Aspirin can cause more stroke and serious side effects like cognitive difficulty and gastric complications.
Stay Away from Aspirin
If you or someone you love take aspirin daily in an effort to prevent a heart attack, you’re at risk of getting tiny leaks from blood vessels in your brain.
These cerebral microbleeds are linked to memory and language problems, difficulty reasoning and intracranial hemorrhages – full-scale bleeding inside the skull.
Microbleeds are just one of several reasons that taking a daily aspirin may not be the best choice for preventing heart attack or stroke.
But first, let’s look at why so many people are taking so much aspirin.
An Ounce of the Wrong Kind of Prevention
Most of us think of aspirin primarily as a pain reliever. And it works very well against pain. It’s especially effective against the pain of inflammation, as with arthritis. But aspirin also fights fever, reduces swelling and keeps blood clots from forming.
Aspirin can do all this because it prevents the production of something called prostaglandins. These are substances in your body that work a lot like hormones.
Some prostaglandins raise your body temperature when you’re sick. Some trigger swelling and inflammation when you’re injured. And others signal the platelets in your blood to form clots. Regardless of their job, aspirin blocks them.
Conventional medicine has latched on to aspirin’s ability to prevent blood clots as a way to prevent stroke and heart attack. And there is evidence that aspirin can be effective. But what most of the medical community ignores are aspirin’s dangers. And there are several.
Microbleeds are just the latest item on the list of aspirin’s problems.
Aspirin Therapy May Promote the Very Problem It's Designed to Stop
Imagine if you developed trouble concentrating, became forgetful, weren’t able to think things through logically and couldn’t even develop ideas any more. That would be a pretty serious situation, wouldn’t it? With those problems, you’d lose your independence.
Well, those are some of the symptoms of cognitive impairment. And for too many people, they’re the result of daily aspirin therapy.
That’s because daily aspirin therapy can cause microbleeds… and microbleeds can lead to cognitive impairment. In fact, a study published in the journal Brain, found that aspirin doubles your risk of microbleeds.
But aspirin-induced microbleeds can cause an even bigger problem. And it has to do with stroke.
Aspirin therapy can lower the risk of a second stroke. But for those with microbleeds, it can spell big trouble. For them, it can actually make a stroke worse.
There are two kinds of stroke:
• One kind is caused when the blood supply to an area of the brain is restricted (called ischemic).
• The other kind is when blood leaks into the brain (called hemorrhagic).
Doctors routinely prescribe aspirin therapy for patients who’ve had a stroke. But a study headed by UCLA Medical Center showed that this is a bad move for people who‘ve experienced microbleeds. Those people are at higher risk for “hemorrhagic transformation” – bleeding inside the skull at a site where an ischemic stroke occurred.
In other words, it’s like having one kind of stroke on top of the other!
That’s why these researchers say doctors shouldn’t automatically prescribe daily aspirin therapy, as many do now.
If microbleeds were the only reason to question the heavy use of aspirin, it would be reason enough. But aspirin presents other dangers. Probably the best known is gastric upset. And the problem is more dangerous than a simple stomachache.
An Aspirin a Day Keeps the Doctor Busy
There are two problems with trying to prevent disease with long-term drug use:
• First, the drugs usually just suppress symptoms, but don’t deal with the cause. And,
• Second, virtually all drugs have side effects.
Both these problems apply to daily aspirin therapy. The aspirin doesn’t deal with the underlying health problem. And taking aspirin daily can come with a heavy price.
Studies have shown that all aspirin therapies increase the risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding. And researchers at Oxford University found that lowering the dose – and even coating the aspirin – didn’t reduce the risk at all!
But the news gets even worse.
Over a third of the population is infected with a bacteria called H. pylori. This bacteria has been clearly linked to ulcers. But most people with H. pylori infections don’t have a problem. That changes if you take aspirin.
Several studies have shown that H. pylori and aspirin don’t mix.
• A research team in Hong Kong found a clear rise in upper GI bleeding among low-dose aspirin users.
• An English study was even more specific. These researchers found the combination of aspirin and H. pylori doubled the risk of GI bleeding.
To lower this risk, conventional doctors often put their patients on a second drug. And that second drug is usually a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). But...
PPI leads to more problems
PPIs work by lowering your body’s production of stomach acid. “No acid, no ulcer,” is the common thinking. But that only leads to a host of new problems:
• If you don’t have enough stomach acid, you can’t properly digest your food. And that can eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies. These problems, of course, will mean you’ll have to take even more DRUGS! Plus,
• PPIs have been linked to an increase in bone fractures and interfere with calcium absorption. And that could lead to osteoporosis – and even more DRUGS!.
With aspirin therapy, you could wind up taking three, four, five or more drugs on a daily basis. All that, and your underlying health problem would still be there!
If you think living like that is crazy, you’re right. But there’s one other issue we should cover. And it’s because aspirin therapy may be completely useless for a lot of people…
4 Simple Ways to Protect Your Heart
There are plenty of ways to lower your risk of heart attack without taking aspirin. And, unlike aspirin therapy, these steps actually address the underlying problem.
a) Follow a low glycemic diet. Avoiding sugars, starchy foods and unhealthy fats will help you lose weight. Since obesity is a risk factor for heart disease, this simple step is a good way to start.
Plus, sugars and starches spike your blood sugar levels. And when there’s a rush of sugar in your blood, your body produces insulin to deal with it.
Since elevated insulin levels have been linked to greater risk of heart disease, cutting out sugary and starchy foods helps protect your heart two ways.
The best method for keeping your blood sugars level is to follow a low glycemic index diet. You can find a list of foods with a low glycemic index by clicking here.
b) Get moving. Adding exercise to your daily routine is a great way to build heart health. But not with typical aerobic exercises. You need PACE program instead. PACE workouts help you build a stronger heart in as little as 10 – 12 minutes a day.
You see, heart attacks usually occur when people are at rest or when they make a sudden high demand on their heart. PACE trains your heart to handle these sudden increases in demand. That’s something aerobic training doesn’t do.
c) Lower your homocysteine level. Elevated homoscysteine levels triple your risk of heart attack.
A simple blood test can measure your homocysteine level. If it’s above 8, you can bring it down safely with B vitamins. You are recommended to take a supplement of vitamin B2 (25 mg), B6 (25 mg), B12 (500 mcg) and folate (800 mcg).
d) Take CoQ10. CoQ10 lowers blood pressure. A team at the University of Texas found that CoQ10 is so effective, it enabled them to safely take patients off blood pressure medications.
CoQ10 supports heart-health in other ways, too. For instance an Italian study showed that CoQ10 is so powerful, it improves virtually every health issue associated with heart failure.
A blood test can measure your CoQ10 levels. If your CoQ10 levels are below 3 to 4 mcg/ml, you’ll want to take a supplement.
Anyone with low CoQ10 levels should take 100 mg of the ubiquinol form per day.
The best source of CoQ10 is red meat, especially organ meats like the liver. The problem is eating a lot of organ meat is that they tend to contain the most toxins and other pollutants. The best way to make sure you’re getting enough CoQ10 is to take a supplement.
You need a minimum of 50 mg of the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 a day. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, gingivitis, age related memory loss, chronic fatigue or are a vegetarian, increase your dose to 100 mg of ubiquinol per day.