You might know people who have been on a daily aspirin regimen for quite some time. However, while daily aspirin does appear to have many heart benefits, it’s not necessarily for everyone. So, should you take an aspirin every day? Read on.
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the appropriateness of taking daily aspirin. You might even have friends or family who are currently doing so, and swear by it. So, let’s get right to it: should you take an aspirin every day?
The reality is, that question is a conversation to be had between physician and patient, not one to be made alone or recklessly. Yes, aspirin taken daily appears to have many heart benefits, including heart attack prevention. That’s because aspirin interferes with the clotting capability of your blood. One of the biggest risk factors and causes of both stroke and heart attacks involves blood clotting and preventing your body from undertaking its normal bloodflow function.
Your physician is more likely to recommend daily aspirin if they believe you are especially at risk for your first heart attack; and many times after the patient has already suffered a heart attack or stroke, aspirin will be appropriate as well. The reason is straightforward: since aspirin prevents blood clots, your arteries are more likely to stay clear and avoid rupture… even if those arteries are already blocked from atherosclerosis.
Only your doctor can weigh your overall health picture and determine whether you are a good candidate to be taking daily aspirin. It’s most definitely not a decision you should be making lightly, or on your own. When it comes to something as serious as taking a medication daily, you need to consider the source you’re hearing the information from. A random article you read online can spur you to have a conversation with your physician, but it should never be the only source when it comes to your health decisions. Hopefully that goes without saying.
One of the reasons it’s important to stay informed, is that while aspirin does carry the aforementioned benefits, it also comes with some pretty serious risks — especially for people who already suffer from certain health conditions. A brand new study just found strong evidence that suggests people who have both Type 2 diabetes and heart failure should possibly abstain from even low-dose aspirin. For this particular group, their risk of nonfatal heart attack or stroke actually increases. This counter-intuitive effect is a perfect illustration of why daily aspirin comes with risks, and it also reminds us that we’re still learning about what medications like aspirin do to our bodies.