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Aspirin, dietary salicylates and Nurofen side-effects

 canstockphoto7021852
Summary

  • new study finds daily aspirin doesn’t prevent cardiovascular disease, and that
  • side effects of aspirin can include serious bleeding such as stroke.
  • failsafers say problems with aspirin suggests problems with dietary salicylates

Older adults often take daily low dose aspirin to reduce their risk of heart attacks, as failsafer Gail reported:

“The doctor says my husband should take an aspirin every day for his heart but since he started he has become grumpy and forgetful. We've been married for more than 50 years but the way he is now, I don't want to live with him any more … “ [1132]

Gail had already seen her grandson become “irritable and …with a vile temper” when he eats salicylates in fruit, and now she sees similar symptoms in her husband. However, according to a new study, the risks of daily aspirin in healthy seniors can be much more serious than bad behaviour.

New study

A seven-year study from Melbourne’s Monash University with 19,000 healthy adults aged over 69, found that taking 100 milligrams of aspirin a day:

  • didn't prolong their life
  • didn’t significantly reduce the risk of a first heart attack or stroke
  • increased the risk of major haemorrhage (bleeding that can lead to a stroke) 

Lead researcher Professor John McNeil from Monash University said the results of the study should prompt people who take aspirin - when they have no medical reason for doing so - to reconsider whether it is a good idea. (This doesn’t apply to people taking aspirin on medical advice, such as those who have had a heart attack or stroke.)

A low salicylate diet

Failsafers don’t take aspirin because it is a salicylate. According to the RPAH elimination diet handbook:

"Avoid unnecessary medication … Don't take anything containing aspirin ... No NSAIDs [includes Nurofen, ibuprofen] are suitable while on an elimination diet, since they can cross react with aspirin ..." 

For salicylate sensitive seniors who need blood-thinning medication, clopidogrel is a suitable alternative, see p115 - 116 RPAH Elimination Diet Handbook https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/resources/foodintol/handbook.html

Some side effects of aspirin, salicylates and Nurofen (ibuprofen)

Pain, cramps, nausea, rashes/hives, difficulty breathing

I had an heart attack at the age of 48 and was told that I would be taking aspirin every day for the rest of my life ... My health gradually declined, with pain, cramps, nausea, and rashes/hives ... until a consultant suggested cutting out the aspirin ... 

Later, after eating blackberries ... covered in hives and rashes, I had difficulty breathing and was eventually taken to Accident & Emergency in an ambulance ... My partner discovered that blackberries are very high in salicylates which is also the reason that people have an allergic reaction to aspirin. When I mentioned this at A&E they seemed totally unaware of this link, and carried on treating me for a suspected heart attack ...

My doctor has now advised me not to take anti-inflammatories as they are likely to contain salicylates ...  Why was it not obvious to trained medical staff that if you have an allergic reaction to aspirin, it is quite likely that it is because of salicylates and that care should then be taken when prescribing further medicines?  - from story [1386]

Bleeding (is a well-known side-effect of aspirin)

My husband has a rare disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) which causes his capillaries to balloon and bleed easily …  like all HHT sufferers, nosebleeds have always been part of his life. He has had far fewer nosebleeds since he's avoided dietary salicylates …– from story [387]

Aspirin-induced asthma

I have Samter’s Syndrome (consisting of asthma, aspirin sensitivity and nasal polyps) also known as Samter’s Triad or aspirin-induced asthma. For the last 29 years I have been taking medications and trying to stay alive. When I found the Australian salicylate lists I was so excited, I could finally understand what was happening. I was inadvertently eating salicylates every day – from story [994] from the USA

Urticaria (hives)

Thanks to your book Fed Up I discovered at the age of 17 that my chronic hives (urticaria) were due to dietary salicylates. But it wasn't until I inadvertently took an aspirin tablet at the age of 25 … that I realised how sensitive I am. As well as the usual hives, my face and throat swelled so much I had to hold my head right back in order to breathe. (WARNING: salicylate responders beware: it is possible to die from one aspirin tablet. If this happens to you call an ambulance or have someone take you to the nearest ER as quickly as possible.) – from story [1144]

Tinnitus

  • I'm an audiologist …  at uni we learn about aspirin potentially being a cause of tinnitus– Jackie
  • Sals = tinnitus for me.– Sally
  • If I overload on higher (mod-high) salicylates I get ear ringing when I lay my head down to go to sleep – Serena  - from story [1477]

Irritable bowel symptoms

My son began getting diarrhoea and severe stomach pains from tomatoes and other high salicylate foods upon introduction of these foods from 6 months. My GP wasn’t concerned about my son having constant foaming revolting smelling poo for three months … Thank you for your wonderful website which helped us to sort out this problem. He has shown similar reactions to salicylates in foods as he has to Nurofen – stomach pain that makes him scream for hours in agony and diarrhoea within 24 hours – from story [624]

Irrational, aggressive, anxiety attack

My husband had a serious tooth ache … He was taking Panadol and needed more relief, so I gave him some Nurofen. Well, within 5-10 minutes, he was irrational and aggressive, along with a huge anxiety attack. He then took some more two days later with the same reaction – from story [625]

More information

ABC article Daily aspirin doesn’t prevent cardiovascular disease http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2018-09-17/daily-aspirin-doesnt-prevent-cardiovascular-disease/10247308

Introduction to food intolerance

Salicylates factsheet - there are numerous less-than-accurate salicylate lists on the internet. The only figures we support are the updated lists from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit, see the RPAH elimination diet handbook. https://www.slhd.nsw.gov.au/rpa/allergy/resources/foodintol/handbook.html -  you can request our salicylate mistakes information sheet: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

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Food intolerance

Some of the many symptoms of food intolerance that can be helped by diet:

Airways: Asthma, Stuffy blocked or runny nose/ nasal polyps, Frequent nose bleeds, Catarrh, chronic throat-clearing, Sinusitis, Frequent ear infections, Frequent tonsillitis, Frequent colds and flu, symptoms of Samter's Triad, hayfever, allergic rhinitis Skin: Eczema, Urticaria (hives), Cradlecap, Other skin rashes, Angioedema (swollen lips, eyes, tongue), Geographic tongue, Pruritis (itching), Rosaceae, Allergic shiners (dark circles under eyes), Pallor (pale skin), Flushing, Excessive sweating, Body odour, Sore vagina in children, Alopecia (patchy baldness) Digestive system: Irritable bowel symptoms (IBS), Recurrent mouth ulcers, Indigestion, Nausea, Bad breath, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Stomach ache, Bloating, Reflux in babies, adults, Constipation, Colic in babies, adults, Sluggish bowel syndrome (feeling of "more to come"), Encopresis, Soiling (sneaky poos), Dairy intolerance, Gluten and wheat intolerance, Eating disorders (ed), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED)  Bladder: Bedwetting, Daytime incontinence, Urinary urgency, Recurrent inflammation (cystitis) Skeletal: Growing pains, Gout, Arthritis, joint pain, arthralgia Eyes: Nystagmus (involuntary movement), Blurred vision Muscles: Low muscle tone, Myalgia (muscle pain), Tics (involuntary movement), Tremor, Leg 'jiggling', Heart: Rapid heart beat, Heart palpitations, Cardiac arrhythmias, Pseudo heart attack (feeling of impending doom, chest pressure, pain down arm), Tachycardia (fast heart beat), Angina-type pain, HHT Central nervous system: Headaches or migraines, unexplained tiredness, Chronic fatigue, Feeling 'hung-over', Confusion, Dizziness, Agitation, Tinnitus (noises in ear), HyperacusisAuditory sensory processing disorder (ASPD), Paraesthesia (pins and needles), Dysaesthesia (numbness), Hypoglycemia, Salicylate-induced hypoglycemia, Epileptic seizures, Fits, Sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Scents and perfume sensitivity, Symptoms of lupus Anxiety: Panic attacks, Depression, Obsessive ruminations (repetitively focusing on bad feelings and experiences from the past), Self harm, Suicidal thoughts, actions, teeth grinding (bruxism) Impaired memory: Vague or forgetful, Unable to concentrate, Won't persevere, Unmotivated, Disorganised, Easily distracted, Difficulty reading and writing Speech: Loud voice (no volume control), Speech hard to understand, Speech delay, Selective mutism, Stuttering, Repetitive noises, Talks too much (empty chatter) Coordination: Poor handwriting, Poor coordination, Frequent accidents, Vertigo Sleep: Difficulty falling asleep, Restless legs syndrome (RLS), Persistent night waking, Insomnia, Nightmares/night terrors/sleepwalking, Sleepless babies, Sleep apnoea Mood: Brain snaps, Mood swings, Premenstrual tension, Grizzly or unhappy, Cries easily or often, Irritable, Uncooperative Oppositional defiance: ODD, Loses temper, Argumentative, Refuses requests, Defies rules, Deliberately annoys others, Blames others for own mistakes, Touchy, easily annoyed, Angry, resentful Other behaviour: ADHD, ADD, Autism, Aspergers, Inattentive, easily bored, unmotivated, 'Unable to entertain himself', Restless, fidgety or overactive, Head banging, Hyperactivity, Fights with siblings, Difficulty making friends, Destructive, aggressive, Unreasonable, Tantrums, Demanding, never satisfied, Disruptive, Discipline is ineffective, Pervasive Development Disorder

Some causes of food intolerance:

Food additives: Artificial colours: (food dyes, artificial colors) tartrazine 102 (E102, FD&C Yellow No.5), quinoline yellow 104 (E104), sunset yellow 110 (E110, FD&C Yellow No.6), azorubine, carmoisine 122 (E122), amaranth 123 (E123), ponceau, brilliant scarlet 124 (E124), erythrosine 127 (E127, FD&C Red No.3), allura red 129 (E129, FD&C Red No.40), indigotine, indigo carmine 132 (E132, FD&C Blue No.2), brilliant blue 133 (E133, FD&C Blue No.1), green S, food green, acid brilliant green 142 (E142), fast green FCF 143 (E143, FD&C Green No.3), brilliant black 151 (E151), brown, chocolate brown 155 (E155)  Natural colours: (colors) Annatto (annatto extracts, bixin, norbixin, 160b, E160b) Preservatives: Sorbates: (sorbic acid 200, E200, sodium sorbate 201, E201, potassium sorbate 202, E202, calcium sorbate 203, E203) Benzoates, hydroxybenzoates, parabens: (including benzoic acid 210, E210, sodium benzoate 211, E211, potassium benzoate 212, E212, calcium benzoate 213, E213, ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 214, E214, sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 215, E215, propylparaben 216, E216, propyl 4 hydroxybenzoate 217, E217, methylparaben 218, E218) Sulfites, bisulfites, metabisulfites: (200-228, sulphites, sulphur dioxide, sulfur dioxide 220, E220, sodium sulphite 221, E221, sodium bisulphite 222, E222, sodium metabisulphite 223, E223, potassium metabisulphite 224, E224, potassium sulphite 225, E225, calcium sulphite 226, E226, calcium bisulfite 227, E227, potassium bisulphite 228, E228) Nitrates & nitrites: (249-252, potassium nitrite 249, E249, sodium nitrite 250, E250, sodium nitrate 251, E251, potassium nitrate 252, E252 Propionates: (bread preservative, mould inhibitor 280-283: propionic acid 280, E280, sodium propionate 281, E281, calcium propionate 282, E282, potassium propionate 283, E283, 'natural' preservatives in bread, cultured wheat, cultured dextrose, cultured whey) Synthetic antioxidants: Gallates 310, 311, 312 (E310, E311, E312), tBHQ 319, E319, BHA 320, E320, BHT 321, E321 Flavour enhancers: (flavor enhancers) glutamic acid and all glutamates, MSG monosodium glutamate 620-625, yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein HVP, disodium guanylate 627 (E627, DSG, GMP), disodium inosinate 631 (E631, DSI, IMP), ribonucleotides 635 (E635, I&G, nucleotides)  Flavours: (flavors)  Natural food chemicals: Salicylates: salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, acetylsalicylic acid Biogenic amines: vasoactive amines (tyramine, phenylethylamine, histamine and others) Glutamates:  Natural foods: Dairy: milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, lactose-free milks Wheat or Gluten: (wheat, rye, barley, oats) Soy: Sugar free sweeteners:Sugar free sweeteners: polyols, sorbitol, mannitol

On this website, failsafe refers to foods that are Free of Additives and Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. Note that copyright applies to the commercial use of the term "failsafe" in the food and health context so as to control inappropriate use by the food and health industries.