Broccoli and other vitamin K foods

Help Support ValveReplacement.org:

brunoandbear

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
78
Location
Atlanta, GA
I am curious, all of ya'll that have been on coumadin or warfarin for years, are you still able to eat broccoli once a week and other similar vitamin k foods, or not? Broccoli is the one magic vegetable which helps me maintain a clear mind.

My second opinion doctor today suggested I get a carbomedics mechanical valve rather than trying to repair my existing bicuspid valve. I have been very leery of the whole anti-coagulation thing, but, my surgeon said, unlike my first opinion, that because I am young (33), tissue valves tend to calcify very quickly and there is a high likelyhood that I will have to have another heart surgery within 5 - 10 years to replace the valve again.

I'm not too sure I want to have to do that so close to my first surgery, so, I am trying to gather opinions and ideas around living a life on anti-coagulation. Are there any other foods/meals I will have to be wary of as well?
 
B

Bridgette

Eat what you like - dose the diet.

As long as you are consistent in what you eat you will be fine. You don't have to give up broccoli (yuck:eek: not my favourite food) or greens, contrary to what some people might tell you.

I can tell you that I eat what I like, drink a few wines regularly, and it has no effect on my INR. The secret is to become a home tester so that you know where your INR is at and you can be in control of your dosage.

I hope this helps.

Whatever valve you choose will be the right one for you, after you've talked to your doctors, your family, and done your research.

Good luck

Bridgette:)
 

Ross

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
25,981
Location
On The Hot Seat
Never ever fall for the misconception that you cannot have what you like to eat. Dose the diet you NORMALLY eat, don't diet the dose of the drug. I'm a big fan of green veggies and eat lots of them throughout the week. Spinich, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts etc,. My dose is adjusted to that diet. We've had people try to use Vit k charts and cook books to plan their meals. It doesn't work! Throw that stuff out the window.

Anticoagulation is not the big deal that people make it out to be. You'll find that out if/when your on it. Almost everything you hear before this time is utter nonsense. They'll have you believing that if you cut yourself on paper, you'll bleed to death and it's all hogwash. So long as you use common sense and protect yourself for things that you'd should normally protect yourself for anyway, all will be fine. You must remain compliant and test frequently, but so long as your in range, nothing adverse is likely to happen. It's kind of a respect thing. Respect the drug and your ok, disrespect it and screw around with it, it will bite you. There are some side effects associated with the drug, but in all honesty, I haven't seen anyone yet develop any of them, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. We have a member thats been on the drug for over 40+ years, so that should say something.

I'm for anything that will keep you from having more surgery down the road if at all possible. There are no guarantees that a mechanical valve will last forever, but some have and it's the closest shot your going to get to not having anymore. The down side of Coumadin is, most of the people that manage your care, don't understand how to dose it properly, which is why so many of us have gone to home testing and self dosing. Were able to do a much better job at it then they are. I would encourage you to learn as much as you can about the drug when making your choice. The two best resources avaiable are:

www.warfarinfo.com
and
http://www.aafp.org/afp/990201ap/635.html
 
H

heartfelt

Everyone leaned on me to get a mechanical valve and I didn't want to b/c of being a vegetarian who likes her glass of red wine and was told I'd have to change my ways in order to be on coumadin the rest of my life. But I couldn't dispute the arguements so I went ahead and got the mechanical one. Thanks to the kind folks and years of wisdom I've found here, I'm adjusting to coumadin and beginning to get over all the misinformation I was initially given, like not being able to eat greens, drink wine or ski and bicycle ever again. Stick with this site and you'll find a lot of great information and help getting the drug adjusted to you and your lifestyle, which makes all the difference in the world with being on it. My attitude has almost completely turned around re the drug and I'm doing so much better mentally due in large part to the kindnesses here.

I'm with Ross on not having anymore surgeries than you have to and that's why I was talked into the mechanical one too. I found one that doesn't drive me crazy with loud ticking and insisted on it and the more I learn about how to use coumadin, the calmer I am. I've only had my own home monitor for not quite a yr., but it's saved me tons of money on co-pays and gasoline getting to the clinic and has almost paid for itself now. But the help from this group is priceless.

AVR heartvalve 2006
 

Bina

Premium Level User
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
12,716
Location
East Ontario, Canada
My first year post op I avoided so many good foods because I was worried about Vit.K
Then I began to relax and experiment, soon realizing that I could very safely eat my broccoli, asparagus, and spinach, within reason.
The key is not to binge.
Buying my own monitor was a huge help because if I was doubtful of my K consumption, it was easily checked in a matter of minutes.
 

dick0236

Eat the elephant one bite at a time
Joined
Feb 10, 2007
Messages
3,334
Location
louisville, KY USA
Vitamin K vegs, or any foods as far as I know, will cause any unudue problems with Warfarin(Coumadin), unless they are "binged".

Other than taking a pill each day and testing my blood (INR) on a regular basis, I have had to make only small changes, if any changes at all, in my lifesyle.
 

brunoandbear

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
78
Location
Atlanta, GA
It is reassuring to hear all of this. From what I've read so far, home testing is the way to go - especially in my case as my wife and I like to go camping and spend time in the mountains.

My wife's grandfather had two of his valves replaced in the 60's and he lived for 40 years or more on coumadin without any problems. I suppose the key here is consistency of diet, eat what you want, just be consistent about it. I really do not want to have repeated surgeries if I can have a single surgery that fixes the problems potentially for the rest of my life.

Do physical activities and exercise influence your INR?
 

catwoman

VR.org Supporter
Joined
Sep 23, 2003
Messages
6,014
Location
near Fort Worth TX
I love broccoli, too -- and cabbage, dark green salads, asparagus, sushi, etc. -- and I eat it quite frequently.

In fact, my lunch yesterday was a veggie plate from a cafeteria across from my office: carrots, boiled cabbage and a heavenly broccoli salad.
Lunch today is a Smart Ones (Weight Watchers) frozen dinner: broccoli, potatoes and cheddar cheese sauce. I'll probably get some more broccoli salad for "dessert" later!

I eat what I want in the way of vitamin K, rather than dealing with "Oh, I had a green salad for lunch. Can't have one for dinner (or coleslaw with my fried shrimp, etc.)."

My warfarin dosage is adjusted according to my INR results, which reflect the vitamin K my body produces + the vitamin K I intake through food, my exercise, other meds, whatever.

It did take a little time to get stabilized after my surgery; I doubt that anyone stabilizes immediately post-op, due to meds some are on immediately post-op for a short time and as we recover and resume normal activity levels.

Many of us here have our own INR testing machines at home, not unlike glucometers that diabetics use (except in price!).
 

Ross

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2001
Messages
25,981
Location
On The Hot Seat
Do physical activities and exercise influence your INR?
It can until your adjusted for your peak activity level. As more blood is filtered through your liver, the more Warfarin you'll require to keep you in range. Of course, if you suddenly stop excercising your INR will go too high and you'll have to adjust down also.

Consistency basically means no binging. No sudden all spinich salads unless that's what you normally eat, etc,.

You won't test all the time. Most people test only once a month, some twice a month and still yet, others like me, every week. Personally, mine can get crazy if I don't check it for more then 2 weeks. By testing every week, I can maintain much tighter control.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2009
Messages
884
Location
ARBut really a Texan at heart!
I've been eating broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, cabbage, lettuce asparagus, etc. for the last 17.5 years just like I did before AVR. But I try to balance it out and not eat but one a day. But then, I usually don't eat but one meal a day other than a light breakfast. :)
 
K

Karlynn

I also meant to mention that they believe that people who have a diet w/ vitamin k in it tend to have more stable INR's. Just don't go taking Vit. K pills, they'll drop you like a rock!
 
Top