Sunday, 30 October 2016

Blood thinners and their use today

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Blood thinners as their name suggests, are used as anticoagulants and increase the time duration taken for the formation of a blood clot, thereby reducing the risk of a stroke or a heart attack due to clots. Blood thinners are recommended by doctors for patients who have different kinds of heart or blood vessel diseases or if the blood flow to the brain is poor.


Basically, there are two types of blood thinners, the first type acts on chemical reactions and prevents the formation of blood clots and the other type acts on blood cells, called platelets and prevent them from clumping together, thus effectively preventing the formation of blood clots. Doctors often prescribe the anticoagulant drugs to delay the time of blood clot formation. Your doctor will carefully monitor the dosage of blood thinners and make sure that the amount of blood thinners administered are in accordance with the international normalized ratio (INR). This ratio is the rate at which your blood clots and the INR varies from person to person according to their medical history.


Certain foods, drugs, and medicinal plants can interfere with blood thinners. They can alter the concentration of the blood thinners and vary their effect on your body. So it is very important for you to seek advice from your doctor regarding your diet if you are on blood thinners. For example, Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of some anticoagulants  thus decreasing the time taken for the blood clot formation. So you need to stay away from foods like broccoli, cabbage, spinach etc.  that have a large amount of Vitamin K in them.


Certain antibiotics, anti-fungal drugs and painkillers can act as blood thinners. Foods like garlic, ginger, celery etc. are good blood thinners. Foods rich in Vitamin E are natural blood thinners. Almonds, tomatoes, mangoes etc. are rich in Vitamin E. Natural Blood thinners are beneficial to your heart health but they need to be consumed with caution.


Some people tend to experience side effects with the administration of blood thinners. These side effects may include bloody or discolored feces and urine along with nosebleeds and bleeding gums. Some people also experience hair loss or the feeling of dizziness.

The presence of blood thinners in your system can increase the chance of internal bleeding after trauma and you are required to seek medical attention immediately if you experience these side effects. Your doctor may advise you to stay away from contact sports for a while to decrease the chance of bleeding, but you can still exercise normally and go running or swimming.


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