Coumadin (Warfarin) and INR readings that spike.

A tale of “Too Many Chefs in the Kitchen” have made this soup go rogue.

If you are starting a regimen of Coumadin (Warfarin) to thin your blood you will need to know that the balance of good INR readings and bad INR readings are difficult to get regulated at first.  Finding the right dosage is through trial and error.  There are so many factors involved in the calculations that contribute to finding that “sweet spot”.

With the most recent emergency room escapade for Joe it is critical that you, or a family member, taking Coumadin (Warfarin) be aware of the foods you eat or prepare for the person on Coumadin (Warfarin).  Case in point – ME and my efforts to help with the INR readings through the foods I prepare for him.

  • NOTE:  The foods you have eaten before being on Coumadin (Warfarin) are to be maintained.
  • Do NOT eliminate foods from the diet of anyone on Coumadin (Warfarin).  Even if the foods have a high Vitamin K rating.
  • If you, or your family member is a Vegetarian there are some foods that are high in Vitamin K and ONLY those foods need to be moderated.  Eat them still, but in smaller quantities.

If you need a reference for the Vitamin K in foods I have linked to a valuable source in one of my blog posts….Vitamin K and Potassium daily intake for Coumadin (Warfarin) users.

My endeavors to follow this list of Vitamin K food items and keep the amount within a certain range I, unwittingly, caused Joe to have bloody stools and an INR reading of 9.8.

The combination of high dosage of Coumadin (Warfarin) at 11.25 daily, prescribed by the doctor, and my zeal to keep the Vitamin K in check caused me to nearly lose my husband.

End result – make sure to eat the foods that you normally do.  Keep the vegetables in your daily diet.  Portion sizes and daily blood tests during the first stage of taking Coumadin (Warfarin) is vital in getting the dosage correct.

With Joe having such a high INR at 9.8 he had to have two (2) units of plasma given to him at the hospital.  There was a slight chance he was going to have a blood transfusion if the INR reading didn’t go down.

During his recent stay in the hospital he received NO Coumadin (Warfarin) and had his blood checked every eight (8) hours to see if the INR reading was coming down.  Thankfully, at dismissal his INR was down to 3.1.  Still a bit high but just under the danger zone.

His prescribed dosage has been decreased from 11.25 mg to 6 mg of Coumadin (Warfarin) and we have to make stops along our journeys to labs and have his blood tested until we can get one of the portable blood testers.  With this machine we can keep on top of his readings and get the dosage corrected to the proper balance.

Use my experience as a cautionary tale in your – or your loved ones – regimen of Coumadin (Warfarin).  Eat as though you are normal.  Keep a Food Diary.  When your readings get a bit too high you will have a reference in your Food Diary that will help you to figure out what caused it and then reduce the amount of ONLY that particular food(s) item.

Keeping a Food Diary is a major PITB (pain in the butt).  It is vital that one is kept.  It has been of help in learning what caused Joe’s INR to go so high and for me to be able to make the necessary changes.  Once his blood level of Coumadin (Warfarin) is in balance the daily Food Diary will only be for caloric intake and used in weight reduction.

Hope this will be of help to anyone that is on this regimen and how to care for yourself or your loved one.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

4 responses to “Coumadin (Warfarin) and INR readings that spike.

  • gardenpinks

    Were you clearly told about keeping the normal diet Leslie? After all you were so bombarded with information about Vitamin K and how this had to be lowered. I bet you weren’t told that and so it was not wholly your fault it went awry You have had to battle with diets to get Joe’s weight down, diets to reduce vitamin K and diets to reduce potassium, enough to make the head reel.
    I’m glad the medical staff got it sorted and explained things more clearly to you. I’m also very glad that Joe is back on course again and yet another scare is past 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      The first hospital stay, pamphlets and stapled packs of paper, management staff told me the foods to avoid. The Social Services woman at the hospital made it quite clear by pointing to the lists of foods and telling me what Joe can no longer have.

      The second hospital stay I was told by the doctor, himself, to have Joe eat normally.

      I told the doctor about your friends and he said they are doing it right. Messing with me like that – do it this way not that way – then being told something totally different ….. Well you know what the end result is. All messed up. So we are doing like your friends.

      Sorry about the mix up on craft caulk. I’ve never heard of the stuff. Happy that Jann and Nancy helped you with that question.

      Love you – Leslie

  • pavan inr levels creator

    I’m so sorry about your husband’s high inr.

    I made an inr diary tool that lets you track your vitamin k too.

    You can get to it here:

    It’s completely free 🙂

    I also made this tool that let’s you know about interactions, what the inr means, and what may have caused it:

    • Message In A Fold

      I’m glad you posted this information in your comment. I have a lot of people that check my posts on Pulmonary Embolisms. My husband is now on a different blood thinner that doesn’t require the daily blood testing. Others will benefit from your information.

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