Guide to the Coumadin Diet

Coumadin is a type of anticoagulant medication that is often advised for some people who suffer from blood vessel, lung and heart disorders.  It prevents abnormal bleeding and formation of blood clots.  While taking this drug, these people may also be prescribed a special diet call the Coumadin diet to support their recovery.  Coumadin (Warfarin) functions well with Vitamin K, therefore a diet rich in this type of Vitamin is essential to eliminate the risks of bleeding and forming blood clots.

The Coumadin diet requires you to consume Vitamin K-rich foods and a specific amount of it DAILY.  DO NOT load up on Vitamin K in one day, then stop taking it the following day because regularity and consistency are essential factors to using Coumadin for the full benefit of your condition.

Foods to consume regularly

The best source of Vitamin K can be found in dark leafy greens, however, there are many other food items such as meat and some oils that contain a good amount of Vitamin K.  Some foods and beverages that are HIGHLY recommended for those who take Coumadin for their condition are as follows:

  • Dairy Products such as Milk and Cheese especially Blue Cheese, with the exception of products manufactured from cow’s milk
  • Leafy Greens- Lettuce, Kale, Collard Greens, Chard, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Watercress, Beet Greens and Parsley are among the many
  • Fresh Fruits and Fruit Juice- AVOID Cranberry Juice and Grapefruit Juice
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower are great choices, as well as Cabbage and Asparagus
  • Peas and Green Beans
  • Meat such as Pork, Chicken and Beef Liver
  • Soybeans and Soybean Oil
  • Liverwurst and Beef Heart
  • Fat substitutes
  • Canola Oil, Salad Dressing, and Mayonnaise, which are made from Soybean or Canola Oil
  • Beverages include black and green tea, HOWEVER, be sure to consult your doctor to avoid any complications or interactions with your medication before you consume herbal teas or supplements.

What should be avoided?

  1. Do not drink alcohol– Alcohol should be completely avoided when taking Coumadin. It is advised to limit or quit drinking alcohol permanently.
  2. Herbal products– Certain herbal teas contain an ingredient called coumarin, which is not suitable to drink with your condition such as chamomile, sweet clover, tonka bean and sweet woodruff.
  3. Herbal supplements– Certain supplements are not recommended for people taking Coumadin including dong quai, red clover, and Echinacea, dashen, ginseng, and feverfew and ginkgo biloba.
  4. Vitamin e and c in large amounts- DO NOT take more than the recommended dose of Vitamin E and C because it can do more harm than good. When consumed in moderation, however, ginger, onion, garlic and fish oil as seasoning are fine.

Additional information and facts

Vitamin K can save the lives of the many people who are suffering from abnormal or severe bleeding by supporting the clotting of the blood.  Blood clots can be fatal, especially to those individuals who are already at high risk with blood vessel disorders, as well as those at high risk of developing a stroke.  Warfarin is highly recommended to people who are at higher risk of developing a stroke or blood vessel clots.  Individuals with atrial fibrillation and mechanical heart valves are often other types of patients that are advised to take this medication.

Certain conditions of below than normal Vitamin K levels in the body include bone fractures, advanced stages of osteoporosis as well as artery calcification.  Although this medication can save lives of many people who suffer from stroke and pulmonary embolism, Coumadin tents to antagonize the effects of Vitamin K and can result in health concerns related to problems in terms of the natural clotting cycle of the body.  It is important that the right eating plan is followed to prevent further complications related to the effects of Vitamin K to those individuals who take this medication.  DISCUSS WITH YOUR DOCTOR about taking herbal supplements, multivitamins and over-the-counter medications, and most importantly the plan to start your new diet.  Any symptoms such as diarrhea, fever or persistent stomach problems should seek emergency care immediately, since these are a few of the symptoms of those taking the wrong dosage.

Bottom line

Although there are no specific diets for individuals taking Coumadin, which is a medication used to treat blood clots, there are many foods and substances that can have negative effects in your body, therefore it is essential to pay close attention to what you eat and what supplements you consume to ensure your condition is improving and that you are receiving positive effects from your medication.

You should take a specific dosage of Vitamin K each day without consuming a higher than recommended dosage.  Vitamin K can minimize the effects of Coumadin if taken correctly.  To avoid complications, women should take a recommended dose of 90 mg per day and men should not exceed 120 mg each day.  It is crucial that you plan what you eat carefully each day, specifically foods with an excessive amount of Vitamin K to prevent further health issues.  Remember, foods that can be in consistent amounts consumed in moderation are kale, chard, green tea, spinach, parsley and Brussels sprouts.  ALSO, alcohol and cranberry juice ARE NOT ideal to drink while on the Coumadin diet.

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