Coumadin (warfarin) is classified as an anticoagulant medication. It is sometimes referred to by its generic name as warfarin. It very successful in the treatment and prevention of blood clots. It does this through acting upon vitamin K and effecting the proteins produced by vitamin K which are essential for the blood to properly clot. With these proteins altered by Coumadin the blood is not able to clot which helps in the treatment and prevention of blood clots. Due to its complex action it is often recommended to follow a specific diet while undergoing treatment with warfarin. Following a diet will ensure that you do not develop any adverse reactions to the drug or inhibit or strengthen its effects in anyway.
Avoid foods high in vitamin K
While receiving a treatment of Coumadin foods to avoid are those that are high in vitamin K. Vitamin K reverses the effects of Coumadin and can lead to blood clots forming which negates all the benefits of taking warfarin in the first place. This can be dangerous as it can lead to a stroke. Foods to watch for while constructing a Coumadin diet that are high in vitamin K are typically dark green leafy vegetables. One of the vegetables that contains the highest amount of vitamin K is Kale. Spinach should also be avoided as well as parsley, swiss chard, turnips, mustard greens, parsley, and collard greens. Small amounts of each of these probably will not make a difference but large amounts can have adverse effects. Other foods which are high in vitamin K are some fish that is packed in oil and abalone. If you are worried a food may contain vitamin K it is better to be safe and avoid it that eat it and risk your health.
Moderate vitamin K foods
There are certain foods which contain moderate levels of vitamin K and are okay to eat as long as they are not eaten in excess. Broccoli and romain lettuce both contain moderate levels of vitamin K and are okay to eat as long as they are not eaten in excess. For example it would be a bad idea to have three large salads containing romain lettuce and broccoli in one day as this could elevate levels of vitamin K too high and cause an adverse reaction. Brussel sprouts, endives, and green leaf lettuce all fit into this same category and are fine to eat as long as they are enjoyed in moderation.
Supplements to avoid
Many otherwise healthy supplements should be avoided on a warfarin diet. Vitamin E intake should be below 800IE when taking Coumadin (warfarin). Many multivitamins contain vitamin E so it is wise to check the label of any multivitamins you are taking to ensure they contain okay amounts of vitamin E. CoQ10 may also limit the effects of Coumadin when taken in conjunction with it. This can lead to blood clots still forming despite the fact that you are taking Coumadin. If you take CoQ10 you can check with your doctor to see if a plan can be made to allow you to continue to take it without adversely affecting the effects of warfarin. Any natural supplements that are taken daily or occasionally should be told to your doctor as some of them can have adverse reactions with Coumadin as well.