Supplemental Anticoagulants

Supplemental Anticoagulants In Brief


            With so many resources available to patients, plant and food sources are widely available that many health care workers may not be familiar with. Knowledge of what supplemental anticoagulants might be being ingested is important in certain health-related instances. This paper examines briefly, those instances regarding blood composition. Blood clots become problematic for patients with certain illnesses of the vascular system, such as heart disease, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thrombosis. (Medline 2013) Medications prescribed for these conditions prevent clotting in two sorts of therapies. First is antiplatelets and the other is anticoagulants. The antiplatelet type of therapy reduces a natural chemical produced by the body, called thromboxane. This naturally secreted chemical helps form clots, while the anticoagulants prevent vitamin K from helping the body to produce proteins that aid clotting. (ASA 2012) Some of the commonly prescribed drugs for hindering clotting are aspirin, Coumadin, Heparin and Plavix. (Drug Information) These drugs are not the only factors which can thin the blood, however, so it is important for health care workers to know what these blood thinning sources are in order to prevent excessive bleeding with certain procedures such as venipuncture or surgery.

            As an aside, it might be interesting to note before I describe sources of blood thinners, that foods high in vitamin K present a negative interaction with  medications, such as heparin or Coumadin. These foods are asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, endive, green onions, lettuce, soy, turnip, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, parsley, collard greens, mustard greens, chard, and green tea. Also cranberry juice increases the effects of Coumadin. (Mayo 2012 and DHHS 2010) Understanding that diet can play an important part in patient response to procedures such as venipuncture can prevent certain health risks associated with the presence of disease process and the effects of foods which cause temporary changes in the composition of blood and how it clots.

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