TMJ Center of Los Angeles

An Aspirin a Day Keeps the Pain Away

You may have heard that an aspirin a day can reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes. Newer studies suggests it can reduce the risk of esophageal, stomach, colon and prostate cancer, or help keep existing cancer in check, and it may even help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. As an NSAID, it can also help with pain relief and can reduce fevers and inflammation.

With these benefits in mind, coupled with the medicine’s pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, it would seem that aspirin should be as widely dispersed as fluoride, added to local water supplies for the sake of overall health. Aspirin does have some downsides, however, and each person will have different dosing requirements to get the best benefit from it.

Like any medication, aspirin comes with side effects. The most prominent of these is an increased risk of internal bleeding and ulcers. Aspirin thins the protective layer of mucus that keeps stomach acid from damaging your organs, and taking even a small daily dose can double your risk of developing an ulcer. Digestive tract damage can occur at any point, from your mouth to your colon. Even if your aspirin is buffered or coated, it will not mitigate the danger of damage to your digestive system.

NSAIDs, including aspirin, can also be harsh on the kidneys. And with so many people turning to these medications for frequent pain, there rate of young people being treated for ulcers and bleeding is growing at a rapid pace.

So, how do you decide if adding a dose of aspirin to your daily regimen is right for you? Because there are so many different things to consider, and the risks and benefits can change dramatically depending on your own circumstances, the best way is to ask Dr. Davidson, “Is taking a daily dose of aspirin right for me?” He can help you weigh the benefits and risks so you can make an informed decision about your health.

Aspirin is often considered a “wonder drug,” but it is still a medication and must be used carefully. A daily dose of aspirin may help keep you healthy and hale longer, but there are always side effects that must be carefully considered before taking it. Internal bleeding and ulcers are dangerous and potentially life threatening conditions, but for many people, it is a preferable alternative to the even more virulent issues of cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Talk to Dr. Davidson today to decide what course of action is best for you.

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