Stop Taking Rat Poison… the Coumadin Connection


DO NOT STOP ANY MEDICATION without speaking to your physician.

Now that we’ve made that clear, let’s chat about getting off pharmaceuticals… particularly Coumadin and why that is important.

What is Coumadin?

Coumadin is the brand name for generic Warfarin. It acts as a blood thinner by blocking vitamin K activity and inhibiting clotting. You may have also heard it referred to as “rat poison” because of its use in killing these rodents by bleeding to death. A word of caution… if it can induce fatal bleeding in rodents, it can do the same in humans.

Patients require careful monitoring when on this type of medication. If levels are too high, you may be susceptible to a serious bleed. If levels are too low, you are at risk for clotting, which negates the reason you are on Coumadin.

Conditions which may Require Coumadin

  • Atrial Fibrillation (AFIB)
  • Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
  • Mechanical Heart Valve
  • Left Ventricular Thrombosis
  • Postoperative DVT Prevention

Incentives for Removing the Need for Coumadin

  • Avoiding the risk of serious bleeding.
  • No longer needing to constantly monitory blood levels with inconvenient blood tests.
  • Easing concerns with potential food interactions (i.e., avoiding leafy greens and other vegetables because they contain vitamin K).
  • Avoiding side effects such as headaches, joint pain, stomach pain and more.

Coumadin Time Frames from a Holistic Cardiologist

Certain conditions require blood thinners, while others require them for a short period. Discuss this information below with your doctor.

  • AFIB
    • Many conventional doctors recommend blood-thinning medications for anyone with AFIB because of the potential risk for strokes. What they may not consider is the risk vs reward of placing their patients on blood thinners.
    • A great way to self-advocate and determine your stroke risk is by reviewing your CHADSVASC Score to see if you truly require a drug like Coumadin. Check out my video on how to do this and discuss your options with your physician.
  • DVT/PE
    • For a first DVT/PE event, the patient typically needs Warfarin for 6 months.
    • If the clot was small and/or happened after a surgical procedure, 3 months may be a sufficient duration of time.
    • When DVT/PE occurs in the face of cancer or another hypercoagulable state, 12 months or longer may be necessary.
  • Mechanical Heart Valve
    • Patients require blood thinners in this situation.
    • Fortunately, newer mechanical valves call for less Coumadin and a lower INR level of 1.5 to 2.0. (INR is a test which is used to monitor blood-thinning medications.)
    • This is significant news because the higher the INR, the less active vitamin K you have access to.
    • Vitamin K is critical for heart and bone health because it help keep calcium in the bones and out of the heart arteries.
    • Check out: Get Your “K” on and Protect Those Arteries for more information regarding this vital cardiovascular nutrient.
  • Left Ventricular Thrombosis
    • Usually occurs after a large heart attack and requires Coumadin for approximately 3 months.
  • Postoperative Prevention
    • Follow the recommendations of the surgeon.
    • Post-op DVT is common and easily preventable.
    • Other modalities for prevention are possible and patients may use other drugs, but definitely adhere to your physician’s plan in this situation.

There are a variety of options for thinning the blood without the use of medications. Check out 10 Proven Ways to Thin the Blood Naturally for ideas and resources.

The intention for this article is to provide the reader with information and resources to better communicate with their doctor. Conventional medical practitioners often have a myopic perspective with holistic health, and it is my goal for the patient to improve overall health in order to eliminate the need for pharmaceuticals.

If you need more information, or help in self-advocating, please contact one of our health coaches. We are here to help support your health journey.

As always, the key to avoiding the need for doctors and pharmaceuticals is a nutritious Paleo Diet, quality water, good sleep, lots of sunshine, exercise and chiropractic care.


Try Organic Coffee That Supports Optimal Heart Health

You may also enjoy these posts...