By Mr. William

“A person without good breathing, is a person with a life of constant caution, so let’s do what we can, to learn what we can, to improve what we can.” (Will Dursens)

As I continue my bouncing back from a short stay in the hospital last week, I have once again begun wandering the internet for new stories and research about chronic illnesses and in particular my major issues with COPD and severe Asthma.

I ran across an article written in 2019 that talked about the use of ASPIRIN in helping lower the risk of COPD exacerbations and even the risk of death.

Aspirin was something I already was familiar with as I take a daily dose of three low-dose aspirin due to some issues with my heart. But finding an article on how the same idea would help my COPD, well that got my attention and made me realize I should share it with you.

Apparently, the article came from the fact that many new studies done in the past several years have shown that some over the counter medications could be good at lowering the risk of death and COPD exacerbations.

One must remember though that according to the article, the study dealing with aspirin and COPD was considered just an observational study and that anyone who considered using low-doses of aspirin to help with their own COPD should always discussing it with your general physician and/or pulmonologist, just as you would with any medication.

As I read the article, it discussed what a COPD exacerbation was (a flare up of acute respiratory symptoms) and how they can not only be painful, but can make the serious disease of COPD more complicated and that for those with COPD, where exacerbations can be relatively common – any form of preventing them can be a key to treatment.

The study they discussed noted that the risk of experiencing an acute exacerbation was reduced by nearly 18% in those who used aspirin compared to those who were not currently using it.

An MD at John Hopkins University in Baltimore by the name of Ashraf Fawzy reported the findings at an annual conference of the American Thoracic Society.

They also commented that while aspirin seemed to be beneficial to those with acute exacerbations, it had yet to be proven beneficial to those with more severe exacerbations.

A connection of aspirin use for a COPD exacerbation was that aspirin would help reduce inflammation as well as inhibit platelet activity as it seemed to help with high platelet counts in those who have struggled to reduce their platelet levels.

Since the study was only considered observational, it was not at a point of using the evidence as a reason to give those with COPD, some aspirin.

The major benefit of the study was that aspirin is a low risk medication that has multiple other health benefits which included lowering the risk of a heart attack or having a stroke.

One concern that stood out in the study was the fact that aspirin could cause internal bleeding, which is why it must be discussed with a general physician or pulmonologist to see if it would be safe for you as an individual.

When they findings discussed the risk of death, it noted that that risk is higher in those with COPD compared to a healthy individual because most COPD patients have difficulty breathing which can result in less oxygen getting to the body’s organs and then possible causing organ failure.

They also pointed out that many with COPD also have what is called ‘thrombocytosis’ which is high platelet levels in the body. Remember, platelets are blood cells in our plasma that helps stop bleeding by clotting, but too many platelets can be unsafe for our health as well.

If one’s body clots, it can lead to a stroke, heart attack, a clot in our blood vessels or possible even death.

For those who have COPD and ‘thrombocytosis’, there is an increase risk of in-hospital mortality and an increased risk of death in the following year.

Aspirin can inhibit that platelet activity which in turns helps your blood being less likely to clot.

When that platelet activity is inhibited by aspirin, it can reduce all-cause mortality in those with COPD.

Should one take the aspirin?

More often than not, over the counter medications are looked at as a medication you can take without a doctor’s approval – but that is not always the case.

For those of us that travel life battling COPD, aspirin can be good and bad for our health, which makes it vital to discuss with your general physician and/or pulmonologist before taking it on a regular basis.

The benefits of taking low-dose aspirin is that it can lower your risk of a COPD exacerbation and the risk of death according to the study.

It is also considered not a very high-risk medication and that when taking it will not necessarily cause extreme damage if taken correctly.

If you are a COPD subject with does not have high platelet levels, the downfall of taking aspirin may be the risk of internal bleeding if too much aspirin is taken.

According to the study done, their conclusion was that while new research has come out that is eye opening for those with COPD and how aspirin may provide a low-risk option in reducing exacerbations and lowering the risk of death, many individuals may already be on aspirin for a heart attack or stroke so they must be careful before adding more aspirin to their daily routine.

The full conclusion, in my opinion, would be that no matter how solid the study seems to be, like with anything else you find in researching how to deal with your COPD or Chronic Illness, ALWAYS discuss it with your general physician or specialist before diving in and giving the idea a try.

Many doctors will and should want to wait until more research is done that may come out to verify the findings that Dr. Fawzy found, and that is why we lean on our doctors and specialists.

There you go, a bit different ‘Lenny & Me 4 Today’ – but I felt the research I found held some importance and more so after I found myself in the hospital last week with my own bout with the painful side of a COPD exacerbation.

Thanx again for all the well wishes, concerns and prayers – each and everyone were very much appreciated.

For now – this is where Lenny and I are at for today.

A REMINDER – Do you have any comments or questions about my postings, then feel free to leave a comment on either at this blog, at the email address of wheezingaway@gmail.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/copdtravels/.

ALWAYS REMEMBER (because I have COPD and severe Asthma) – If you or anyone you know have any symptoms involving lung and breathing functionality, and they linger over and over while disrupting a lifestyle – then please ask questions and get it checked out.

With that, I bid to all – smiles, prayers, blessings and steady breathing – Mr. William.

(Copyright@2020, CrossDove Writers through wheezingaway.com – no part of this write may be used or copied without written permission.)

NOTES: Sometimes we share what may seem like medical information, but we are only giving descriptions and highlights of various aspects of having COPD and/or Asthma and no way do we ever want our information to be considered medical treatment type of information, always consult your physician for more, clearer medical founded information.