Coumadin

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johnnypro

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OK, I?m 5 months past having 4? of my Aortic root, my Aortic valve and a single bypass done. Altho I?m told there were some complications, my recovery has been pretty problem free. I did a month of Cardio rehab, but had to stop in order to return to my Customer Service job 10 weeks after surgery. I?m currently working 40 hours as a CSR and 1-2 days a week playing keyboards in a band. My bandmates have been very good about helping me with my equipment. Possibly because the last member who had

My main complication has centered around the Coumadin I?m on. When my INR got a bit high at 3.6, I experienced blood in my urine turning it the color of coffee. (VERY DISCONCERTING!!!) I saw a urologist who felt it was caused by the Coumadin, and told me to lower the INR and see what happens. He also offered to do some invasive tests which I kinda vetoed. Anyway, my INR came down (to 2.0 actually) and now at 2.5 blood in bloody urine is gone, although I?m getting minor blood when I blow my nose (sorry?.too much information), but not too badly.

My wife, who is a staunch Natural Healing supporter, feels that there has got to be a better way than Coumadin. My doctors, nurses, etc all feel that by trying anything else, I?m risking a stroke. Whatya all think??? Would self-testing tell me how effective something else (Fish oil, garlic, etc) would be?? Is there hope other than taking Rat Poison?.er Coumadin??

Thanx!!! JP
 

Bina

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Hi JP, and welcome!
You have a mech valve and only Coumadin will protect you fully from clots.
Regarding your INR of 3.6 that is what we call a normal INR.
If you had dark urine, something may be aggravating an existing condition.
You should really see a urologist and be checked out.!!!
The minor blood when blowing your nose is not abnormal, especially during winter in dry heated air.
 

Nancy

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Unfortunately, there is no substitute for Coumadin. People who manage their own testing usually do very well with it.

If you reduce your INR to a level below what your cardiologist has determined is safe for you, you do risk throwing a clot, and having a stroke.

You really should discuss this all with your cardiologist and see if he/she thinks you should have the tests the urologist has suggested. And to get their take on what is happening.

Urologic bleeding with s slightly elevated INR seems to be rather unusual. But, of course everyone is different.

If it were my husband, I would want further investigation on the matter.
 

Freddie

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You sure it was blood that you saw? It wasn't caused something you ate or taking a vitamin pill of some kind? What is your range for INR - 2.5 to 3.5?
As for the little of blood showing up when you blow your nose, the air may be a little dry. By putting some Vaseline on a Q-tip and gently wipe in the inside of nose before bed, you should be fine.

Good Luck and Welcome JP
 

Woodbutcher

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Hi JP.... Welcome to VR... There are far more Learned folk on here than me who'll be along I'm sure ?
I pressume you have a Mechanical valve then ? But if you've a tissue valve you wont I shouldn't think be on Warfarin for too long anyway ?
I'm very interested in alternative medicines too and have spent the last 4 or 5 weeks bringing my blood pressure down through acupuncture, exercise and deep breathing as my Dr was wanting me to start using a Statin which I was dead against. It seems to be working too, from having mild hypertension I'm now a steady 140/75 which is fine.

Your main point though regards Warfarin/ Coumadin substitutes I'm not sure, I've never heard of anyone trying it ? But I'd be interested to hear if it works ?
I think it could prove rather too hit and miss at keeping you within your range too ?
I was talking to a friend today who runs an off shore drilling ship off the coast of Angola and he was saying that some of the Angolan Crew eat stacks of Garlic and he has to make sure there are plenty of coagulating drugs on board as the garlic really effects their coagulating time in the event of an accident ?! I've never heard anything like this before but it kind of ties in with what you're talking about ?
I'm surprised you had problems with you urine with an inr of just 3.6 ? That's not what i think many people on here would consider as high at all, maybe just high normal ? Are you sure it wasn't just your diet ? Too much coffee maybe or even not drinking enough liquids can make your urine pretty dark ?
Good luck....
Justin
 

Nancy

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Are you on any other medications? There are certain antibiotics that can cause dark urine. Your skin isn't yellow is it? Or the whites of your eyes?
 

AgilityDog

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There is no alternative to coumadin if you have a mechanical valve. And don't mess with a bunch of extra herbals. They can be dangerous. One of the gals here had a bleeding problem just last week by using camomile bath oils! thank god she didn't take the camomile supplements. It didn't change the INR, but it was like adding heparin on top of the coumadin.

With an INR of only 2, you are risking a stroke, even if your range is 2-3 rather than 2.5 to 3.5. There is no leeway if you are only at a 2. Talk to your cardiologist. If he knows his stuff he'll tell you the truth.

If you had a bleeding problem at only 3.6, the blood is telling you you may have another problem. My dad had a-fib for years, for which he received coumadin therapy. My dad's cancer caused him to have blood in his stool. The coumadin allowing the cancer to bleed enabled the doctors to find it while it was still small.

Have the stinking invasive tests. They may save your life. It may be nothing. But it also could be something.:(
 

Ross

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You need to see a Urologist and get those more invasive tests. An INR of 3.6 is not going to cause bleeding unless there is something else that it's unmasking what will be a problem and it's showing it early.

There is nothing else but Coumadin for your valve and life long at that. My friend, you have something else going on, whether it's a drug your taking or something wrong in the plumbing, it's not normal, whatever it is.
 

halleyg

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I agree with everyone that there is not an alternative to coumadin.. you can still use homeopathic/natural remedies for whatever else, but would not depened on it for anti-coagulation. I had a hard time getting used to the fact that I had to take something for the rest of my life, but I've accepted it and you will have to as well. My INR has been as high as 6.0, lingered around 4.0 at times and I usually stay above 3.0 with no problems.. I agree, too, that you need to get the other tests, as that does not sound at all like it is from coumadin. Good luck.
 

Blanche

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Sorry, there is no substitute for Coumadin/Warfarin

Sorry, there is no substitute for Coumadin/Warfarin

Please take your anticoagulation medications (Coumadin/Warfarin) as directed. Please do not try to substitute any other thing for Coumadin/Warfarin because the risk of stroke can be very high when your INR drops below 2.0.

What you really could do to make your life better on anticoagulation is to educate yourself on Coumadin. If taken properly and managed correctly, anticoagulation is, for the most part, very easy. But, knowledge is power.

If you learn about your condition and why and how Coumadin works, I think you will be much better off in the long run. There are tons of posts right here for you to read. You might also ask questions of our members, your doctor, and other medical people.

You might want to search the following site. Many people have found it most helpful.
http://www.clotcare.com/clotcare/ptinr.aspx

Another site that is just great is one that was developed by Al Lodwick, a valvereplavement member who managed a Coumadin Clinic for years. He is now teaching doctors and medical people across the country on the use of anticoagulation.
www.warfinfo.com

Please take care of this immediately. You asked about strokes. After ten years of successfully taking Coumadin, my husband had several strokes...one of which left him unable to speak, feed himself, walk....The doctors have said that they believe that his INR was too low (below 2.0). He was hospitalized for many weeks. And, yes, I am trying to scare you into taking action on this quickly.

Please let us know how you are doing...We do worry here.

Blanche

Almost forgot....I suggest that you take a look at the stickies at the top of the Anticoagulation page. Lots of good information there.
 

dick0236

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I agree that an INR of 3.6 would not normally cause blood in the urine. It usually takes an INR significantly above 3.5 to cause blood in my urine. Nosebleeds, in the winter, are common for me due to the dry, cold air. I have learned to be carefull not to blow my nose "hard" in winter.

Ask your Cardio what else might be causing the bleeding with a normal INR.
 
B

Bridgette

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Your profile says you have a mechanical valve so you need Warfarin for life. Your doctors are right in saying that by stopping it and substituting it with a herbal supplement you are putting yourself at great risk.
Why not invite your wife to read the ACT forums on here (and visit Al Lodwick's site) she might feel better about Warfarin once she's educated herself about it properly.

Dear Blanche said "knowledge is power" and that is so true. She has given you some great info too.
Good luck.
 

Ross

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His Urologist might learn a thing or two also. He doesn't seem to have a good working knowledge of the drug either.
 
K

Karlynn

Guest
I agree with all of those who have said you need to get those urological tests done. It's pretty rare (although not unheard of) for someone to be that sensitive to Coumadin. But to assume it's the Coumadin when you are in a normal range (some people have a range to 4.0 so 3.6 is still considered normal) is very premature. Coumadin has been known to assist in early diagnosis of other problems because it causes the problem to bleed early than it normally would.
 

Ross

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I'm not trying to sound funny or joke, but have you been having hard sex or perhaps manual stimulation in a hard manor? Sometimes that's all it takes. Just trying to think of other possible causes that you may not want to bring up.
 

sheridan07

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I had my INR at 3.7 for a week and I didn't pee red. My Doctors prefer me to be between 2.5 and 3.5. I am not a doctor but maybe you should see your PCP and see what he thinks.
 

Woodbutcher

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Hard sex !? How does that make your nose bleed !? Extreme masterbation hey, whatever next ? Just make sure you wear a hard hat and goggles if attempting such wreckless behavior again ! And mind you dont go banging your face on the wall at such dizzy heights of passion or self satisfaction !
 
L

Lisa in Katy

Guest
I agree that there could be an underlying issue that the Coumadin brought to light. My INR has been well above 3.6 and I've never experienced noticeable blood in my urine.

Many supplements and other medicines while affecting clotting do not affect the INR. Lovenox is one example. Besides, if the higher INR is the problem, it would be a problem no matter what drug is causing it to get there. What many people don't understand about herbal supplements is that they are drugs, and often dangerous because they are unregulated. "Natural" doesn't mean anything as there are plenty of natural things that aren't good for you - tobacco, peyote, sugar, and lard are a few that come to mind.
 
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