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Aspirin - What You Should Know

A few years ago, my doctor recommended I take one 75mg dispersible aspirin every day. He suspected, at the time, I’d had a TIA, or a Transient Ischemic Attack to give its full title.

A TIA is the medical term for stroke-like symptoms that occur and resolve spontaneously within 24 hours. Sometimes it’s called a mini stroke and doctors take TIA’s seriously because they could be an indication of a full stroke in the near future.

Aspirin thins the blood and as strokes and heart attacks can be caused by blood clots, small doses have often been prescribed as a preventative measure.

As it happened, my symptoms at the time were the beginning of mercury poisoning caused by my dental amalgams, BUT I continued on the Aspirin until fairly recently when I got terrible burning sensations in my stomach.

I went back to the doctor and this time was advised to stop taking the Aspirin. My stomach problems disappeared, and this is possibly because it has been discovered taking Aspirin, (even in small doses), for a long period of time can cause bleeds in the stomach.

The advice now, is unless you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, Aspirin can do more harm than good.

It was suggested people on Aspirin for high blood pressure, cholesterol, or DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) may see little benefit, as although it can help prevent secondary clots in the arteries to the heart, it doesn’t have the same effect in veins.

If you’re reading this and are on prescribed daily low doses of Aspirin, you might want to go back to your doctor and seek updated medical advice.

Oh, and another thing, Aspirin should NOT be given to anyone under sixteen.

Anyway, that said, I've also received an e-mail relating to Heart Attacks and Aspirin, and the advice in this one is it’s important to always have Aspirin in the home and especially by your bedside.


Well there are other symptoms of a heart attack besides pain in the left arm, and you don’t always get a pain in the chest during a heart attack. That surprised me, and so did mention of intense pain on the chin. I’d not heard of that one although I did know about nausea and lots of sweating.

The e-mail said, “…the majority of people (about 60%) who had a heart attack during their sleep, didn’t wake up. However, if it occurs, the chest pain may wake you up from your deep sleep.”

I’m not sure whether that meant they didn’t wake up because there was no pain or whether they died in their sleep. I’ll leave you to figure it out BUT it went on to say if you did wake up –

“IMMEDIATELY DISSOLVE TWO ASPIRINS IN YOUR MOUTH and swallow them with a bit of water. Afterwards, phone a neighbour or a family member who lives very close by and state, “HEART ATTACK!” and that you’ve taken 2 ASPIRINS. Take a seat on a chair or sofa and wait for their arrival but … DON’T LIE DOWN!”

According to the experts if you’re having a heart attack your body will most likely send out one or more of the following warning signals –

* Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.

* Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.

*Chest discomfort with light-headedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.

* Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.

* Paleness or pallor.

* Increased or irregular heart rate.

* Feeling of impending doom.

Anyway, now you know, you might want to pass it on – just in case!

Not sure if you, or someone you know, needs to take a lot of medication, but here’s a link to a handy guide to educate people on how to safely simplify this often complicated process.   Seniors' Guide to Medication Management