Risk of Blood Thinners: 3 Simple Steps to Reducing the Risk of Blood Thinners
Chances are you or someone you love are using a medicine to thin your blood called a blood thinner such as Warfarin - Coumadin, Jantoven, or Marfarin. The primary reason to use this medicine is to reduce blood clots, therefore, thinning the blood.
Since bleeding can be a serious side effect, doctors take extreme caution to make sure their patients are monitored well. For example, they may have weekly or bi-weekly blood test that measure the amount of medicine in their bodies to assure that it is in a safe range. They also highly recommend to patience to stay away from specific foods or vitamins that may cause serious side effects such as cranberries or Vit K.
Sometimes it may be difficult to eat healthy while abstaining from foods that can worsen the side effects especially with the New Year and many people wanting to eat better and healthier.
Below are 3 simple steps to help reduce the side effects of these blood thinners:
1. Always - Always Keep Your Appointments - These appointments are extremely critical so that your doctor can monitor the level of the medicine in your blood. As much of a hassle that it may be to go every week or every other, it could be deadly not to.
These appointments monitor the levels of chemicals (i.e. medicine) in your blood so 1. It is sufficient to do its job and 2. It doesn't become toxic.
What to do if you miss your appointment? If you miss your appointment, call immediately to reschedule your appointment and make note of any physical changes in your health such as dizziness, fatigue, bleeding, or nausea.
2. MAINTAIN A STABLE DIET - Vitamin K is the main concern while taking a blood thinner because it reduces the effects of the prescription. Therefore, if you take extra Vitamin K, it will decrease the effects. The inverse in also true: a diet that reduces Vitamin K intake will increase the effects of the medicine. The key is to eat a balanced diet that remains somewhat stable in the amount of Vitamin K consumed.
Avoid sudden increases in dark green vegetables, soybean oil, canola oil and cranberries.
Most everyone knows that a high quality multi vitamin is critical for our health; however, it is recommended to choose a multi vitamin that is designed for your age (typically seniors in this case) and WITHOUT VITAMIN K.
When making changes to your diet, do it slowly, keep track, and ALWAYS include your doctor.
3. Be Attentive& Consistent- This is a medicine does need you to pay attention to sudden changes in "How you are feeling" and absolutely, requires you to follow the directions. You may have just read the prior sentence and thought to yourself, "That's stupid, of course, I'll follow directions." Hover, you'd be shocked to hear how many people "modify" their doctor's directions because they don't feel they have the money to take a prescription. Unfortunately, numerous people actually skip their medicine or change the dosage because they simply feel they can't afford it.
Another reason people "modify" the prescription's guidelines is they simply forget. In this case, you'll need to design a method so you don't forget or ask a friend or family member to help. Ideally this medicine should be taken the same time every day and as consistently as possible. Some people use a calendar or a pill-box to assure they don't miss a dose. These are excellent ideas. Consistency is critical for blood thinners.
These 3 simple steps, you may not only save you a lot of heartache but also may save your life. As with any prescription when used properly, the negative side effects can generally be minimized.
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