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Saturday , September 21st 2019

Low dose aspirin’s health benefits questioned

Dr. Veita Bland / March 22, 2019

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Bleeding from the stomach can occur with regular aspirin use. Patients taking this medication should check with their healthcare provider regarding its continued use.

So many people take supplements and medications over the counter like they are taking candy. They take them because they think they will help their health. They observe family, friends and coworkers taking these supplements and decide they should take them also. So many times there is a lack of critical thinking about the supplement or medication. There is the lack of understanding that the pill is supposed to do something to their body, it is not candy. The question is, which aspirin or pill dose is good for your body and the medical conditions that you have? Aspirin is not candy.

I realize that there is a billion dollar industry out there telling you that aspirin or a certain pill will make you healthier but will it or is it really something you should take? I ask patients if they are taking over the counter medications of any kind. It is important that I know this because some of those supplements can affect some of the medications I may prescribe and can affect the results of certain blood tests. So I need to know, those supplements are not candy.

I know that many people are not honest in telling their healthcare provider what they are taking. They look for us to be disapproving. The questions I ask are if you are taking the prescribed medications I know you need? Did you purchase your prescribed medications? If you are taking supplements how are you taking them in conjunction with your prescribed medications? We certainly do not want any of the supplements to prevent the prescribed medications from being absorbed in your body so they can do their job. They are not candy.

So many people take a baby aspirin daily and think nothing of it. It tastes like orange candy in many cases but it is not candy. New evidence has placed a big question mark on that practice and if it is indeed a good thing to do. Now if you have already had a heart attack or other event with your heart, it most likely is a good thing for you to take aspirin. Do make sure by checking with your health care provider. If you have not had a cardiac event and have no problems with your heart you should have a serious talk with your healthcare provider about whether this is indeed a prudent thing for you to do.

Recent evidence has shown that the bleeding from the stomach that happens with aspirin may not make this medication a choice for some people. We must determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks. You and your healthcare provider must sit down and decide this for you. In the meantime, do not start aspirin for health benefits until you have that talk. Remember, aspirin, just like those other supplements, is not candy


Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at ideas@blandclinicpa.com.




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