About 500,000 pounds of the active chemical ingredient in Aspirin was produced in the United States in 1998 alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Since that time, production and use has only grown. Millions use the tiny white pills for pain reduction and heart attack prevention. But, how many know the risks they are taking? How many people know the side effects of aspirin – those that go beyond minor itching or nausea?
Aspirin has been linked to numerous health risks. It seems that there are new studies being released on a monthly basis on the dangers of aspirin. Still the American Heart Association and doctors everywhere recommend it for heart disease prevention and more, all while serious side effects of aspirin permeate the body.
As described by GreenMedInfo.com, the inspiration for aspirin was nature, but like so many other traditional medications, science certainly didn’t improve on the original.
A bitter powder extracted from willow bark was used for everything from fevers to aches and pains as far back as the 5th century BC, when Hippocrates also wrote about it. Native Americans used the same bark for the same reasons. This powder is called salicylic acid and is found in many plants where it works as a hormone. Because of this, people who eat plant-based diets naturally have more of this compound in their blood, and likely reap the many benefits of the natural pain reliever.
But, when turning it into medicine, science may have got some things wrong. Aspirin is a synthetic form of salicylic acid and while it may very well have the nice anti-inflammatory properties of the real thing, it has side effects that the natural form simply doesn’t.
“The chemical modification of natural salicylic acid with an acetyl group results in the acetylation of hemoglobin, essentially chemically altering the natural structure-function of our red blood cells and subsequent hemodynamics. In essence, aspirin, a semi-synthetic compound, makes the blood tissue itself semi-synthetic.”
Some Serious Side Effects of Aspirin Include:
- Intestinal bleeding - The most common of these is gastrointestinal disturbance, often causing stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding.
- Macular degeneration (age-related blindness) - There has been a discovery that after prolonged use of aspirin the risk for developing age related macular degeneration – or age related blindness – was significantly increased.
- Flu death
- Hemorrhaging, Strokes, Brain Bleeds - Numerous studies have been conducted on daily aspirin use for over two decades, with some shocking conclusions. Those on daily aspirin regimens had a twofold increase in hemorrhagic brain strokes, which cripple and kill.
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hearing Loss - Aspirin has been linked to the development of hearing loss.
Are there safer alternatives? Absolutely. If you take aspirin for pain relief, look at the cause of the pain rather than a quick fix. If it’s muscle aches, try stretching, massage, warm and cold compresses. Also, try including more turmeric and ginger in your diet—both have amazing anti-inflammatory properties. If you take aspirin for heart attack prevention—try changing your diet instead. Using aspirin for this reason is a little like putting a bandage on your hand so you can play with razor blades, it doesn’t make much sense. Eat right, get regular exercise, and treat your body well.
Here are some other alternative solutions so that you don’t need to experience the nasty side effects of aspirin.