Coumadin and warfarin are one and the same drug. A lot of people wonder what the difference between the two is. Well, coumadin is just a brand name for warfarin. These drugs are anticoagulants which means they prevent the formation of new clots in the blood. That’s why there are foods to avoid on coumadin that every user should know about.
It is important to note that coumadin doesn’t break up the existing clots in the blood. It only prevents the existing blood clots from getting larger. Blood clots can be very dangerous. They may lead to strokes or even heart attacks.
Most people who take coumadin have had previous clots in the lungs and legs. Also those who might have suffered a previous heart attack may take coumadin. Those who have undergone atrial fibrillation and artificial heart valve replacement also need to take coumadin.
Here is a list of some of the foods to avoid on coumadin:
Coumadin ensures that the levels of vitamin K in your body remain at an all time low. The body itself produces some vitamin K and is involved in the clotting process. People taking coumadin are always advised not to eat certain foods, since these foods contain vitamin K. Thus they increase the level of vitamin K in your body. This makes coumadin much less effective than it should be in the body.
You don’t have to stop taking vegetables all together. What you need to do is ensure the amounts of vegetables you take remain the same daily. These vegetables are considered to be sources of vitamin-K. This is why they are on the list of foods to avoid on coumadin. Some of these vegetables include kale, spinach, cabbage, brussel sprouts and broccoli. Alternatively one can turn to these vegetables that have low vitamin-k. They include eggplants, tomatoes, carrots and cucumber.
Alcohol should be taken in relatively small amounts while on coumadin. This is because it may affect the normal functioning of coumadin and may lead to problems associated with bleeding. It is always better for you to visit the doctor to find out the correct amount of alcohol you should take.
3. Natural Health Products
These may include ginger oils, garlic pills and any herbal medicines not prescribed to you by your doctor. These products are considered foods to avoid on coumadin because they may have effects on your body that studies are yet to find out. If you’re using these herbal products while on coumadin and they have not affected the way the drug works, then don’t stop immediately without informing the doctor.
4. Mineral Supplements and Vitamin E
If you’re planning to increase the intake of vitamin E, you should first inform your doctor. This is because vitamin E is well known to change the way coumadin works. Vitamin -k is also present in calcium supplements, and so taking these supplements should be with the strict supervision of your doctor. This is to ensure that your doctor monitors the levels of vitamin-K in these supplements.
Apart from the above mentioned foods to avoid on coumadin, there are not many other precautions to consider. If you forget to take your daily dose of coumadin you are encouraged not to double up the following day’s dosage. Inform your doctor about the missed dose. It is always advised to take coumadin at the same time everyday.