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For many years aspirin has worked as an analgesic and pain reliever for people. However, there has been evidence that when consumed in excessive quantities it can be damaging and harm the person in more ways than can be thought of. Even though considered to be an optimal solution for heart diseases its tendency to cause bleeding has often led doctors to discourage users from relying completely on it. Now though the concept of baby aspirin has come forth where small doses of the medicine are being prescribed so that the disease goes away and that too without causing any of the side effects. Here is a detailed analysis of what baby aspirin is and how it can be used.
What is baby aspirin?
Normally an aspirin tablet contains 325 mg of the mineral. Baby aspirin, on the other hand, signifies a reduced dose which is around one –fourth of the total quantity. This means that baby aspirin is around 81 mg and is used and recommended only in specific cases. In most cases, it is the doctor who advises a patient to consume baby aspirin, and without medical recommendation, the same should be avoided.
Uses of Baby Aspirin
Baby aspirin or low dose aspirin, as it is also known as, has multiple effects and benefits for individuals. Usually the same is advised for people who are suffering from heart disease and cardiovascular ailments. Women suffering from miscarriages also get a new lease of life after consuming baby aspirin on a regular basis. Apart from that, there are also certain other ailments where baby aspirin can be used to provide temporary or permanent relief. Though some of these uses and benefits have been established by regular research, the rest do not have concrete evidence supporting it.
1. Pain reliever–
That has always been the most basic use of Aspirin and is always advised to a person suffering from moderate intensity pains like headaches, period pains, cold and flu, sprains and strains on muscles etc. In fact, for such cases, the Baby aspirin is consumed alone without any other medicine. However, when the pain moves from moderate to severe, you may have to perk it up with NSAID’s and other opioid
2. Prevents blood clots from forming–
Baby aspirin is a highly recommended anti-platelet medicine given in case there is a serious situation of blood clotting. Generally, you advise baby aspirin to patients who have just had bypass surgery, heart attack, stroke, atrial fibrillation,and acute coronary syndrome. This is because the reduction in blood clots clears the arteries and resumes the smooth passage of blood in the same.
In simple words, retinopathy is damage caused to the retina which can even lead to vision impairment. Often this disease is caused by abnormal blood flow to the eye or any kind of blood clot in them. For such people, baby aspirin works by removing the barriers to blood flow and hence easing the trouble caused to the eyes.
We all know that diabetes, and especially that has been running for a long time, can reduce your chances of getting operated upon as the blood flow does not stop easily. For such people, a simple dose of baby aspirin can prove beneficial as such people are also quite prone to developing heart-related issues. It has been proven that baby aspirin would control cardiovascular ailments even in extremely high-risk patients. However, still, the medication should never be taken without proper consultation with the doctor.
5. Fertility benefits–
For women who have faced the trauma of a miscarriage before, baby aspirin is taken to reduce the chances of the same thing being repeated. This is because miscarriage often happens due to a poorly developed uterine lining. Apart from that, it can also be caused by antiphospholipid-antibodies which cause coagulation and clotting and lead to a fetal miscarriage. In such a situation doctors advise a dose of baby aspirin which prevents clotting and thus reduces the chances of miscarriage happening.
6. Heart attacks-
Primarily the baby aspirin works best for people who have had heart attacks and are trying to recover from them. Being an anticoagulant, and fever reducer, the baby aspirin is advised so that such people are saved from any future chances of getting an attack. However, if a person has a history of gastrointestinal problems, or in the past have had blood clotting issues then maybe the medicine should be taken only after consultation with a doctor.
7. Anti–ageing effect–
Research conducted in the past associate the blood thinning properties of baby aspirin as a sure shot way to reduce wrinkles. This indirectly keeps intact the freshness of the skin and reduces any traces that passing age may have had on it.
Strokes happen when your brain does not receive the level of blood that it is supposed to receive. However, when consumed in moderate quantities baby aspirin makes the flow of blood to the brain simple and even removes any traces of any clots that are present there. As per a study for women, baby aspirin reduces the impact of stroke in women as opposed to men and that is the sole reason why these are recommended by the doctors in such cases.
9. Colon Polyps–
According to a study that daily consumption of baby aspirin can reduce the probability of getting a colon polyp by nearly 19%. These polyps are precancerous growth that is present in the colon and gives rise to colorectal cancer later on. Though it is proven to reduce its incidence doctors are still not very confident in advising it for daily consumption.
Side Effects of baby aspirin
The benefits are multiple, but aspirin has always been a controversial medicine. People who take it without consultation from a doctor eventually end up facing disorders whose impact can stay for long term. In the case of baby aspirin or low dose aspirin,the risks are paramount. Let us have a look at some of them.
1. Risk of bleeding–
Even as baby aspirin tries hard to help reduce clotting, this does not work always in favour of all patients. Most of the times a continuous use of baby aspirin can also increase the risk of bleeding in the brain and upper gastrointestinal So if you are getting a benefit of cardiovascular health the risk of internal bleeding seems to be profound enough to force you to think twice about starting the regime.
2. Not for healthy people–
It is a given that if you are suffering from a cardiovascular ailment, the baby aspirin can help to prevent more attacks from coming on. However, if you are a healthy individual yet at high risk of facing heart problems, you cannot take baby aspirin to combat any future heart problems that may arise. If you are facing a cluster of risk factors about heart disease like smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol still baby aspirin cannot be taken. Either you consult a doctor or if he advises you to do so then maybe you can start, but then there is no guarantee that it might suit you.
3. Elderly people-
According to a clinical trial conducted on more than 19 thousand people, all above the age 70, the benefits of baby aspirin are almost negligible. The participants were those who had a history of heart disease yet when ascertained the intake of baby aspirin was shown to have no major benefit to such people. However, a cause of concern that did come up was the fact that the incidence of internal bleeding in such individuals did show growth as well.
4. Side effects-
Having a baby aspirin per day does not come without any side effects. For a normal person having one pill a day may cause problems like heartburn, easy bruising, difficulty in hearing and ringing sound, problems in kidney functions like a change in the quantity of urine produced, continuous and severe nausea/vomiting, dizziness, tiredness, yellowing of eyes and skin and dark urine. Though there have not been any major reports of allergic reactions, people may yet face signs like a rash, itching, swelling in face or throat, dizziness or trouble in breathing. Apart from these an upset stomach or heartburn are signs that may happen during your treatment.
For people suffering from any heart ailment or those who have had a heart attack in the past baby, aspirin provides the relief that helps in curbing the incidence of the disease. Mostly, such medicines are usually taken only after a doctor’s recommendation. Baby aspirin may also cause bleeding in certain individuals hence the efficacy of the same remains questionable. Though the benefits, especially to those suffering from colon polyps and heart ailments, are manifold and people have benefitted from its regular use. In other words, the saviour that low dose aspirin can be it can also cause side effects which may be difficult for you to bear. Hence, better still if you consume the same with a little caution.