A prominent news network recently released an article on their website stating that a group of doctors and researchers specifically interested in the use of aspirin for preventative purposes has stated that it's NOT a good idea for people that don't have major heart problems to take aspirin preventatively.  This, of course, is in contrast with the generally accepted notion that people should be taking aspirin in a preventative way, as seen on dozens of TV commercials over the last several years.

The article suggests that there are millions of people out there who are taking aspirin as some sort of means to keep themselves from heart problems.  These folks have not been told to take it, but rather are presuming that since the ads on TV are suggestive that "Aspirin prevents heart attacks" that they may as well give it a shot.  Unfortunately, that marketing campaign is misleading.  Chronic use of the drug has a laundry list worth of side effects that need be taken into account.  Here is a list of said side effects from www.drugs.com.

Common:
Heartburn; nausea; upset stomach.  Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black or bloody stools; confusion; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; severe or persistent stomach pain; unusual bruising; vomiting.

Central Nerve System: Central nervous system side effects have included agitation, cerebral edema, coma, confusion, dizziness, headache, cranial hemorrhage, lethargy and seizures. Tinnitus and subjective hearing loss (or both) may occur.

The study discussed in the article specifically sites internal bleeding as the main reason to avoid taking aspirin preventatively, but I think the above resource's list of just some of the side effects shows that it can have a lot of other effects.  Best be careful.  If I were to print out the entire list from drugs.com, it would be roughly 12 pages long. 

Expect to see more studies released as the research continues to support the FACT that we're an over medicated society heading down a road with our healthcare system that will serve to strengthen that fact.  Currently, normal values of such things as cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar are being lowered to help get people on medications "preventatively."  Bad idea.  No research to support the bad idea.  Lots of research to support that it's a bad idea.  Kind of scary?  Yes. 

This is why I'm always writing about getting into the prevention and maintenance mindset.  I recently had a patient tell me about a friend of theirs from England who fairly accurately noted that Americans treat their bodies like cars - part breaks, replace the part, and move on until another part breaks only without the routine maintenance.  I can't think of a better way to describe our society, as a whole.  All the money in the country can't make up for how foolish we are with our health.  Upper cervical docs (function), personal trainers (exercise), nutritionists (nutrition), and counselors (mental) are the team you should be relying on to make you healthy so that the need to visit the disaster team becomes less and less of an issue. 

And that's all folks...

Thinking good things for you, as always,

Dr. Chad

PS - Coming soon for those of you in the Triad area, we'll be doing a special event for kids and families called Kids Day in America on May 21st.