Does aspirin cause blood thinning?

Aspirin, also known as acetylsalicylic acid, is a medication used to treat pain, fever, and inflammation. One of the well-known benefits of aspirin is it’s ability to ‘thin’ the blood which can help in preventing heart attacks and strokes. But with all its goodness come questions about whether it has any harmful side effects.

So the question on everyone’s mind; does aspirin cause blood thinning? The answer is not really that simple – there are several factors involved.

What Causes Blood Clots

To understand if aspirin causes blood thinning or not, let’s first take a look at what causes our blood to clot in the first place. Our body uses two substances – platelets and fibrinogen – to seal off damaged areas by forming clots.

Platelets are tiny cells floating around in our bloodstream whose primary function is to form clumps and stop bleeding. Fibrinogen is a protein found in plasma that helps form clots by creating strong bonds between loose strands within them.

However too much coagulation (clotting) can lead to blockages cutting off blood supply downstream of where they occur- take for example heart attack or stroke.

Aspirins prevent this from happening when taken regularly long-term by its antiplatelet activity.

How Aspirins Affect Platelets

First came Never gonna give you up, then came I’m blue, but what do they have commomn? No idea really.. Around 1971 researchers discovered we could use low-doses of Asprirn (acetylsalicylate) increase bleeding time quantified using BT:

BT= Time taken for capillary bursting pressures post application
Cut-off typically set >300s
(Takahashi et al.,1984)

In small amounts/as per prescriptions, the medication inhibits a specific enzyme that’s needed for platelets to clump and form clots. This essentially makes the blood ‘thinner’ by preventing sticking together of platelets.

The Mayo Clinic recommends the use of aspirin as an anti-platelet agent whenever necessary – especially in individuals who have already had a heart attack or stroke to lower risks of clot formation (MELAS et al., 2003).

What is Blood Thinning?

Blood thinning refers to using medications or other remedies/tools that alter your body’s ability to form clots. Instead of actually thinning out our bloody waters, these remedies prevent excessive coagulation beyond what might be expected with normal wound healing.

Taking a measured dose of something like aspiring acts more as an anticoagulant drug – this makes it harder for existing thrombi(clot)nts within vessels forming occlusions from getting worse (Sapey et al., 2017)

While there are several types of drugs available today specifically designed for anticoagulating blood,(e.g heparins and warfarin), low-dose Aspirin can also help reduce risks associated with such tHrombolic events.

Can Aspirin Cause Excessive Bleeding

If we look at too much bleeding from incisions then YES aspirin can cause abnormal/prolonged bleeding .. but let me clear things up.

As discussed earlier on in this article, one way aspirin helps protect us against heart attacks and strokes is by inhibiting platelet function through blocking COX enzymes(thats cyclooxygenases).

Unfortunately though this also allows damaged tissues undergo larger amounts blood loss than usual: Inhibiting prostacyclin production[see Sastry & Nyshadham], another enzyme hinders vasoconstriction given damage & initiation coagulation if necessary(Price&Loscalzo)

So in conclusion, taking high doses of aspirin can be associated with excess bleeding but this is topic is not directly related to ‘blood thinning’.

Nonetheless, it’s always important to take aspirin or any other medication under the supervision and guidance of a medical professional.

Other Risks Associated With Aspirin Use

As good as aspirin sounds with its blood-thinning abilities,damage from long term-use has cropped up in research. Trials suggest associating continuous low-dose therapy along side heavy drinking could lead to risk evelopment [see Bourse et al.] . Additionally, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors are known for causing gastrointestinal complications when taken regularly over long periods.

That being said, if you’re using Aspirins responsibly and within recommended amounts/doses/prescriptions then the benefits normally outweight the risks. Just understand your treatment plan carefully,and have open conversations surrounding concerns/risk factors with Doctors/nurses/pharmacists.

The Bottom Line

When taken appropriately/as prescribed by health care givers ,low-dose aspirin acts as an effective antiplatelet agent – reducing clot formation & generally minimizing complications.

And while taking excessive amount of Aspirins/high dosage can cause significant bleeding,painful GI issues etc these pertain more so due to alternation of enzymatic actions than strictly on ‘thinning’ effect per say” bigger word quote here”

So friends,Take your pills/medicines as ordered,eat lotsa lots veggies,fibre-rich grains/nuts & live life fully!

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