You are probably aware of the importance of informing your doctor of any over the counter medicines you use. But what about herbal supplements?
In one case, a woman who had for years taken an anti-clotting drug for a heart problem and never experienced any side effects. Suddenly, she developed nosebleeds and her gums bled constantly.
Puzzled, her doctor asked if she had started taking aspirin or ibuprofen. The response was no to both, but she had recently started taking an herbal remedy, gingko, to sharpen her memory. After quitting the herb, her bleeding stopped within a week.
Vitamin E can also have a blood thinning effect. If you are having any type of surgery or invasive procedure such as a colonoscopy, be sure your doctor is aware of your vitamin intake.
It is important that you advise your doctor of all products you take on a regular basis. This is particularly significant in light of the fact that about one in 3 Americans use some sort of alternative medicine. While herbal supplements may be helpful there can be risks involved.