An Aspirin a day keeps a heart attack away-A A +A
Saturday, March 5, 2011
IF YOU have suffered from a heart attack or a stroke, this statement which is almost like a nursery rhyme or even a mantra for some patients, would sound all too familiar or probably, you have not had a heart issue, but you have some identified heart disease risks like diabetes or high cholesterol. In each of these cases, a daily aspirin therapy may be one prescribed by your family doctor. Come to think of it, how exactly does one pill keep your heart healthy and refuse the probability of a major disaster like a heart attack?
The answer lies in your platelets- the irregularly-shaped, colorless bodies found in your blood that are recruited in response to a wound. Their job is to form clots and stop bleeding. Platelets or thrombocytes tend to clump around artery walls. If you have had a heart attack or stroke, platelets can pose a risk by clogging your already- narrowed arteries. More so, if your arteries are injured from smoking, cholesterol, or high blood pressure, plaque builds up and can cause the vessels to rupture. When this injury happens, platelets responds to stop the bleeding and germ blood clots, which can block the flow of blood to the heart or brain.
Aspirin can help reduce the clumping of platelets by "thinning" the blood. Aspirin makes it more difficult form harmful clots to form in arteries that have been narrowed and can help your blood flowing more smoothly. Before you start any regular aspirin regimen, you should check with your doctor as aspirin is not recommended for all patients. Aspirin may be given to patients with previous heart attack, those who have had TIA or transient ischemic attack or ischemic stroke, individuals with coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis, anyone who had had bypass surgery, people with identified risks factors for heart disease like diabetes and even obesity, and in general folks older than 50 years old..
Aspirin is NOT recommended for individuals with known allergy to medicines and certain foods, those with gastrointestinal problems like bleeding peptic ulcer, patients who are about to undergo surgery or major dental procedures and heavy drinkers.
The US Preventive Services task Force has analyzed and published findings in the Annals of Internal Medicine highlighting the results that aspirin decreases first heart attacks in men and first heart strokes in women.
Next Week: How Much Aspirin is Enough?
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on March 06, 2011.