I have a question regarding vascular health. I am an 82-year-old female and the day after Thanksgiving I suffered a mild stroke on the right hemisphere of the brain causing a partial left side paralysis. I was subsequently placed on Coumadin 5mg a day to maintain my INR at 2.5. It has been six months since I have been taking Coumadin. Just this week my hemoglobin dropped to 8.4 and the doctor was concerned that I may be bleeding internally. I was then sent to the ER for a blood transfusion, then had an Endoscopy but there was no sign of active bleeding. I am just about fed up with this Coumadin and am currently looking for a safe alternative to keep my blood from clotting.
Thank you for your email and for the opportunity to address a question that I get frequently in practice. While I can’t dispense specific medical advice to you, there are several general things any patient can do to support their vascular health and overall well being. Any changes to your medication need to be very closely monitored by a qualified physician, so I would strongly encourage you to look for a Naturopathic Doctor in your state. You can use our Naturopathic Doctor Directory or use the AANP Directory. A Naturopathic Doctor would spend 1 – 2 hours discussing your health history, looking at your labs in great detail and would make recommendations that were tailored to fit your specific needs. There are options for keeping your blood from improperly clotting. In your case, it is very important to work with someone qualified to handle the whole case.
Now let’s talk about those very important things I would say to anyone who has a concern for their vascular health. First, no matter your age, you can always do something to improve the integrity of your vascular system and your overall health. In general, when we are trying to improve the integrity of the vascular system we are looking at incorporating foods and other substances that provide bioflavonoids. Examples of these types of foods include dark-colored fruits such as blueberries, bilberries and such. Also, reducing factors that can cause damage to the vascular system like smoke, alcohol, stress, sugar and processed foods is helpful. There are a number of other therapies and supplements that can be very helpful in restoring health but should be used under the guidance of someone trained to evaluate and administer these treatments such as a properly trained Naturopathic Doctor
Hope that helps, thanks for the question.