Patient Blogs | Deep Vein Thrombosis
Making Food and Alcohol Adjustments for DVT
photo of woman at produce section in supermarket

Getting diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis is heartbreaking news. Blood clots are very painful, and the pain doesn’t subside until the clot starts to break down. Blood clots cause swelling, and they can travel to other parts of your body causing a pulmonary embolism. However, it doesn’t stop there.

The foods you eat are essential because they can affect your medicine. I was put on blood thinners while my body naturally dissolved the blood clots. In my experience, eating healthy is always the right way to go, that is, until my doctors informed me that I shouldn’t eat foods high in vitamin K and if I do, I have to moderate my intake.

I didn’t understand why I couldn't eat salads, drink cranberry juice, eat certain vegetables, fruits and many other foods that are high in vitamin K. After asking questions, the doctor told me that these kinds of foods work against my medicine causing my blood to be thick, while the doctors want my blood to be thin to move easily around the blood clot. This gave me more of an understanding.

I also got a prothrombin time test, also called a PT/INR test, every 2 weeks to make sure my blood was in therapeutic range. If I decide to eat foods high in vitamin K and I don’t monitor my intake, my blood test will be affected. At times I wasn’t in therapeutic range, and the doctor had to make adjustments to my medication, increasing my dosage.

Just as I was learning about foods and how some work against my medication, I also had to learn about alcohol. All alcoholic beverages should be avoided. My specialist told me alcohol is a blood thinner, and I’m already taking a prescribed blood thinner. If my blood becomes too thin, I can just start bleeding, and it will be hard to stop. That’s pretty scary. This will also affect my prothrombin test results, because the prothrombin numbers will have increased.

When I was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, I had no idea how it would change my lifestyle. I learned what foods I can eat and how it affects my body and medication. I also learned that alcohol is a blood thinner and the ways it affects my body while taking a prescribed blood thinner. It was hard in the beginning living with these restrictions at a young age. However, I have adapted and gained an understanding that it is for the better, for my health.




Photo Credit: Goodboy Picture Company / E+ via Getty Images

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Caroline Kelly

Caroline Kelly

Diagnosed since 2007

Caroline Kelly was first diagnosed with DVT 2007. She has had two recurrences since then and has been on blood thinners for the past 10 years. She is passionate about print modeling and fashion shows and enjoys playing soccer and watching basketball.

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