After a person has been diagnosed with a specific type of cardiac arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, a doctor prescribes a blood-thinning medication. Medically known as an anticoagulant, this medicine prevents harmful clots. Warfarin is the most common drug used for this purpose. Even if a cardiac specialist is the initial prescriber, a general practice doctor with a Family Medical Center in Andover Kansas can provide the ongoing care this patient needs.
Patients typically experience no problems from taking warfarin other than needing to be extra cautious about injuries that could cause bleeding. An accidental cut with a paring knife that is easily managed by a person without clotting issues could mean a trip to an urgent care clinic for the patient taking anticoagulants. Harmful blood clots within blood vessels can cause strokes, but blood clotting along the skin is essential for stopping bleeding and allowing wounds to heal.
Doctors with a Family Medical Center in Andover Kansas can coordinate the routine blood tests that are necessary for patients taking this medication. Patients must be sure that levels of certain substances stay within important parameters; changes in diet, medication and supplementation can affect those numbers. The warfarin dosage may need to be modified if the patient makes a significant and lasting diet change. An example would be adding a substantially higher level of vitamin K to the diet since that vitamin is connected with blood clotting ability.
The patient should consult with the physician before adding any herbal or other over-the-counter products to a supplementation regimen since many of them have mild blood-thinning effects. As is the case after certain diet changes, the prescription dosage may need to be adjusted if someone begins taking products such as Ginkgo biloba or fish oil capsules. Even consuming large amounts of some spices can enhance the anticoagulant effects of warfarin. Ginger and garlic are two examples.
General practice doctors with a clinic such as Wichita Family Medicine Specialists also perform regular checkups for the patient and renew the anticoagulant prescription as needed. This is essential for preventing further health issues in a person with cardiac arrhythmia. Please visit the website to learn more about this particular medical practice.