Coumadin–or warfarin, which is the generic name–is a medication used by cardiologists to treat and prevent blood clots. Because Coumadin has several side effects, it is important for patients taking it to follow all of their doctors’ recommendations and to have regular check-ups. If your heart doctor has recently prescribed Coumadin for you, here is what you need to know.
What is Coumadin?
Coumadin is an anticoagulant. It helps to keep blood flowing and cuts the risk of blood clots by reducing the amount of proteins that encourage clotting in your blood. Your heart doctor may prescribe Coumadin if you have atrial fibrillation or another type of heart arrhythmia, have recently had a heart attack, or if you have had a heart valve replacement surgery.
What are the Side Effects?
Coumadin can cause bloating, gas, altered taste, and gastrointestinal problems in some patients. The most significant risk of taking Coumadin is uncontrolled bleeding, which could be fatal. This risk is highest when beginning taking Coumadin and for patients who take high doses of the medicine. Your heart doctor will discuss your health history with you, including your history of bleeding disorders, to determine if Coumadin is the right medicine for you.
How is It Managed?
When you take Coumadin, you will need regular blood tests to determine how the medicine is working. The effect of Coumadin can vary dramatically from week to week, so your dose may need to be adjusted regularly. Your heart doctor may also recommend that you eat a special diet when you are on Coumadin. In particular, it is important to control your intake of foods that contain vitamin K, such as spinach and kale, as they can affect the way Coumadin works.
At Cardiac Solutions, we offer a Coumadin clinic to help patients taking this medication reduce their side effects and manage it effectively. For more information about our cardiologists or treatments for high cholesterol and heart conditions in Phoenix , call our clinic now at (623) 876-8816.
Plaque builds in your arteries but is actually a danger to your heart. If you have plaque build-up associated with coronary artery disease, your heart doctor will work with you to manage it and reduce further damage.
Watch this video to learn about the link between plaque and heart disease. Plaque builds up in your arteries, causing them to narrow. Eventually, plaque can cause a blood clot that stops blood flow to the heart and causes a heart attack.
At Cardiac Solutions, our cardiologists near Phoenix offer care for heart disease and conditions that impact your heart health, including coronary artery disease . To find out more about how our heart doctors can help you live better with heart disease, please call (623) 876-8816.
Atrial fibrillation , also known as AF, is a type of heart arrhythmia that affects millions of Americans. It drastically increases your risk of stroke and should be closely managed by a heart doctor. Although you can’t completely prevent AF, understanding your risk can help you take steps to reduce the odds that you will get it. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor about your atrial fibrillation risk.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure occurs when blood rushes through your arteries at higher pressures than is healthy. This causes the blood to push against the artery walls, which can cause them to weaken and could lead to blood clots that cause heart damage, heart attack, and strokes. The heart damage caused by high blood pressure can lead to AF–in fact, untreated high blood pressure is the most common cause of this type of heart arrhythmia. Managing your blood pressure can reduce your AF risk and help control it if you have already been diagnosed.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease , or coronary artery disease, as it is sometimes called, occurs when plaque build-up in your arteries caused by high cholesterol makes your arteries become narrow. This reduces the flow of nutrient-rich blood to your heart, which in turn can lead to damage to your heart muscle as it is starved of the nutrients it needs. The damage caused by coronary heart disease can change the way your heart pumps and lead to arrhythmias, including AF. Reducing your cholesterol can prevent and manage coronary heart disease and the associated effects, including AF.
Heart failure does not mean that the heart stops beating. It means that it works less efficiently than it did when it was healthy. Heart failure is caused by damage to the heart muscle, and one of the outcomes of the changes associated with it can be AF.
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with atrial fibrillation in Phoenix, Cardiac Solutions can help. Get on the road to better heart health today and make an appointment for cardiac care by calling (623) 876-8816.
LDL cholesterol is the type of cholesterol your heart doctor is concerned with when he or she talks to you about your risk for coronary heart disease. The foods you choose can have a significant impact on your LDL levels. Watch this video to learn more about foods to avoid when you’re trying to reduce LDL cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol levels are increased by eating foods that are high in saturated fats. These foods tend to be animal proteins, such as fatty cuts of meat. Full-fat dairy products are also major sources of saturated fats, so your heart doctor might suggest that you reduce your intake of these foods to control your LDL levels.
If you are concerned about your high cholesterol and your risk of heart disease, talk to a heart doctor in Phoenix at Cardiac Solutions. To schedule an appointment with one of our cardiologists, please call (623) 876-8816.