Friday, December 10, 2010

A Word to the Wise regarding Warfarin and Vitamin K

Hi Gang-

Hope this post finds everybody getting into the holiday spirit with good health and spirits!

Dom and I went into NOLA for his monthly infusion of Zometa yesterday.  Before administering the drip, they run a CBC on him to be certain that he's OK.

Bloodwork was great.  I'll post the latest numbers after this story.

There was one number that stuck out like a sore thumb-  His INR numbers were through the roof.  His post-transplant nurse was shocked and asked if he was eating alot of green leafy veggies.  "NOPE".  We told her that we realized that Vitamin K negates the effect of blood thinners.

So, she changed the dosage, and is having him come back next Friday for an INR lab visit.

When we got home, I started doing some snooping around on the internet.  (Google is our friend!)  I figured it out...

A couple of months ago, Dom was complaining to one of the infusion nurses that he gets weak and dizzy fairly often.  She asked him about his eating habits, particularly breakfast.  He told her that he enjoyed toast and oatmeal, sometimes waffles or pancakes.  She remarked that all of those carbs were causing him to crash shortly after eating.  She stressed the importance of PROTEIN with his morning meal. Recommending eggs, sausage, bacon, etc.

OK- so "Dr. Nanette" didn't want her patient to eat all of that cholesterol. (He's on high blood pressure medicine and there's heart disease in his family.)

I bought him loads of "fake" bacon and breakfast sausage from Morning Star Farms.  A soy-based food with no cholesterol.  Also Egg Beaters.

BINGO.... there lies our problem.....  Soybeans are LOADED with Vitamin K! 

The above site was very helpful to me.  They also have a link for a great PDF file that goes into more detail.

Now we have to discuss with the Cancer Center folks which is worse-  Increased Warfarin dosage or High Cholesterol?   This is a really crappy time to change up his diet, because they'll want him to come back weekly for tests until his numbers are right.  We're both heading up to Ohio for the holidays.

Soooo... we've (I) decided to stick with the increased blood thinners, stick with the Soy protein until after the holidays.  We have our 18 month doctor appointment in another month.  THEN we can figure out what to change.  (Doctor visits are now every 3 months).  He feels great, and I want him to enjoy vacation.  We can re-do his diet in January!

Here are his numbers from yesterday.  The Tulane Cancer Center is still very pleased.


WBC:    4.5
HCT:     34.9
ANC:   2700


Sandy said...

Great news about the numbers, excepting the one that you investigated and this was a really useful report for people who may be changing their diet around... have a wonderful holiday whereever you end up!

LauraMc said...

Nan, haven't checked your blog in awhile. I had a problem with my sugar dropping when I only ate cereal for breakfast and then exercised. A nutritionist taught me about having protein to keep glucose steady til lunch. I don't know if Dom likes cottage cheese but I love the cottage doubles they sell now. It's just a little fruit with cottage cheese that you mix together. Another favorite is a tablespoon of peanut butter on 1/2 a bagel. Toast the bagel and put the peanut butter on right away and it melts and is sooo good.