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Alcohol and Aspirin: the Risks

Fitday Editor
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The over-consumption of alcohol and aspirin poses significant health risks that can have devastating long-term effects. While a daily aspirin regiment may be beneficial to certain individuals who are at high-risk for a heart attack or stroke, taking aspirin on a daily basis can cause internal bleeding and other complications. Long-term alcohol use can damage organs and cause multiple diseases. Mixing aspirin and alcohol also has negative effects on the body.

The Risks of Daily Aspirin Use

An occasional dose of aspirin for pain or fever is unlikely to cause any internal damage. However, the over-consumption of aspirin can cause the following complications:

  • internal bleeding
  • kidney failure
  • stroke

Aspirin is used in the prevention of heart attack and stroke because it prevents blood clots from forming in the arteries and traveling to the heart or brain. Because aspirin can stop the blood from clotting, which is necessary to stop the human body from bleeding, internal bleeding can occur. Because aspirin is secreted through the kidneys, long-term aspirin use has been associated with acute renal failure, which may be treated with dialysis but can also be fatal.

Alcohol Abuse

While there have been many studies that link an occasional glass of wine to certain health benefits, the consumption of alcohol does more harm than good. Besides being a leading cause of fatal car accidents, crime and violence, alcohol can have disastrous effects on the body. Diseases associated with the over-consumption of alcohol include:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • hypertension
  • liver disease
  • esophageal cancer
  • stomach and colon cancer

Like aspirin, alcohol has anti-clotting effects that can cause internal bleeding and stroke. Pregnant women who abuse alcohol may be causing irreversible damage to the fetus, including physical abnormalities and cognitive delay.

Psychological Effects of Alcohol

A large number of alcoholics will also suffer from psychological distress. Psychological disorders that are linked to alcohol abuse include:

  • anxiety disorders
  • depression
  • psychosis

Many people who suffer from mental illnesses become dependent on alcohol as a way of coping with the mental stress but because alcohol is a depressant, this often compounds the problem.

Mixing Alcohol and Aspirin

Alcohol can cause medications to become more potent, therefore increasing the risk of harm to the body. Alcohol and aspirin used together can cause stomach bleeding, reduce the body's ability to form necessary blood clots and increase the potency of alcohol.

Used in moderation, aspirin and alcohol rarely cause physical illness or disease. However, consuming large quantities of either drug can lead to long-term consequences to the human body. People who are at risk for heart attack or stroke should consult their primary care physician before beginning any aspirin regiment. It is important to inform your doctor of any health problems that you are experiencing, including ulcers, kidney disease or bleeding disorders, as aspirin can make these conditions worse.

Abusing alcohol may result in serious physical or emotional illness if untreated. People who consume more than two alcoholic beverages on a daily basis are at risk for alcohol dependence and should seek medical treatment before the dependence has physical and psychological consequences.

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