Diabetes alone already brings so many difficulties, not only to the person that has it but also to the family of the patient. The high blood sugar levels happening when a person has diabetes is because of insufficient insulin production or the cells that are not responding well to insulin. The most immediate symptoms that a person will experience are frequent urination, thirstiness, and increased hunger. This disease becomes more dangerous over time because of the increased risk to develop cardiovascular diseases. People who have diabetes usually experience heart attacks and stroke during the course of their lives.
Aspirin as a Help
If a person has diabetes, whether or not experiencing cardiovascular problems, it is advisable to let him take aspirin to lower the risk of getting a heart attack. Diabetic people have a highly increased chance of dying from heart attack or stroke. According to an article posted on MedicineNet.com, aspirin can be taken by diabetic people who have had these conditions:
Taking aspirin can limit the chances of getting another heart attack or stroke in diabetic people. This claim is backed by the American Heart Association. The risk of acquiring another heart attack when a person has diabetes is contributed by the increased production of thromboxane. This chemical is the one responsible for constricting the blood vessels and excessively clotting the blood platelets. Aspirin prevents the excessive production of thromboxane. Several studies have also shown how aspirin provided significant benefits during the therapy of men and women with diabetes after having a heart attack. A 44% reduction in the chance of having a heart attack for diabetic people was recorded after the patient had undergone aspirin therapy.
Parameters of Participants
When the patients were examined, the chance that a person will have a heart attack is 10.1% for the group who did not take aspirin as therapy. For the group who took aspirin, the heart attack rate went down to 4.0%.
The big difference in the numbers between taking and not taking aspirin therapy allowed the American Diabetes Association to create parameters about aspirin use:
- Diabetic people that have records of heart illnesses and operations must take aspirin.
- High-risk men and women with Type 1 or 2 diabetes must take aspirin therapy. These patients include:
Some factors that you must consider before taking aspirin therapy are the patient’s sensitivity to aspirin, stomach ulcers, and liver complications. Some people experience allergic reactions to aspirin.
Contradictions about Aspirin Therapy
Although aspirin has been proven by experts to be beneficial to diabetic patients, some still provide a different point of view for this method. Some see it bring more negative results than benefits. Others say that taking aspirin actually has no significant positive effect on the condition of the diabetic patients.
One study by the University of Dundee in Scotland that showed a different claim about the benefits of aspirin to diabetics was published in the British Medical Journal in 2008. The study involved 1,276 individuals in Scotland of ages 40 and above. The subject individuals have Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes without showing any symptoms of cardiovascular problems. They were provided with aspirin to take. After six years, the experts found no considerable changes in the cardiovascular-related occurrences. This brought the experts to conclude that aspirin has actually no significant effect on the cardiovascular problems brought about by diabetes.
Another study was done and published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008. The study involved 2,539 individuals with Type 2 diabetes. These people also have no records of any cardiovascular illnesses. The participants were divided into two groups – one to take a low dosage of aspirin (about 81-100 mg) and one to take no aspirin at all. After four years, the two groups showed no considerable difference in terms of the rate of experiencing cardiovascular-related events. Because of this, the researchers came up with the conclusion that low doses of aspirin have no significant effect on the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases in diabetic patients.
The two studies were done only on diabetic people that have no history of having cardiovascular diseases. They are only limited to the group of diabetics that have no records yet of having a heart attack or stroke. These studies never touched the idea that aspirin can be a good alternative solution to people who have already experienced cardiovascular problems. When the doctors read these studies, they suggested that patients should consult first with their physicians whether or not to try aspirin therapy. The rationale behind this is that the physicians should have a thorough examination first on the patient before applying any medical procedure.
In Popular Culture: Aspirin for Diabetics
Aspirin is a very cheap drug that you can buy almost everywhere. It only cost less than a penny but contributed a lot to the health of millions of people. It became a “go-to” medicine for many kinds of illness like head and body aches, sore throat, and even fever. It comes in the form of a tablet, capsule, gel capsule, and suppositories. The most common side effect of this drug is stomach lining irritation that is why it is highly recommended to take aspirin with food, milk, or water. Doing this reduces stomach irritation.
It is already a fact that cardiovascular problems are highly associated with having diabetes. Aspirin became a recommended drug for diabetics because of the drug’s ability to “thin” the blood to prevent abnormal blood clotting in the arteries which can cause a heart attack or stroke. This gave many diabetic patients a new hope of getting a less distressing life because of the many heart-related problems that arise on top of their diabetes. Aspirin became their cheaper alternative to prevent heart problems caused by diabetes. Although many diabetic patients became more optimistic, some studies found aspirin as not much of help at all when it comes to cardiovascular problems. This created a lot of discussions among experts in order to determine whether or not to continue using aspirin for diabetes.
Physician Steven Nissen from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio says that taking aspirin therapy may actually cause more harm than benefits if done incorrectly. There is a chance that people may incorrectly verify their heart diseases. Aside the possible error that people may perform regarding their condition, the resort to aspirin can build an idea that it is the “best and quickest” solution to their heart problems. This can ignore the fact that all they need is to simply have a healthier lifestyle that taking drugs.
Whether you are in favor of taking aspirin or not to help diabetic people, it is still best to consult your physician before taking any further steps. The doctors can do the proper examinations and tests first before deciding whether it is safe or not to take the drug. Ordinary people may overlook these things which can cause them more harm. In conclusion, based on the studies that were conducted, aspirin definitely has benefits that we can take advantage. The only question left is “Is it applicable to your case?” which only the doctor can decide.