You’re probably aware that certain food and medications can interact with other medicines, causing uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous medical problems. However, what you may not know is that there are some foods that can also interact with the medications your aging relative eats. According to a survey of older adults on Medicare, two out of five of them take five or more prescription medications. Taking multiple medications increases the chances of an interaction. Below are some foods that can interfere with various medications.
Grapefruit juice can interact with many kinds of medications. One kind of drug that it can cause problems with is statins. Statins are used to lower cholesterol levels. If your aging relative drinks grapefruit juice, it can cause there to be excess statins in the blood, which can lead to an increase in side effects. Some side effects of statins are muscle soreness and liver problems. Not all statins interact with grapefruit juice, though, so be sure to ask their doctor before making them give up this healthy drink.
Other kinds of drugs that can interact with grapefruit juice are:
· Blood pressure medicines.
· Some psychiatric drugs.
· Some pain medications.
Again, not every drug of these kinds is a problem, so check with the doctor or pharmacist.
Foods Rich in Vitamin K
Vitamin K can make certain kinds of blood thinners less effective, so eating foods that are rich in vitamin K can be a problem.
Some foods that are high in vitamin K are:
· Brussels sprouts.
Experts say that this does not mean people on blood thinners should avoid foods with vitamin K. Instead, they should eat them in moderation.
Drinking alcoholic beverages can be problematic with many medications. For example, medications taken for diabetes, such as insulin, can interact with alcohol. Alcohol lowers blood sugar, which could lead to dangerously low blood sugar when consumed in combination with diabetes medications. Not everyone with diabetes has to abstain from all alcohol, though. If your aging relative doesn’t have other medical conditions, like pancreatitis or high triglycerides, in addition to diabetes, they may be able to drink in moderation. Again, check with their doctor.
Talk to your older family member’s doctor about the medicines they are taking and whether they should avoid certain foods. Home care can also assist the senior to stay away from foods they should not eat. Home care providers can prepare meals and snacks that do not use the prohibited foods or contain only moderate amounts of them, as appropriate. A home care provider can also remind them not to eat these foods when they are on outings to restaurants or other places.
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