Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Laughing and crying, you know it's the same release. Joni Mitchell

Monday, January 24, 2011

To Supplement or Not to Supplement...

that is the question while I'm on Coumadin (warfarin), which the nurse at the hospital described as a pain-in-the-ass drug. Coumadin can interact with many different drugs and supplements as well as certain foods, especially foods high in vitamin K, such as dark leafy vegetables (I was really sad that I have to pass on kale and brussell sprouts for the next six months). It's tricky to regulate the dose of Coumadin since you don't want the blood too thin, but if it's not thin enough, it won't protect against more blood clots. And you can't take anything that can cause excessive bleeding like ibuprofen or aspirin.

As a fibromyalgia patient, I have a basketful of supplements that my daughter refers to as "mom's pharmacy." With a dozen or so supplements, I was taking over 40 pills a day to regulate sleep, pain, digestion, mood, inflammation and brain cognition. But which ones might interact with Coumadin? My sleep formula said right on the label not to take with anticoagulants because it can cause excessive bleeding. So, I stopped all supplements cold turkey.

Now I've had a chance to consult with my primary care physician and my rheumatologist and I have a back-to-basics regimen in place. Here's what I'm taking for now:

800 mg SAM-e for mood
400 mg 5-HTP for mood and sleep
1200 mg fish oil (some reports say it's ok to take fish oil on Coumadin and some say it's not) for brain cognition, mood and inflammation
Magnesium for pain and sleep
Vitamin C and Vitamin D for general good health
And I'm also looking for a good multivitamin to replace the one I had been taking
I also take Tylenol for pain since Advil is off the table for now.

For a good overview of the do's and don'ts of taking Coumadin, check out this link:
Understanding Coumadin

For diet information and recipes try this link:
Coumadin (warfarin) Diet Information

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