Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

I’ve recently been diagnosed with colitis and am taking a probiotic. I am also on Coumadin for blood clotting problems. Would you kindly recommend a diet plan with menu suggestions?

Thank you for your question, P!

Let’s start off talking about the anti-coagulant medication Coumadin. This blood thinner is given to prevent your body from forming blood clots that could lead to a stroke or embolism. It is also often prescribed following orthopedic and other surgery to prevent clots post-operatively.

While you take Coumadin, it is important to be aware that certain foods that are high in Vitamin K could interfere with the effects of the blood thinner by clotting your blood. There are also herbal products that can interfere with Coumadin. It is important to be aware of the high Vitamin K foods you may be consuming in order to keep your therapeutic blood levels constant. Most experts agree that a consistent intake of Vitamin K containing foods, not high one day and low the next, is recommended.

Higher Vitamin K foods include dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and greens such as turnip, collard and mustard. Broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus also contain higher amounts of Vitamin K. These foods should be eaten consistently; perhaps one serving a day or three times a week. Talk to your doctor about any supplements you take to be sure they are safe. Research has indicated that you should also limit cranberry juice to four ounces a day while taking Coumadin.

Colitis & Probiotic

In terms of the colitis, the probiotic will help you replace any missing intestinal flora whose loss could be worsening your symptoms. It is best to keep your bowels moving regularly with adequate amounts of fiber containing foods when not in the acute stages or flare-ups as well as enough water to aid regularity.

Everyone is just a bit different when plagued by colitis. Certain foods can trigger a reaction and you should pay attention to what foods cause you discomfort and avoid those things. Some foods that may be triggers include caffeine, spicy foods, greasy foods, dairy if lactose intolerant, nuts, or raw vegetables. You may also find frequent small meals to be better tolerated.

As long as your diet is well balanced with nutrient rich foods, you should be better able to manage your disease process.

Your meals should include whole grains such as cereal, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes; fresh fruit; lean protein or meat substitutes; eggs; cooked or fresh vegetables; and low fat diary. If you have a problem with dairy foods, there are many lactose free products available or soy based/almond milks on the market.

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