Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Vitamin K and Post-Menopausal Bleeding
My thoughts for the day, about vitamin K...
Update (2-25-09) - The person mentioned here found out today she has adenocarcinoma of the uterus. I wish I had known this was a possibility several months ago when her bleeding problems started. She is hopefully still in the early stages (now her doctors are in a hurry to get more information and start treatment) but if I had read the article linked here then, I would have made sure her doctors acted more swiftly to determine the cause of her post-menopausal bleeding!
Please read about adenocarcinoma before considering my information!
"The most frequent symptom of cancer of the uterus is abnormal bleeding. In postmenopausal women any bleeding is considered cancer of the uterus until proven not to be."
[source linked above]
I know someone who has post-menopausal bleeding, who is awaiting a d&c (is this really the best solution?) to remove the excess tissue believed to cause the problem. She recently had an infection on a finger and took a course of antibiotics. That was about a month ago. Now she's having the bleeding problem again.
It occurred to me that a deficiency of vitamin K might be making matters worse. You see, vitamin K is manufactured by friendly bacteria in the intestines. Antibiotics kill bacteria without asking if they are friend or foe. Vitamin K might make the difference between bleeding and not bleeding, or at least less bleeding rather than more. So I suggested she take a vitamin K supplement, take acidophilus or eat yogurt to help replace the friendly bacteria, and/or eat foods rich in vitamin K. Whatever is available to meet her vitamin K needs, if low.
Her blood-type is O, and according to Eat Right for Your Type, "Type O's have lower levels of several blood-clotting factors, which lead to bleeding disorders." (online source of quote)
She doesn't have a clotting disorder, which I mention because that and medications for it can be a contraindication for consuming additional vitamin K or pro-vitamin K substances. (See current recommendations on the Mayo Clinic website.)
Also important to mention is that her condition has at times been life-threatening and required immediate medical attention, including a transfusion. Her fibrinogen levels were so low they were in the range where you can suddenly die from hemorrhaging without warning and without any blow or injury. This is not something to fool around with! Her doctor also prescribed iron, folic acid, and B12 supplements.
You can read more about vitamin K at the Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center on the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University website.
Other ideas to consider:
Adenocarcinoma - Straightforward article about what adenocarcinoma is, stages, and prognosis information.
"Estrogen breakthrough bleeding occurs when excess estrogen stimulates the endometrium to proliferate in an undifferentiated manner. With insufficient progesterone to provide structural support, portions of the endometrial lining slough at irregular intervals. The usual progesterone-guided vasoconstriction and platelet plugging do not take place, often resulting in profuse bleeding."
Source: "Abnormal Uterine Bleeding" article on the American Academy of Family Physicians website.
"Low progesterone can lead to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis"
Not a vitamin K issue, but if you have postmenopausal bleeding and Hashimoto's you may want to look into progesterone as an underlying factor in both disorders.
Order Vitamin K: