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What Taking Aspirin Every Day Does to Your Body

Recently, conventional advice about taking aspirin regularly has changed.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Aspirin is one of the most well-known medications there is, a staple of generations of medicine cabinets. For years, it's been relied upon to quell aches and pains, and for some, to prevent cardiovascular problems. But recently, conventional advice about taking aspirin regularly has changed. The reasons involve what taking aspirin every day can do to your body. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Aspirin Can Reduce Inflammation

body inflammation

In 1899, aspirin became the first painkiller and fever reducer sold over the counter. It's highly effective in reducing pain and inflammation—it does this by switching off prostaglandins, the enzyme that controls aches and swelling. Technically, it's an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), the forerunner of modern drugs like Advil and Motrin. 


Aspirin May Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke

man hold his had and suffering from headache, pain, migraine

If you've had a heart attack or stroke, your doctor may prescribe a low dose of aspirin to help prevent another. But you shouldn't take daily aspirin unless your doctor recommends it. Read on to find out why.


Aspirin May Increase Bleeding Risk


Earlier this year, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force updated its recommendation about taking daily aspirin, which once was routinely recommended to reduce the risk of heart disease. But taking daily aspirin can increase the risk of serious bleeding, particularly in the stomach, intestines, and brain. Today, the USPSTF recommends that people older than 60 no longer start taking daily aspirin, and people aged 40 to 59 should take it on a case-by-case basis. The panel's recommendations don't apply to people who have been taking daily aspirin or have already had a heart attack. If you've been taking aspirin daily, talk with your doctor before making any changes to your routine.


Aspirin Can Cause Stomach Ulcers

stomach pain

Aspirin can irritate the lining of the stomach, causing pain, ulcers, and bleeding. That risk is higher in people who are older, have stomach ulcers, drink alcohol, or take blood-thinning medications. 


Aspirin Can Serious Illness in Children and Teens

teenager cooking at stove

Experts say that children and teenagers recovering from chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should not be given aspirin. It can lead to Reye's Syndrome, a serious condition that causes swelling in the brain and liver damage. This usually affects children and teens recovering from a viral infection. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael
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