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Warfarin Toxicity

Warfarin Toxicity

Of all the deadly health destroying poisonous drugs in the pharmacy, it would be difficult to come up with one that has more toxicity than warfarin. Traditionally used as rat poison, warfarin (brand name Coumadin), which claims 4 million patient/victims in the United States, (over 1 percent of the American public!) is used by physicians to keep the blood in a fluid state.

Blood clotting is serious business and according to the National Blood Clot Alliance as many as 2 million of them occur every year, with up to 300,000 of them fatal. Thus the rational for the use of powerful blood thinning gents like warfarin would seem to be sound. After all, what’s wrong with a little rat poison if it keeps the blood in a fluid state and reduces the risk of a potentially life-threatening clot? The problem is, the clotting mechanisms of the blood are intricate and sophisticated. Coagulation is a tightly regulated biochemical function and to override these mechanisms requires some serious chemical poison. Warfarin ToxicityThrowing a pharmaceutical monkey wrench into this highly controlled system is a dangerous proposition and indeed the line between desired blood thinning effects and adverse reactions, toxicities and even death is razor thin.

Not to worry though, for now our friends in the world of pharmaceuticals have come to the rescue. Yesterday the FDA announced their latest drug approval for “Kcentra” a new pharmaceutical marketed by CSL Behring, specifically mandated to stop severe bleeding associated with the use of warfarin. Great, now we have another drug to take care of the side effects of an original drug. Although no mention in the FDA press release is made of the side effects of Kcentra, you can bet they will occur and they will be significant. According to CSL Behring, some potential problems associated with the use of their new drug include stroke, pulmonary embolism, and deep vein thrombosis, in addition to more mundane side effects like headache, nausea/vomiting, joint pain and low blood pressure.

Blood delivers oxygen and nutrients and its facile movement through the body is an absolute requirement for good health. If the body has initiated blood clotting chemistry inappropriately something is seriously amiss. Thus clotting usually involves a response to some kind of emergency condition such as a surgery, wounding, lack of nutrition, hypoxia (low oxygen) or the entrance of toxicity (e.g. from food, cigarette smoke or drugs) into the sacred sanctum of the blood.

That means the best way to keep blood in its optimum fluid state is to make sure you’re doing everything you can do to stay healthy. First of all it’s imperative, as always, that a priority is placed on digestive wellness. Nothing will cause the blood to clot faster than the entrance of food particles through a leaky gut. Make sure you’re staying away from problem foods, using probiotics, glutamine powder and apple cider vinegar. Digestive enzymes can provide a one-two anti-clotting punch. When taken with food they can improve digestion and reduce the likelihood of undigested food particles getting into the blood. And when taken on an empty stomach they can actually help dissolve clots and thin the blood. Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids have blood thinning properties, and timed-release niacin, while not directly thinning the blood, can have a blood vessel opening effect that may improve circulation. And perhaps the most important strategy for maintaining blood fluidity involves oxygen. A couple of minutes of deep breathing is always a good idea, even if you don’t have blood clotting problems. And, if your blood is tending to get sticky it can be a life-saver. If you have a smart phone, you may want to invest in a deep breathing app like “Breathing Zone” or “My Calm Beat”. Even something as simple as a daily two or three minute bounce on a mini-trampoline can be a helpful drug and doctor free strategy for keeping blood circulating and flowing efficiently.

About the author

Ben Fuchs I'm Ben Fuchs, a nutritional pharmacist from Boulder CO. I specialize in using nutritional supplements where other healthcare practitioners use toxic pharmaceutical drugs. I look at the human body as a healing & regenerating system, designed divinely to heal & renew itself on a moment to moment basis. "Take charge of your biochemistry through foods and supplements, rather than allow toxic prescription drugs to take charge of you."

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