Is the danger of a stroke, the 5th leading cause of death in the United States, risky? Or is a life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhage more deadly? It is indeed hard to tell. And certainly, the choice is awfully difficult for a patient who has to decide between the two options.
When heart ailments like a valve or blood vessel disease, irregular heart rhythms or congenital heart defects demand that patients take a blood thinner drug as part of their treatment to reduce the possibility of a blood clot that leads to strokes or heart attacks, it also means they are exposed to the chances of hemorrhage when the dosage of the blood thinner drug is higher than necessary.
Whichever type of blood thinner is prescribed, whether it is anticoagulants like warfarin that slows down the development of clots, or anti-platelet drugs like aspirin that prevents platelets from bunching up in the veins and arteries to form clots, it is essential that the physician’s instructions are followed accurately. This is crucial because conventional blood thinner drugs interfere with other medication that is consumed, and could either change the effect it is supposed to serve or could modify how the other medications work. And, skipping a dose or too less a dose of the blood thinner drug does not have any positive impact in thwarting blood clots, while high doses result in dangerous bleeding. Like with the management of all diseases, it is imperative that the patient being treated with blood thinner drugs is mindful about eating the right foods, avoiding alcohol, exercising enough to suit their health conditions, and most importantly, does blood tests regularly to measure the rate at which their blood clots to determine if the dosage of the blood thinner drugs need to be changed.
To live safely, being transparent with the doctor about your lifestyle choices is important. And, the use of sharp objects that could cause bleeding or sports activities that can be injurious must be avoided. Blood thinner drugs can be beneficial to the heart, but utilizing them prudently will protect you.