Menopause, Warfarin and Your INR

Publication Date:
Wed, 6/1/2016 
By: Alere Staff

file

An estimated 50 million women in the United States have reached menopause. Most women will spend at least one-third of their lives in or beyond menopause. It is a natural event, not a disease or illness, and is caused by a gradual reduction in the amount of estrogen and progesterone made by the ovaries. By age 58, 97% of women have gone through menopause.  Even though you can’t prevent it, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of complications, such as osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle from loss of tissue, and heart disease. These things include:

  • Stopping smoking: Smokers are at higher risk for heart disease and osteoporosis.
  • Exercising: Exercise can reduce hot flashes and improve mood. Weight bearing exercises, like walking, keeps bones strong. Many exercises (like yoga) will improve your strength and balance and reduce your risk of falling.
  • Eating a healthy, well balanced diet.

When taking warfarin it is important to keep your intake of Vitamin K consistent daily. Using the Vitamin K Finder can help you do this. There are also many healthy recipes on the website to help you plan your meals.

Your doctor may prescribe medications or suggest supplements during menopause.  Make sure you notify the provider managing your warfarin whenever starting or stopping a new medication or dietary supplement.

Studies have shown that testing your INR more frequently can improve safety on warfarin.2 Increasing your testing frequency will allow you to evaluate foods, exercise or hormonal replacement products and how warfarin reacts to your choices.

References:

  1. University of Maryland Medical Center. Menopause. umm.edu. Sept 29, 2015. Retrieved from the website: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/menopause
  2. Ansell, J. March 2012. Patient Self-Testing: Real World Experience within a Comprehensive Support Service Represents a New Standard of Care, Attaining high Quality Anticoagulation Control. Poster presented at: American College of Cardiology.