked he would say something so wrong. And even more afraid that there would be people who believed him!
At the time, it seemed there were benefits associated with taking a baby aspirin. Like reduced risk of various cancers, including colon, lung, breast and prostate cancer.
And there are some potential benefits when it comes to your heart.
But my friend was taking a wild leap here. Sadly, even though he’s not a doctor (far from it)… doctors make the same mistake.
But hopefully, they won’t make it much longer.
You see, for years, taking a daily aspirin was believed to be a quick, cheap and easy way to protect your health. But new research suggests that if you’re healthy, with no previous heart attacks or heart disease… there’s little benefit to you at all. And a fair amount of real risk.
First of all, you should never start on a drug, even one that sounds harmless like “baby aspirin,” without checking with your doctor. Even if a well-meaning friend says it’s ok.
But more important, even though as many as 6 out of 10 older people are on aspirin “therapy” to reduce stroke or heart attack risks, guess who most of the studies have been on…
People YOUNGER than 65.
Aspirin therapy, like any blood thinner, can lead to serious stomach or intestinal bleeding. And the older you get, the chance of this happening goes up… up… up.
In fact, your chance of having serious bleeding complications doubles if you’re 75 vs. under 65. And if you’re over 85… it TRIPLES.
And guess what? The risk of being disabled or dying from these complications is as much as 10 TIMES higher, the older you get.
In fact, the researcher who published the most recent study in the Lancet says for older folks, the “risks associated with bleeding are actually higher than the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”
The very thing this drug was supposed to prevent!
Of course, there is a solution to this problem… ANOTHER DRUG.
Rather than question the idea of passing out aspirin to everyone, some doctors used to suggest combining it with a “proton pump inhibitor,” a heavy-duty antacid.
It’s madness. And I hope it’s about to stop.
The antacids can wreck your bones, among other side effects. Maybe there’s another drug for that, too?
Look, if you’re on aspirin therapy, don’t stop without consulting your doctor. But do consult with your doctor about this, please.
Even the drug pushers at the FDA don’t recommend daily aspirin for people who’ve never had a heart attack.
And when they’re not championing a drug, they must know something doesn’t smell right.
It’s enough to give you a headache.
And I’ll take a glass or two of water for that, and leave the aspirin on the counter.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance