Is aspirin good for your gout?
Many gout sufferers ask if they should use aspirin to either treat a gout attack or if they can take baby aspirin on a daily basis to help prevent heart attacks or strokes since gout sufferers have an increased risk of cardiovascular health issues. So this post will set the record straight.
Aspirin is a salicylate working by decreasing substances in your body that cause pain, fever or inflammation and treating them. Aspirin is also used to prevent heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation and chest pain known as angina. It was first discovered in 1763 from the bark of the willow tree and its active ingredient is salicylic acid. It is part of the NSAIDs family but is different from most other NSAIDs in the way they work.
So the questions is can aspiring increase your risk of a gout attack? The truth is even in small doses, aspirin is known to elevate uric acid levels in your blood and can even be the cause of a gout attack if not careful. This is true when taking the common over-the-counter aspirin of 325mg every four hours which a gout sufferer should avoid. You’re better off taking Tylenol to treat your fever, pain, inflammation or headache. Absolutely never and I mean absolutely never take aspirin on the onset of a gout attack, you will only make matters worse for yourself. Please take ibuprofen if you feel the need to remove the edge from the pain of the gout attack.
What about “baby aspirin”?
When taking the low dose aspirin or “baby aspirin” consisting of 75mg to 81mg a day which is given for heart attack or stroke prevention, there is an insignificant increase in uric acid levels that you can ignore since it offers gout sufferers many cardiovascular health benefits to limit heart attack or stroke since we are at an increased risk already. Talk to your doctor about taking “baby aspirin” and make sure he gives you the green light. If you have another health condition that warrants you taking baby aspirin, your doctor should monitor your use. Baby aspirin basically makes your blood less sticky and the platelets less likely to clump together keeping the blood flowing smoothly. Opinions are mixed since there is evidence according to a 2014 study that daily consumption of baby aspirin by gout patients did translate in to more recurrent gout attacks.
What is interesting is that when taking aspirin in very high doses in cases where doctors prescribe it to treat serious forms of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses; it actually blocks uric acid by the kidneys from reabsorbing causing the uric acid to be disposed of from the urine and outside the body, lowering uric acid levels! But do not attempt this please, we have other NSAIDs and ibuprofen which are way more effective to treating gout pain and inflammation.
Finally, gout sufferers should generally avoid aspirin unless you have another health condition that may warrant the use of baby aspirin as per the advice of your doctor who also monitors your uric acid levels at the same time. Gout sufferers should also avoid aspirin containing products like Alka-Seltzer, Excedrin, Darvon Compound, Doan’s Pills, Buffex, Gensan, Roxiprin, Salocol, Panasal and many others.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris
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