Blood-thinning drugs are supposed to prevent strokes. That’s the main reason millions of Americans who suffer from atrial fibrillation take them.
These anticoagulant medications include warfarin, apixaban, dabigatran, and rivaroxaban.[i]
An alarming study shows that in some people these drugs actually increase the chances of having a stroke.
Researchers from the University College London and the University of Surrey studied 4,848 people over 65 with atrial fibrillation. About 6 million Americans suffer from it
It is a heart condition characterized by irregular and often rapid heart heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation causes blood to pool in the heart. This leads to blood clots that can travel to the brain, causing a stroke. Blood-thinning drugs are the standard preventive measure.[ii]
Blood Thinners: The Hidden Danger Many Doctors Don’t Know About
In the study, scientists looked at patients with both atrial fibrillation and chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Half the subjects were on blood-thinning medications. The researchers then monitored the participants for a year and a half.
They found that the subjects taking anticoagulants were 2.6 times more likely to have a stroke than those not taking the drugs. And they were 2.4 times more likely to suffer a hemorrhage.[iii]
Dr. Shankar Kumar is with the University College London’s Centre for Medical Imaging. He led the study. “We found that in this particular group, their medication seems to do the opposite of its intended effect,” he said.[vi]
Dr. Kumar said many doctors don’t know that prescribing blood thinners to a kidney patient can set them up for a stroke. His study was published in the British Medical Journal.
If You Take a Blood Thinner, Do This…
If you are on a blood thinner, don’t stop taking it. But ask your doctor to test you for CKD.
In the early stages of the disease, most people do not have any symptoms. CKD can strike at any age, but usually occurs after age 60. It is more common in women.[vii]
Your doctor can check you for CKD with simple blood and urine tests. If you test positive, discuss alternatives that you can use in place of anticoagulant drugs.
5 Natural Alternatives to Blood-Thinning drugs
Here are five natural blood-thinners that have few—if any—side effects.
If you have atrial fibrillation and CKD, they may be safer than prescription anticoagulants. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin taking them.
- Curcumin: This is the bioactive compound in the spice turmeric. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Take a 500 mg supplement three times a day.
- Cayenne pepper: In supplement form, it is a fast-acting blood thinner. Take 450 mg three times a day with food.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Take a daily fish oil supplement as directed by the label.
- Bromelain: This enzyme is found in pineapples. Take a 400 mg supplement three times a day on an empty stomach.
- Garlic: Raw garlic is preferable. But it may be too pungent for some. Instead, try a supplement. Follow the dosing directions on the label.
One more thing…
The simplest anticoagulant is water. Yes, plain water.[viii]
It’s one of nature’s most effective blood thinners. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water may help reduce stroke-causing blood clots.[ix]
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