3 Serious Effects Of Frequent Aspirin Consumption

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While taking an occasional aspirin for a headache or muscle strain is not likely to cause medical problems, daily aspirin consumption may heighten your risk for a number of serious health conditions. Here are three serious effects of taking aspirin on a regular basis, and what you can do about them:

Internal Bleeding

One of the most serious adverse reactions from taking too much aspirin is internal bleeding, specifically, gastrointestinal bleeding. Aspirin decreases platelet aggregation, which means that it might take your blood longer to clot. If you notice blood in your urine or stool, or if you become pale, weak, dizzy, or short of breath, make an appointment with your family practice physician as soon as possible.

Undetected internal bleeding can cause severe anemia, and if not recognized and treated quickly, heart, kidney, liver, or breathing problems can develop. While gastrointestinal bleeding is more common in those taking daily aspirin, bleeding in the brain is also a concern. Bleeding in the brain is known as a cerebral hemorrhage, and if not diagnosed early on, a poor prognosis may be likely.

Vision Loss

Long-term consumption of aspirin, or taking large doses of aspirin, can raise your risk for eye problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration. If you experience dim or blurred vision, or if you develop double vision, see your doctor as soon as possible.

Similarly, if you notice that colors do not appear bright anymore or if you start seeing flashes before your eyes, make an appointment with your physician. He or she may determine that your vision deficits are caused by aspirin, and may recommend that you take a lower dosage.

While stopping aspirin altogether may be a better option for your eyes, if you are considered a high risk for heart disease, taking too low of a dose may raise your risk for heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot. 

Renal Problems

Pain relievers such as acetaminophen and aspirin can be toxic to your kidneys, raising the risk for renal failure. If you take aspirin every day, visit your doctor on a regular basis for periodic blood tests to evaluate your kidney function.

In certain cases, kidney disorders related to aspirin consumption can be reversible when diagnosed and treated early on. If you experience changes in urination, lower back pain, blood in your urine, or swelling of your face, abdomen, hands, or legs, seek medical attention. These symptoms may mean that you have kidney disease, and will need to be treated as soon as possible. 

If you take aspirin on a regular basis, and develop eye problems, abnormal bleeding, or problems with your urinary system, make an appointment with your family doctor right away. The sooner aspirin-related health problems are recognized and addressed, the less likely you will be to experience gastrointestinal or cerebral bleeding, eye problems, or kidney problems.