SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

February 18, 2013

Sick of bruising, bleeding – tests?


Some time in the late 90’s, doctors kept demanding that I begin to use blood thinners.  Not a willing participant in “ANY MEDICATION” for most of my adult life (made worse of course by all the meds my mother took – some of which I had to buy myself as Medicare wouldn’t pay for them).  Coumadin was new at the time of Mother’s use and I was all she had , so I was stuck for it.  Anything in my power was gladly given, but not those meds.  It was obvious that these meds didn’t help her, nor did all the pain pills relieve her misery.  She went from being a world-class athlete and a fine “doer” to an eventual invalid in a wheel chair with most of her gone.  So I was never a compliant patient.   I would do nothing  unless it made sense to me!     

So  guess I was on blood pressure meds – not because it made sense to me, but because I was intimidated into it.  My docs knew I was rearing granddaughters once their mother was no longer around and the little one still in diapers.  My girls had become the light of my life and my joy.  The inference was that I was willing to risk stroking out and what would my “girls” do then?    Finally cardiologists demanded the coumadin.  How I hated this.  If you are on it, you know what I mean.   

Eventually, I began to understand different options.  There were other choices out there.  Safer, far more effective  ingredients provided by nature – – with no side effects.    Doctors however are wedded to their programs  and the medical liturgy.  No breaking ranks!  No one would listen even to the possibility that there may be a better way.

Once I stopped seeing a cardiologist,  (about 15 months now), I stopped the Coumadin and after a bit of time to clear it, started with Nattokinase.  Ergo, no more tests, bruising,  unnecessary bleeding.  Pretty sure I have covered much of this before here and there.     Yet today, I learned something else I didn’t know before and that is what this post is about.  I had gone over to Dr Wright’s site at Nutrition and Healing (to whom I subscribe) and looking for something else, stumbled on this delightful  discussion.  So as is my wont – I am sharing.    I am very big on Omega3’s   but didn’t know most of what Dr Wright describes here.   Nor did I fully understand his concept expressed on the need for Vitamin E if taking huge doses of of fish oil, which I do.   So,  if this shoe fits- – read on and learn a thing or two.  Jan

Fish oil is a natural blood thinner that rivals Coumadin


Cutting Coumadin

Q: My wife is on Coumadin to reduce blood clotting. Coumadin inhibits vitamin action, but with long-term side effects. I am encouraged by Dr. Wright’s suggested alternative of using cod liver oil. I hope my wife can gradually move off of Coumadin and on to cod liver oil. Can this be done safely with INR tests as a measure? Can we look forward to a day when she is only using cod liver oil, and INR tests indicate that her clotting times are within an acceptable range?

Dr. Wright: While it is very possible to both prevent and guard against blood clots without the use of Coumadin® or other patent medications, please make sure to be working with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural and nutritional medicine if you decide to do so!

Did you know that it’s possible to take so much fish oil that if you cut yourself you won’t stop bleeding? That should be a clue to the fact that fish oil can be an effective anti-coagulant. But even if you’re bleeding nearly to death it won’t be reflected by the INR test, which tests only for the very specific effect of Coumadin® on the “clotting cascade.”

If your doctor feels better if he or she can use a specific test, have him (or her) look for a local laboratory which uses a platelet aggregometer, lab equipment which measures how long it takes platelets to start forming clumps, an aspect of the clotting process not affected by Coumadin®, but definitely affected by larger quantities of fish oil. An “extra-long” platelet aggregation time indicates inhibition of blood clotting.

For adults, 1½ tablespoons of fish oil twice daily is almost always enough to lengthen platelet aggregation time and partially–although not completely–inhibit blood clotting. However, never take extra fish oil without additional vitamin E in the form of “mixed tocopherols.”

  • Vitamin E prevents extra fish oil (or any other polyunsaturated oil) from causing lipid peroxidation, oxidative damage to cell membranes. Your best bet is 600 IU of mixed tocopherols twice daily (or three of the 400 IU capsules) with this amount of fish oil.

Yes, this is a lot of fish oil, and can cause burping or belching or, in a few cases, loose bowels. This can almost always be stopped by taking a high-lipase digestive enzyme (ask your natural food store, compounding pharmacy, or the Tahoma Dispensary) with the fish oil each time.

More importantly, in the long run, all this omega-3 fatty acid consumption from fish oil, while helpful in protecting against clots, can also cause an imbalance with important omega-6 fatty acids. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to work with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural and nutritional medicine who can help you measure your balance of fatty acids.

And yes, to achieve the anti-coagulant effect, your fatty acid test will always show your omega-3 fatty acids higher than the “population normals” which are used as indication of normal ranges. Remember, those “population normals” are for people who are almost never taking that much fish oil as an anti-coagulant tool! To stay in balance at the high levels resulting from taking considerable extra fish oil, it’ll likely be necessary to also take extra omega-6 fatty acids such as GLA (gamma-linolenic acid).


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