If you’ve ever had a pounding headache that has interrupted your daily workflow, you’ll know the struggle involved in getting relief. Aspirin has long been used as an over-the-counter drug for treating aches and pains, and many people even rely on it as a daily blood thinning medication. But, this seemingly harmless drug can have some harmful side effects.
Why Do Some Doctors Prescribe Aspirin for Prevent a Heart Attack?
When you bleed, your blood’s clotting cells (platelets) build up at the site of your wound. These platelets help form a plug that seals the opening of your blood vessel to stop bleeding. This clotting can also happen within the vessel, which can block the artery, preventing blood to flow to the heart. Aspirin is a drug that is said to reduce the clumping action of these platelets, which can prevent a heart attack.
For this reason, many doctors have been known to prescribe Aspirin daily for those that have experienced a heart attack in the past or are at a higher risk of experiencing one in the future. 
The Health Risks of Using Aspirin Daily
As much as Aspirin has been widely prescribed for those who are at a higher risk of a heart attack, there are also many side effects that leave many people doubting the effectiveness of a daily Aspirin.
In fact, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, senior author and director of genomic medicine at Duke’s Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy has stated,“We have seen a substantial number of people who take aspirin for prevention come back in with heart attacks and strokes, so we knew it wasn’t working in some people.” Ginsburg and his team of researchers explored what really happens when people take a daily aspirin.
They actually found that 25-30% of people who take aspirin daily have a stroke or heart attack anyway!  “We found that it does work to a certain degree in everybody, but it works better on some people and less well on other people,” Ginsburg said. “And this test was a way of measuring that.”
Side Effects of Daily Aspirin
1. Stroke caused by a burst blood vessel
Aspirin may help to prevent a blood-clot related stroke, but it can increase the risk of a bleeding clot (hemorrhagic stroke). In other words, you may be thinning your blood too much, which can cause its own problems in the body.
2. Gastrointestinal bleeding
Aspirin can increase your risk of developing a stomach ulcer. If you have a bleeding ulcer in your gastrointestinal tract, the Aspirin can actually cause it to bleed more, perhaps to a life-threatening extent.
3. Allergic reaction
An allergic reaction can be mild or severe for any individual, and sometimes allergies can remain relatively unknown. If you have an allergy to Aspirin, whether you’re aware of it or not, taking the drug can trigger a serious allergic reaction.
Though some people may say that using Aspirin daily is beneficial for them, it is not a solution for everyone! Thankfully there are other ways to help protect your heart health by using natural ingredients. If you are interested in steering clear of Aspirin, there are a number of natural blood thinners that are accessible, effective and safe!
4 Alternative Natural Blood Thinners
It will be no surprise to you that garlic contains a wide-range of health benefits. One of those health benefits being that it can prevent against cardiovascular disease by inhibiting platelet aggregation. You can add more garlic to your diet by cooking it into your favorite dinner recipe or eating it raw.
Turmeric, the beneficial spice that gives curry its yellow flavor, has been proven to assist in the prevention of heart attack and stroke. The main curative ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, works on platelets to prevent clots from forming. Turmeric is a lovely spice that can be added to your favorite meal.
Click here to see how you can use turmeric in your cooking with these 11 tasty recipes!
Dehydration is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough fluids. This condition causes blood vessels to narrow and the blood to thicken, which raises the risk of blood clots. So, staying hydrated can work wonders as a preventative measure for heart attacks, as will help to thin your blood naturally.
Capsaicin is a chili pepper extract with painkilling properties, and its effect on the coagulation of blood has been noted in several studies, making it a great tool or the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Most people are aware that capsaicin is edible, giving peppers that “hot” feeling, but it has also been made into creams and patches to give you the benefits without orally ingesting it. For instance, Chattem Labs has created a roll-on applicator, Capzasin, that delivers pure capsaicin transdermally. Try it yourself here!
At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different, and the way that we each react to medication is different. Investigating all of your options, and speaking with your doctor to find the best option for you is key in the prevention of a heart attack.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.
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