Aspirin Therapy?

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desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/19/2005 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I just came across an old article about how only 48% of diabetics use aspirin therapy. The stats were quoted at 68% of diabetics die from heart attacks or suffer from strokes. I only bring this up because my doctor has never suggested this - that is no surprise to me. I know that aspirin therapy for preventage of heart attacks is pretty common knowledge.

I just am wondering if others have done as I have done and looked over the obvious here. That being we have to prescribe so much of our own therapy. In the past 12 months I have been going to my doctor he has not every ask how any of my 'program' was going. He prescribed Avandia without any comment. I did not figure that there was anything to say. Bernstein made the comment in his book that Avandia takes about 2 hours to kick in and to take it 2 hours before eating if you want it to work for that particular meal.

I did that for a while, but found it too difficult to remember my pills much less just the Avandia by itself. I am just starting to take an 81mg coated aspirin in the morning. I am wondering why 52% of us don't do it at all. I know I just overlooked it this last year for some reason.

desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/19/2005 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
15 a month does not seem excessive. I take the childrens dose(80mg) daily. Starting today that is.....

Yes, aspirin can and does upset your stomach. You should always eat something along with if it does bother you. Being type 2 diabetic I am in the middle of the mess. I don't like aspirin any more than anyone except that(using your words) I am broken and need to be fixed. Cataracts used to be called "sugar cataracts" for a reason. Of oourse, that has no relationship to taking aspirin or not. It is just that if aspirin can lead to cataracts so can diabetes. I am not sure what I would rather fight off -heart problems, eye problems or whatever. Cancer - no way. I only mention being 'broken' because I only started taking aspirin because I am type 2 and heart problems are a major problem for us type 2's.

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/19/2005 9:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Btw... Avandia is a very very strong med.  HOWEVER, taking it two hours before a meal is hooey.  Avandia doesn't really reach its peak effect in  your system until you've taken it for at least TWO WEEKS.  It is a long term med and the idea is to keep it in your system constantly, not take it at any one particular time to counteract a particular event, like eating.
 
In fact, here is something you probably haven't considered.  They makers of avandia tell you take it WITH a meal since its absorbtion is 80% better when taken with food.
 
80 mg of aspirn a day certainly isn't going to cause you adverse effects as long as you take the "enteric" or coated asprin that doesn't disolve in the tummy.  In fact, sometime down the road it just may save your life.  My dads 85 and has been taking asprin for years.  His doc's says his stats are so normal he's certainly not gonna die of a heart attack anytime soon (and I kinda think the asprin a day has contributed to this but I don't have any proof).
 
Desert, I'd sincerely think of getting another Endocrinologist as the one you have just isn't doing what he should.  Find someone that at least takes an interest in maping out a treatment plan and reviewing your progress towards some sort of a goal (maybe a certain A1c number.) Some of these meds we take have very nasty side effects and with Avandia you absolutely have to have a blood test for a liver scan every 90 days.
 
scool   Warren

desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/19/2005 9:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Warren

I am in an HMO that actually cares about diabetics. In print anyway. The doctor, and only doctor, they have in this area is a GP. I actually can only see the Physicians Assistant. I have never actually seen the doctor. I did see one other doctor one time when I was questioning one of the results of a quarterly blood test(my first 90 days in treatment). I had turned all my numbers around from terrible to acceptable. My A1c dropped from 6.7 to 6.0. All my other test were right in range.

The guy I normally see has NEVER even suggested that I come back for blood tests. I schedule them myself and tell him what I want. There is one Endocrinologist is this valley(20 miles from me) that is in a different health plan. If they would refer me to one of their own doctors it would mean a trip to Palm Springs, which I would do for sure even though it is 50 miles. They don't see the need - I am cured you know.

Every bit of my treatment has been designed by me and my wife - retired nurse. Well, the medications came from the Doctor - the information comes from several places.

The more people I talk with I really am convinced that the medical profession is totally out of the loop here.

If I did not need the medicines and blood tests I would not bother with them at all. I am still waiting for my first eye test - I get the feeling he forgot to order it.

Bottom line is I cannot afford to go to the doctor without the HMO. My health plan is "brittle" to say the least. I take care of my wifes elderly aunt(88) and if she goes into a nursing home or dies I lose my HMO. This why I am striving for as good of control of my bg's and get off drugs, if possible. My A1c is currently mid 5's. I am striving for med 4's. I think it can be done - unless my diabetes progresses and require more meds and insulin.

I checked on the Avandia site and you must be thinking of Metformin about taking with food. Avandia says that you can take it with or without food. Metformin stresses to take with meals. I agree it takes weeks to get into your system the first time. It sets up a balance(non technical version of mine). I can tell when I forget to take mine - it does not show up right away, but my bg's do go up that same day. I do believe that it is obsorbed and used by your system in a short time. Not being a bio-chemist or bio-anything it is just based on what I have read.

desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/20/2005 12:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Warren,

I just read my last post. I left somethig out.

When I saw the doctor after my first 90 days in treatment I ask him if I should come back for more test in 90 days and he said "No" - I was cured! I came back in 90 days and had more test run, but only on my own doing, not theirs.

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 12/20/2005 9:29 AM (GMT -7)   
well, Im not a doctor, but I'll tell you what.  If you tell me what meds you're taking and what your numbers are, I can point you to what tests you should take periodically to make sure nothing bad is happening behind the scenes.  As long as your still taking Avandia you're not cured!!!  It would be great, however, if you got to a point where you're readings were ok without the meds.
 
scool  Warren

desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/20/2005 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
I did not mean that I thought I was cured. I was quoting that stupid doctor that told me that I was cured because all my blood tests came back in the normal range except the A1c at 6.0 was on the bottom of the range.

I know the tests that my HMO will pay for and I know the tests that I would like to have. A big difference in the real world.

Every once in a while it has to be said that no matter how your write a post it, somehow, comes out different than you intended. I find that with email a l lot. I know when I write something and have good feelings about what I am saying it sometimes still sounds angry or indifferent to the other person, which was not meant at all. I take what is written with some reservations just because of this situation. I understand the answer is to take more time writing the post and edit it. I don't always take those steps.

jtu91952
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 12/21/2005 1:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I am one such diabetic that started asprin theraphy about six yrs ago. Before starting the asprin therapy, my eye sight was superb. After two to three yrs, i was told i had cataracts and now i have retinophy.

I have had three surgeries on each eye to no avail. I still have sight problems. I don 't recommend asprin theraphy for anyone. Doctors use a "one fix fits all" mentality. Also, i took avandia too. Be very careful, avandia put me in the hospital. As stated by the others, avandia is a very serious drug. I have finally gotten another doctor and i am doing much better. I have even returned to college. Good luck 2 u.

desertdiabetic
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 12/21/2005 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
jtu91952

Why do you think aspirin is responsible for your eye problems? Cataracts and retinophy are complications of diabetes that we all possibly face not a side effect of aspirin. And you are correct Avandia is a seriious drug, but so is diabetes a serious condition. I am not defending aspirin - that is not my position at all nor did you say that. It all comes down to personal choice of methods of treatment. I do believe the stats that say that heart attacks are the major cause complication and cause of death for diabetics and have wieghed the risks against the high odds of heart problems if nothing is done. Well, correct diot and exercise controlling my bg's are the best I can do to protect myself. Everybody has their own slant on treatment - that's the reason for the orginal post to see what people are thinking - not to convince someone to change..

Scrappy
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 12/22/2005 5:24 AM (GMT -7)   

DD, it should be fairly obvious why jtu thinks aspirin is the culprit.  Going from superb eyesight to starting aspirin to having problem with cataracts would certainly make me suspect the aspirin especially in light of the available research.  It doesn't actually prove the cataracts were caused by the aspirin, but it indicates that it could be the cause.  

As you say, cataracts are more common in people who have diabetes as is retinopathy.  There could be other factors as well, so who knows for sure?  But since it is not a given that people will develop either of those conditions just because they have diabetes, there must be other factors at play. 

At any rate, if I think something I take is causing an adverse reaction, the first thing I do is quit taking it and see if it makes a difference.  It's still not proof, but trial and error is often the way medical discoveries are made. 

Because we are all different genetically, what may be a problem for some is seldom a problem for all.  I don't have proof either that aspirin caused my cataract problems, but I'm mighty suspicious and since it is my eyesight involved, I'm not willing to take chances.  What I posted was meant as a word of caution, not as a dire warning. 

(By the way, eating something when taking aspirin is no guarantee that a person won't get an upset stomach.  I must add, however, that I was not just talking about upset stomach when I mentioned pain and bloathing.  I was talking about an ulcer caused by the aspirin.  People can bleed to death from that kind of upset stomach.  Food with the aspirin won't help.

I've also read that even coated aspirin, which is supposed to be digested in the small intestine rather than the stomach, can cause erosion of the lining of the intestine.  Again, a word of caution, not a warning.

You mention that you started taking aspirin because you have type 2 and heart problems are "a major problem for us type 2's."  So, do you have heart problems, or are you taking it solely as a preventative?  That's certainly your choice and it may be a good choice for you, but if it were me, I wouldn't be taking it just because of the generalization about type 2's. 

Jak, type 1 for 41 years with no heart problems

 


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 12/22/2005 1:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Just jumping in here with some asides...

First, one of the least recognized causes of cataracts is cumulative UV exposure. Sunglasses are a great defense against that (and help prevent crow's feet tongue ) but you have to wear them all your life. If you're not sure about this just look into the eyes of your 10 yr old dog...

The other thing I want to say is that I believe aspirin is great for some and not for others... but when I was in nurse's training our instructors told us that if aspirin had been first brought to market in the 1970's it would have been prescription because of the side effects. People tend to be less careful with over the counter drugs and less wary of the problems that they can cause.

Anyway, that's my 2ยข and that's about what it's worth!
~ Jeannie

"As one goes through life one learns if you don't paddle your own canoe you don't move."
-Katherine Hepburn


"Madness takes its toll.
Please have exact change."


jtu91952
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 12/25/2005 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
DD, i don't think asprin caused my eye sight problems I know it did. My glucose readings were always under 6 and i had a strict diet. I wear sunglasses at all times. I never had any problems related to diabetes until 1999.

I was prescribed a lot of bp meds and asprin therapy, not more than three months later I started having problems. I think the patient should be the one to decide if the risk outweight the benefit. However, I wasn't told the risk and like a fool I trusted the doctors.Now I suffer and you can bet I chek every drug before taking it.

Besides, it was my opthamologis (sp?) that discontinued the asprin therapy. Wonder why?
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