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Type of Diet Prescribed for a Patient With a Pulmonary Embolism

by
author image Leslie Truex
Leslie Truex has been telecommuting and freelancing since 1994. She wrote the "The Work-At-Home Success Bible" and is a career/business and writing instructor at Piedmont Virginia Community College. Truex has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Willamette University and a Master of Social Work from California State University-Sacramento. She has been an Aerobics and Fitness Association of America certified fitness instructor since 2001.
Type of Diet Prescribed for a Patient With a Pulmonary Embolism
Patients with a pulmonary embolism need to monitor their diet carefully. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

A pulmonary embolism is a blockage in the lungs usually caused by a blood clot. The symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains, anxiety, rapid heart rate and dizziness. Many situations can lead to a pulmonary embolism, including a recent surgery, pregnancy, hypertension and smoking. Poor diet and a lack of exercise that leads to obesity can increase your risk of a pulmonary embolism as well. There is no specific diet for patients with pulmonary embolism; however, doctors recommend a healthy diet to prevent ailments that can lead to the formation of clots. If you are prescribed warfarin, an anticoagulant medication, for a pulmonary embolism you need to avoid or manage your intake of certain foods.

Healthy Diet

Type of Diet Prescribed for a Patient With a Pulmonary Embolism
A diet rich in rice and fruit, without fat and cholesterol, reduces cholesterol. Photo Credit elnavegante/iStock/Getty Images

A diet filled with saturated fats and cholesterol can lead to obesity and atherosclerosis, both of which increase your risk of pulmonary embolism. Atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the arteries, is frequently a culprit of clotting, according to the American Society of Hematology, and the American Heart Association reports a strong correlation between atherosclerosis and cholesterol. A diet rich in rice and fruit, without fat and cholesterol, reduces cholesterol. Healthy diets need to include a variety foods such as lean proteins like chicken, fatty fish, whole grains such as oats, fruits such as apples and a variety of vegetables to ensure proper nutrition, reports NYU Langone Medical Center.

Vitamin K

Type of Diet Prescribed for a Patient With a Pulmonary Embolism
Foods high in vitamin K include kale, broccoli, leafy green vegetables and soy products. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of warfarin, a drug commonly prescribed to patients recovering from pulmonary embolism. However, if you are on warfarin you shouldn't eliminate vitamin K completely from your diet because that can lead to bleeding or clotting. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center advises that you maintain a consistent consumption of vitamin K. Foods high in vitamin K include kale, broccoli, leafy green vegetables and soy products.

Foods to Eliminate or Limit

Type of Diet Prescribed for a Patient With a Pulmonary Embolism
Cranberry products such as juice can increase the potency of warfarin, which can lead to bleeding problems. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Cranberry products such as juice can increase the potency of warfarin, which can lead to bleeding problems. If you have a pulmonary embolism and are prescribed warfarin you should avoid eating cranberries and drinking cranberry juice. Alcohol can also increase the effect of warfarin and should not be consumed while taking anticoagulants. MedlinePlus recommends that pulmonary embolism patients should avoid licorice as it might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin and lead to clotting.

Supplements and Medications

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends that pulmonary embolism patients who are taking anticoagulants talk with their doctor before making changes to their diet, or taking vitamins or other medications. Over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements may contain ingredients that can affect the medication and increase the risks of bleeding or clotting.

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