Did you know that blood thinners can prevent vascular disease, stroke and heart attack? Blood thinner medication is designed to prevent clots from forming in the blood and helps blood flow more smoothly through your veins.
They are especially needed for people who suffer from heart disease, irregular heart rhythms, or those who previously had a stroke.
In this article, we will explore common natural blood thinners that will help your blood flow smoothly and prevent clotting.
Are Blood Thinners Safe to Use?
The benefits of use often outweigh the risks with blood thinners. On average, each year, 2 to 3 million people in the United States take some form of blood thinner medication. People use blood thinners for various medical conditions, but most who use this medicine take it for one reason—blood thinner meds are a life-saving medication.
The significant risks for using blood thinners are internal bleeding and increased bruising, but with proper management and following a medical professional’s recommendations, using blood thinners is safe and effective in treating a lot of different medical problems.
Are There Different Types of Blood Thinners?
There are two different types of blood thinners. The first is called antiplatelets, the second is anticoagulants. Let’s learn the differences between these two types of blood thinners.
Antiplatelet Blood Thinners
Antiplatelet blood thinners work by preventing blood cells from sticking together and forming clots. When your body gets injured, platelets group together to stop bleeding.
This is beneficial if the injury is external, but if the injury is in an affected by heart disease or other vascular diseases, the clots can cause a blockage that can stop blood flow and cause a stroke.
Antiplatelet medicine can stop this from occurring.
Who Benefits from Antiplatelet Medication?
Antiplatelet medication is commonly prescribed to people who have:
- Recently experienced a heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Recently had a stroke
- Peripheral artery disease
- Angina (chest pain)
- Had a heart bypass procedure
Common Antiplatelet Prescription Blood Thinner Names
These antiplatelet medications are the ones commonly prescribed:
- Dipyridamole (Persantine)
- Ticagrelor (Brilanta)
- Vorapaxar (Zontivity)
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
- Eptifibatide (Integrillin)
- Prasugrel (Effient)
Anticoagulant Blood Thinners
Anticoagulant blood thinners slow down the body’s process of making clots. This medicine is usually given by mouth in the form of a pill but can also be administered by vein (intravenously) or in shot form.
Like antiplatelet blood thinners, anticoagulant medicine comes with a risk of internal bleeding and long term bruising. Always take the advice of your healthcare provider when taking anticoagulant blood thinners.
Who Benefits from Anticoagulant Medication?
Anticoagulants are used by people who are at risk of blood clots developing that cause a stoppage in blood flow in the veins.
Anticoagulants are given to reduce the risks of:
- Transient ischaemic attacks (TIAs)
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Pulmonary embolism
- Heart Attack
- Heart Disease
They are also given after specific medical procedures such as aortic valve replacement or knee replacement surgery.
Common Anticoagulant Prescription Blood Thinner Names
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
- Apixaban (Eliquis)
- Fondaparinux (Arixtra)
- Edoxaban (Savaysa)
What Are the Side Effects of Blood Thinners?
May cause side effects in specific individuals. The most common is excessive bleeding and bruising. Side effects from bleeding can include:
- Bleeding gums
- Excessive bruising even from minor bumps
- Heavier than normal periods
- Blood present in the urine or stools
- Cuts that take a long time to heal
Aside from extreme bleeding, side effects may include:
- Skin rashes
- Hair loss
Are There Natural Blood Thinners?
There are many different ingredients found in nature that can be used to help reduce clots from forming.
Always talk with your doctor when taking these natural remedies. Some ingredients can interfere with prescription medicines and make them less effective.
Turmeric is a spice often used in middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. One of the ingredients in turmeric is curcumin, which acts as an anticoagulant.
Aside from cinnamon being delicious and helping to lower blood pressure, cinnamon contains the chemical coumarin.
Coumarin acts as a potent anticoagulant and is also found in Cassia—a close cousin of cinnamon.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper has high levels of salicylates, which can produce a blood-thinning effect for your body. Cayenne pepper has also been effective in increasing circulation and lowering blood pressure.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E has shown to be a mild anticoagulant. Foods that contain high amounts of vitamin E are almonds, safflower oil, whole grains, wheat germ oil, and sunflower seeds.
Like cayenne pepper, Ginger contains high levels of the natural acid salicylate that can help slow down the process of blood clotting.
Foods That can Interfere With Blood Thinners
There is an assortment of foods, spices, and herbs that can interfere with the effectiveness of blood thinners. These foods and herbs affect not all blood thinners.
Vitamin K can lessen the effectiveness of blood thinners. This happens because vitamin K is a vital part of the process of forming blood clots. When you increase your intake of foods rich in vitamin K, it can create unintended complications.
Foods that are high in vitamin K are:
- Mustard greens
- Brussel sprouts
- Turnip greens
Alcohol and Cranberry Juice
Alcohol and cranberry Juice also have anticoagulating qualities. Too much anticoagulation in your body can lead to severe bleeding risks. Also, your liver needs to break down and metabolize other compounds in the blood thinner medicine.
If your liver is too busy breaking down alcohol, this could lead to too much medicine entering the bloodstream producing harmful effects.
Some herbal supplements and teas can interfere with blood-thinning medicine. Talk to your doctor about taking the following herbs.
- Ginko Biloba
- Willow bark
Which Blood Thinner is Right For Me?
Whether you are going for natural blood thinners or prescription blood thinners, its always necessary to talk with your medical provider on which medicine is right for you.
If you have any questions on any of the prescription medicine listed above, feel free to contact us, and we can help you get the medication prescribed for you at a low and affordable price.