The Eclectic Physician
Dr. Beth Burch
Herbal supplements inhibit platelet function.Q. What can I do about age-related small hemorrhages on the backs of my hands and wrists? They haven't reached the point where they are large, but this has been increasing for the past several months. I am 72, and I take quite a large variety of herbs and minerals. Is it possible I could be taking something that could cause this?
Small hemorrhages on the hands may be due to fragile blood vessels, decreased blood clotting or both. Fragile blood vessels can be strengthened with adequate intake of vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Decreased blood clotting can result from disease, medications and nutritional supplements.
Have your doctor check you for platelet abnormalities, coagulation disorders and low thyroid levels. Review your medications with your doctor- coumadin, aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs all inhibit platelet function which decreases blood clotting and may result in hemorrhages.
Herbal supplements which inhibit platelet function include ginkgo, garlic, bilberry, bromelain, ginseng, feverfew, gugal and curcumin. Nutritional supplements that decrease blood clotting include vitamins E and B6 and the omega-3 oils including flax seed oil and fish oil. If you are using any of these supplements, stop them until you see your doctor.
In practice, I have observed problems with supplements and bleeding when several supplements are used together or are combined with anticoagulant medications. This is one reason why it is important to tell your doctor about all supplements you use, so that potentially dangerous combinations can be avoided.
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