COUMADIN IS POISONING THE ELDERLY
Byron J. Richards, CCN
September 25, 2009
While doctors hand out Coumadin to our elderly citizens like candy, apparently because they have no idea how to get someone’s sticky blood to flow normally, patient’s livers were not briefed on the strategy – an oversight that is likely to injure and speed the onset of age-associated disease. A new article in the prestigious American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals just how vital vitamin K function is to your health.
The Coumadin vs. vitamin K issue is one pitting the mental midgets of Western medicine against the innate wisdom of the human body.
There are 16 known vitamin K dependent proteins. The researchers used knockout mice (mice lacking one or another of these proteins) to determine which vitamin K proteins were most important to survival.
They found that the 5 vitamin K proteins relating to clotting were the most important, as knocking them out caused death to the mice while still in the embryonic phase of development.
Their research showed that the liver regulates the distribution of vitamin K to any of the 16 proteins, and does so on a basis of priority, giving clotting function top priority.
When Coumadin is taken it creates a vitamin K deficiency and the liver responds by channeling available vitamin K to clotting protein function, at the expense of other vitamin K dependent proteins.
The net result is that other functions in the body that require vitamin K are left without enough to function properly. This causes bone loss, arterial calcification, and increased cancer risk. Vitamin K proteins are also an integral part of the overall antioxidant network.
This new research is backed by other studies that support the adverse long term use of Coumadin. A study published in 2006, which of course has been ignored, showed that Coumadin use longer than 1 year increased the risk of bone fracture by 25%.
In the most recent study referenced above the scientists concluded that “Coumadin patients may not receive sufficient vitamin K for optimal function of vitamin K dependent proteins that are important to maintain long-term health.” Therefore, long-term Coumadin use is not worth the “benefit” for just about anyone.
Short-Term Coumadin Toxicity
A December 2007 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that Coumadin is the top drug landing elderly Americans in the emergency room, accounting for 17.3% of all adverse drug injuries. The drug is commonly given to elderly individuals with atrial fibrillation and according to carefully crafted “studies” may reduce their risk of stroke a paltry few percentage points.
Coumadin is a cash cow for the prescribing physician, as it keeps patients coming back to the office to have their clotting times tested to make sure their artificially-produced clotting time is in a range deemed desirable by the doctor. Most elderly individuals with atrial fibrillation are in poor health in general, making this a difficult patient population fraught with the risks inherent in multiple drug use.
Excessive bleeding is the primary short-term side effect of Coumadin. It is not surprising that you can buy Coumadin in the rat poison department at Home Depot. A high dose is very effective at making animals bleed to death. There is a fine line between a Home Depot dose and what doctors prescribe. This means that if you are taking Coumadin and rupture a blood vessel in your brain (say from high blood pressure) your body may not be able to clot to save your life – as was the case with former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Hemorrhage-related strokes have quadrupled in the past decade, consistent with the rise in expanded Coumadin use. The Coumadin/hemorrhage risk goes up 45 fold if the person is 80 or older. Also, if an elderly person on Coumadin gets in a car accident and starts bleeding they may have great trouble stopping – especially if the bleeding is internal.
Most discussions of drug benefits revolve around statistically concocted benefits of the drug, often in hand-picked patient populations, as is the case with Coumadin stroke benefit studies. The studies are funded by drug companies, and if they don’t pan out or the statistics can’t be manipulated in some way to look good then they are thrown in the trash and never published. The benefits of drugs are never explained in terms of how the drug changes the body into a healthier state and solves the source of a problem – because drugs seldom ever do this. Drugs are about symptom and number management, and trying to titrate the poisons so they are not too toxic for something else that isn’t supposed to be damaged (a near impossible task).
In fact, the “wisdom” behind the common use of a drug is often not accurate. Another new study shows that Coumadin is just as likely to cause an increase in unstable plaque and actually increase the risk for stroke!
The researchers found out that mice with sticky blood were more likely to form larger plaques, but the plaques were more stable and their circulatory system actually expanded to accommodate the problem. When these mice were given anti-coagulants then the plaques became smaller and highly unstable, increasing the risk for stroke. The researchers say their animal results confirm other human studies and are highly reflective of what takes place in the human circulatory system.
Doctors will blame any stoke happening to a person on Coumadin on their underlying health condition. This study says that Coumadin could readily increase the risk of stroke.
Patients at Risk, Profits for Doctors and Big Pharma
The FDA is useless is helping individuals understand the extreme risks of this drug or in making drug companies perform follow-up safety testing that prove safety. Drug companies have no interest in such studies, as they would generally prove that their drugs shouldn’t be used in any general way – drastically reducing sales.
Doctors need to get their heads out of the sand. Much of Coumadin prescribing is “cover-your-rear-end” medicine – giving it out because if a person should have a stroke and they weren’t prescribed Coumadin then the doctor is in a situation of legal liability (which is utter nonsense and should not be the case). Coumadin also causes regular repeat office visits to check clotting times via a blood draw, which is a nice cash flow for the doctor as the office visit requires little or no intelligence or time.
We have a medical profession that thinks if they see an unnaturally-produced clotting time on paper they have somehow reduced the risk of a clot-related stroke. Such a conclusion is wishful thinking with a large case of denial. It points out that the medical profession has little or no idea how to make platelets healthier so they don’t stick together inappropriately, something that is easy to do with dietary supplements, good stress management, a proper diet, and a healthy lifestyle.
At least 30,000 of their patients per year wind up in the emergency room with bleeding-related problems. Even worse, at least that number ends up with a Coumadin-produced hemorrhage stroke. And for those that survive those odds, we now see that the long-term risks of Coumadin are extremely detrimental to health. The use of Coumadin in general practice is an example of why the American population is rapidly losing confidence in Western medicine.
In the current health care debate it is generally agreed that we need to reduce the cost of health care so that more people can be covered with truly needed care. The issue of the inept practice of medicine, based on widely over-prescribing expensive and dangerous medications, is a driving force at the source of the problem of runaway health care costs. Doctor ineptitude is being given a free pass in the current debate so as not to have doctor groups torpedo proposed changes.
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As long as the flagrant abuse of health by doctors, based on various Big Pharma con games, drug scams, and profit-driven procedures is allowed to continue, there is no chance of controlling health care costs in any meaningful way. A brainwashed population that thinks statins should be in the water supply (along with fluoride) is a rather dangerous place for any freedom-loving Americans that remain.