Is Aspirin Really Beneficial to the Heart?

August 01, 2013
by Tess Young
Is Aspirin Really Beneficial to the Heart?

A heart attack is not something that starts and ends in 5 minutes, it is an ongoing event. The damage to your heart as well as body can be limited by taking action the minute the heart attack begins. The first thing you need to do is call 911 for help. Then you want to take an aspirin.

How Aspirin Helps During a Heart Attack

The clotting action with the platelets is reduced by aspirin therapy. This clumping action is useful if say you have a cut since it stops the bleeding, however if it blocks an artery which is already narrow due to atherosclerosis, it could clot.  The blood clot goes on to block up an artery and blood flow is kept reaching the brain or heart, a heart attack or stroke can be the result.

During a heart attack, your blood clotting is not what you want. Plague rupture in the coronary artery is what causes heart attacks. Once this rupture happens, the body thinks there is an injury and calls upon platelets. The platelets go to work triggering a blood clot, similar to cutting a finger. As the minutes tick by, the clot gets bigger. It continues to get larger unit the artery is completely blocked. Blood no longer flows to the area of the heart that the artery is serving.

Oxygen is no longer being carried to the heart by the blood. Without oxygen, this area of the heart starts to die. This is when a heart attack begins. If you take an aspirin during these few first minutes, you will actually slow down the platelets making it more difficult for blood clotting. You help to keep the blood flowing, which is bringing the necessary oxygen to the heart. By taking aspirin you will reduce the chances of damage happening from the heart attack.

Just like you would for any other type of medication, be sure you ask your doctor prior to starting aspirin therapy. There are many different types of medication that you can buy over the counter that is useful in life. The aspirin, when taken once a day without your doctor's consent may cause a clotting disorder or bleeding, ulcers, asthma or heart failure. It is not advised by doctors for women over 60 or men over 50 who have diabetes to take a daily low dose aspirin.

Possible Side Effects of Aspirin

If you have never had a stroke or heart attack but are at a high risk of getting one, you might benefit from a daily aspirin regimen. However, talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner first to be sure it is safe for you. Although researchers have noted that aspirin is safe to use as directed, they could cause some side effects, as with any medication. Some side effects may include stomach upset, nausea, stomach ulcers, and stomach bleeding. There is little warning to stomach bleeding, and it may cause death. If you are over the age of 60, you might end up being more sensitive to side effects presented by aspirin. If you experience any side of effects of medication, find urgent care or call 911 immediately.

About the Author

Tess Young has been a freelance writer for over 3 years and has experience writing about the pharmaceutical industry. For more information on reputable pharmacy companies and technicians, she recommends visiting Northwest Pharmacy. Other topics that she writes on include alternative energy, healthy living, home design, career advancement, finance, travel, SEO marketing and website content.