People have been taking aspirin for many decades now. In fact, this little pill found in just about every medicine cabinet across the world was discovered way back in 1853, but not used medicinally until 1897 first as a powder, then introduced as that little white pill we all are so familiar with in 1915. Despite its long standing years of use, there are some serious health complications that can result from taking aspirin.
There are three main reasons that people take aspirins regularly:
- Pain reliever & inflammation reducer
- Heart attack & stroke prevention
- Fever reducer
When a person takes aspirin for one of these conditions they see the pain relieving benefits. But you must know that you can gain the same type of benefits with using different therapies other than aspirin which can in the long run do more harm than good.
If you take (or are considering taking) an aspirin a day for heart attack prevention or to deal with painful inflammation, there are a few facts you’ll want to consider first. Then carefully consider all of your options as there are safe, all natural replacements for taking aspirin for many conditions.
Understanding the Common Physical Problems Associated with Aspirin
Remember when I speak of these problems from taking aspirin I’m not talking about a very occasional aspirin, it’s the long term use that’s a potential problem (unless you have an aspirin allergy, in which case you should obviously avoid aspirin altogether).
There are some people who are more susceptible to complications from aspirins and they should carefully consider any use of aspirin. These people fall into the following categories:
- Heart failure
- Stomach ulcers
- Bleeding or clotting disorders
- Diabetes (the American Diabetes Association advises people with diabetes take only the very lowest dosage of aspirin)
Even if you don’t fall under one of the above categories, taking aspirin regularly can cause some serious health concerns you must know about.
6 Health Problems Associated with Aspirin
According to many sources, including the Mayo Clinic, damage to the kidney from regular aspirin use, called analgesic nephropathy, can occur. Many times this chronic kidney disease exists without immediate symptoms and leads to deadly kidney failure or the need for daily kidney dialysis.
The liver absorbs aspirin with regular use, leading to liver failure–a serious problem for all. The liver is your body’s detoxification system. When toxins are continually put into the body, toxic overload can cause the liver to fail.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, the second leading cause of ulcers is from the regular use of aspirin leading to irritation of the stomach lining. Regular use of aspirin when an ulcer exists can lead to further complications including bleeding ulcers and perforated ulcers.
This annoying ‘ringing in the ears’ problem can not just be caused by regular use of aspirin, it can actually lead to permanent hearing damage. However in most cases the solution is to simply stop using aspirin and the condition reverses itself.
As you know many people take daily aspirin to prevent heart attack and stroke by keeping the blood thin. The problem here is that in some cases this seemingly ‘innocent’ aspirin may end up doing more harm than good. In some strokes the cause is bleeding in the brain, in which case the blood-thinning aspirin only exacerbates the problem, potentially leading to permanent brain damage or death.
This deadly condition occurs swiftly, delivering deadly blows to children as it damages the vital organs, especially the brain and liver. The cause of Reye’s syndrome in most cases is a child with a viral infection, such as chicken pox, taking aspirin for fever reduction and pain relief. It’s vital that all parents avoid giving their children aspirin for this reason.
As you can see the health complications that are associated with regular aspirin consumption are very serious and not to be taken lightly. Of course I’m not suggesting you suffer with pain or risk heart attacks. There are far better ways to take care of those things. What I am asking you to do is consider your own personal risk for serious side effects from aspirin, then explore alternative treatment options that are much better for your body.
Safe, Effective Alternatives to Aspirin
Depending on the reason you take aspirin, you can find safe alternatives. However, it’s vital that you first consult with your health care practitioner to be sure that none of the other medications you may be taking will interact in an adverse way with the all natural therapies.
An anti-inflammatory diet is the one of the best ways to reduce unhealthy, painful inflammation in the body. When you follow a diet based on eating lots of fish, nuts, fruits, vegetables, beans, and healthy oils like olive and coconut oils you’ll not only reduce inflammation in the body, but this can also lead to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Adding this little root to your daily diet can really help to not just fight nausea but also ward off inflammation. Ginger has been a common staple in Asian, Indian, and Arabic healing therapies to treat inflammation associated with arthritis and ulcerative colitis for years. You can take ginger in it’s whole form, capsule form, or as a tea.
Turmeric, also known as curcumin, is a common ingredient in many dishes. This spice also has been used for thousands of years to fight inflammation. Add a bit to your eggs, soup, salad dressings, pasta sauces and more. This spice not only reduces inflammation but aides in digestion. Add a bit of cayenne pepper to help your body make the most of the turmeric.
This compound with the official name methyl sulfonyl methane combats inflammation with sulfur. Found naturally in cow’s milk, fruits and veggies, as well as meat and seafood, MSM works by adding sulfur to the body which in turn strengthens vital collagen. MSM is available in tablets, capsules, and creams for topical application.
One of the most commonly sold German supplements, this enzyme found in pineapples is often used to treat inflammation in conditions such as arthritis. It is sold in tablet form and also at the grocery store as a meat tenderizer.
This is a commonly used over-the-counter all natural supplement effective in treating inflammation and related conditions. This powerful combination of plant enzymes, antioxidants, and pancreatic enzymes encourages and supports the body’s own inflammation response. You can read more about Wobenzym N here.
If you are taking or thinking about taking aspirin on a regular basis I hope you’ve now thought again. The side effects of regular aspirin consumption far outweigh the benefits. Consider any one of these all natural therapies after consulting with your health care practitioner to avoid possible drug interactions.
It’s your life, your body, and your choice. Make it an informed one!
American College of Gastroenterology (2010)
Mayo Clinic (2010)
National Institutes of Health (1996)
University of Maryland (2008)
Dr. Axe's Action Steps
- Try some new recipes this week that include turmeric and/or ginger.
- Start following an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Skip the aspirin and choose one or more of the natural anti-inflammatories listed above.