What Taking Aspirin Every Day Does to Your Body

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You may have read or heard about various reports that taking daily aspirin—yes, that old-time resident of your grandmother's medicine cabinet—may have...
benefits for modern health conditions. "Aspirin, or acetylsalicylic acid, is a medication that is indicated for many different things," says Kenneth Perry, MD, an emergency medicine physician in Charleston, South Carolina. "From fever control to pain control, even heart attack treatment, there seems to be a new indication every few months." That said, this common everyday drug called aspirin is a strong one, and it can cause some serious side effects in certain people. Read on for more about the features and benefits of aspirin, and what taking aspirin every day does to your body. (And always consult your doctor before beginning a new drug or medication regimen.)

1 Aspirin Can Reduce Inflammation

Woman holds her belly with hands with closed eyes due to pain

Aspirin works by inhibiting prostaglandins, the enzyme that serves as an on-off switch for pain and inflammation. That's why it has been used for fevers and pain for more than a century. Today, it's still often prescribed to treat or prevent health conditions caused by inflammation in the body.

2 Aspirin Can Cause Stomach Ulcers

Suffering From Abdominal Pain Touching Aching Stomach Lying On Couch At Home

It bears repeating: Aspirin is a strong drug, and some people can't tolerate it well. "Chronic use of aspirin can damage the lining of the stomach, causing stomach ulcers and pain," says Leann Poston, MD. "The risk increases in people over age 65, those with a history of stomach ulcers, and those who take blood thinners or drink alcohol."

If you're sensitive to aspirin, your doctor may recommend taking another NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) instead, such as ibuprofen.

3 Aspirin May Reduce Your…
Emilia Paluszek
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