Aspirin and Diabetic Heart Disease (DHD)

Diabetes Heart DiseaseDiabetes is the most prevalent in the leading cause of cardiac dysfunction. For many diabetic people, there is the threat of diabetes related heart disease. It can be difficult enough to have to deal with controlling diabetes without also having to deal with other risks to the heart as well. There are preventive measures that can be taken against diabetic related heart disease.

Many people with elevated risks towards heart disease and stroke are on a therapy management plan that consists of taking a daily regimen of aspirin.  Once the doctor has diagnosed you with diabetes, they will usually start the person on a daily aspirin regimen; with the exception of juvenile diabetes. Why aspirin? Aspirin is an over the counter acetylsalicylic acid drug that is prescribed for numerous medical remedies. The most common use of aspirin is for the relief of aches, fevers and pain associated with the back or arthritis. The second common use of aspirin is as a blood thinner. There have been many studies that have been done in controlled groups that show that aspirin reduces and can prevent heart complications. Doctors commonly prescribe aspirin for people with heart disease; including people that also have diabetes. Doctors will also prescribe aspirin to those patients that have a higher risk of developing diabetic related heart disease as a preventative measure.

The complications associated with diabetes related heart disease are heart attack, angina and strokes. Diabetes will harden the heart valves and also carry a higher risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). There is also the threat of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) which causes arrhythmias and ventricular dysfunction.

When taking aspirin, this little pill prevents possible heart related complications and strokes. It has been dubbed as the “miracle” drug. The ADA (American Diabetes Association) recommends that a person take coated aspirin in the dosage of 81-325mg daily. Coated aspirin is easier to swallow and easier on the stomach than uncoated aspirin. Keep in mind that the dosage of heart related therapy is not the same as taking aspirin for normal pain or headache symptoms. For diabetes related heart disease the daily dosage is much lower than that of normal use. Studies have shown that aspirin has also been found to decrease high blood pressure. High blood pressure is also directly linked to heart complications.

Long term therapy management with aspirin may cause some side effects. These side effects include but are not limited to:

  1. Stomach (gastrointestinal) ulcers and bleeding
  2. Liver disease
  3. Use is not recommended for under the age of 21 years of age due to Reye’s Syndrome
  4. Diseases of the small intestine
  5. Iron and blood deficiencies

When it comes to taking aspirin for diabetic related heart disease, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks when it comes to your health. Talking to your primary physician care provider is the best way to prevent or control diabetic related heart disease. Your doctor will know how to weigh the risks and benefits best suited for you. You should not start an aspirin regimen without consulting your doctor first.

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