A blood clot has been a common health dilemma nowadays. Because of the kind of diet that people have, its percentage is high without a doubt. Before it’s too late, everyone has to be health conscious. As part of the process, it is important to know what blood clot means.
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Also called a thrombus, it is a solid state of blood, which is known to be as coagulation. Thrombus is stationary within a vessel or worse the heart. Once it moves from that location thru the bloodstream, it is referred as an embolus.
It also means a gel-like mass formed by fibrin or platelets in the blood to put an end to bleeding. It forms to repair damage to a vessel, either a vein or an artery. But when it builds inside an artery or other parts of the body, it may cause significant problems.
- Prolonged Immobility
People say “It is not good to sit on a couch for hours, it is better to hit the gym or do some simple exercise routines.” When your body does not sweat because of prolonged immobility, you will be more prone to diseases such as a thrombus, a stroke, or a heart attack.
Instead of lying on a bed or watching television all day long, it is ideal to do the chores. Though you do not go to the gym to exercise, household tasks are good for the heart or health as a whole.
Have you been smoking for years now? Have you been addicted to cigarettes? Then, you have a high risk to encounter thrombus. Smoking raises unwanted blood clots, making the platelets to stick together. It also damages the lining of many blood vessels that can cause clots to form.
When you are a cigarette smoker for over a decade, it’s hard to give it up. It takes time and does not happen without commitment. If you cannot let go of this bad habit right away, focus on the stuff you love. It is a perfect way that will help you avoid smoking.
- Certain Medications like Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills are a top notch method for women to avoid getting pregnant in different countries across the globe. Even though some do not cause blood clots, other products increase a woman’s chance of encountering the issue.
Most contraceptives in the market have a high level of progestin and estrogen. Both of these synthetic progesterone have a lot of effects on women. These hormones likewise intensify the clotting factors. Plus, experts assume they are responsible for the increased risk of blood clots among women during pregnancy.
For the average women taking such pills, the risk is small. Only 1 in 1000 ladies develop the problem. When you suffer from thrombophilia or have a history of thrombosis, the risk is higher than expected. Transdermal contraceptives may double the danger even more. The level of estrogen in the new patches is 60% higher than the former.
The good news is that there’s anticoagulation you can take advantage. When you take anticoagulants, you can use birth control pills with peace of mind. If you don’t, you have limited options for contraception.
However, alternative methods are available. Seek help from a professional or consult a physician to know more information. When someone recommends a product, do not consider it unless your doctor prescribes it.
Joint replacement surgery has become more common in orthopedics these days. For the past few years, orthopedic surgeons performed thousands of hip and knee replacements.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is prevalently recognized as a primary risk factor for those patients who undergo a Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA), and a Total Hip Arthroplasty (THA).
Without preventive treatment or prophylaxis, approximately 80% of orthopedic surgical patients will develop thrombus and the remaining 20% will develop Pulmonary Embolism (blood clot in the lungs).
Although prevention measures are taken, there is a high estimate that orthopedic surgical patients will suffer from DVT or PE. Both of these remain the leading causes of re-admission or worse death.
- Inherited Blood Clotting Disorders
A good example of an inherited blood clotting disorder is Factor V Leiden thrombophilia. It is the name of a gene mutation that leads to thrombophilia. It is an increased tendency to form blood clots that block blood vessels.
People who are diagnosed with the disorder have a higher than average risk of developing deep venous thrombosis. Most commonly, it occurs in the legs, eyes, live, kidneys, and the brain.
Factor V Leiden thrombophilia likewise trigger the clots to break away from the original place. After that, they will travel thru the bloodstream. As a result, patients will acquire pulmonary emboli.
The Factor V Leiden thrombophilia has been associated with miscarriage. Women with the mutation are more likely to have multiple pregnancy losses. It usually happens from second to the third trimester. Studies suggest that the mutation may result in other complications such as high blood pressure, placental abruption (early separation of the placenta from the uterine wall), slow fetal growth (preeclampsia), and a lot more.
Nevertheless, the association between the mutation and the complications has not been proven. As a matter of fact, women with the inherited blood clotting disorder reportedly have successful pregnancies.
- Heart Conditions
Are you recently diagnosed with a heart condition? Or perhaps, do you have a heart rhythm disturbance or atrial fibrillation? If so, you cannot protect yourself from the dangers of a blood clot.
The explanation behind is that a heart failure lowers the ability of the heart to pump enough blood. A delay in blood flow can result in the clot formation.
When it comes to atrial fibrillation, a type of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat can likewise cause blood to pool in the heart upper chambers, resulting in thrombus.
For you to avoid complications, ask help from a reputable professional. Whatever your doctor prescribes, make sure to bear it in mind. Create a list and paste it on a visible place to remind you at all times.
- High Blood Pressure
Hypertension can damage your body for quite a few years before symptoms become evident. When it’s left uncontrolled, you may end up with a disability or a fatal heart attack. Half of the people with hypertension die of a heart disease related to blood flow malfunction and others die because of stroke.
But, such a life-threatening complication can be possibly avoided. Lifestyle changes and effective treatment from a service provider will be of great help.
Healthy arteries are strong, elastic, or flexible. The inner lining is smooth so that blood will flow without a hard time, supplying all organs enough nutrients and oxygen.
However, hypertension doubles the pressure of blood. When you feel a severe headache, confusion, fatigue, a vision problem, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or breathing difficulty, call the nearest hospital ahead of time.
Every second counts. The moment your body cannot control hypertension, your arteries may narrow and have potential damages. You may also acquire an aneurysm. A constant pressure of blood moving thru a weak artery can enlarge its wall as well as form a bulge. Moreover, it can cause internal bleeding.
Another factor that trigger thrombus is diabetes. It quickens the plaque buildup in most arteries, forming a blood clot. Some research indicates that 80% of patients who have diabetes die of clot-related issues.
In case you have diabetes, keep your health on track. Avoid the foods that your doctor does not recommend. Always take the medication, try your best not to feel problematic, and integrate a workout routine into your daily lifestyle.
- Minor or Traumatic Injury
Aside from that, leg injuries can cause thrombus. Pulled muscles, as well as ankle sprains, can double your risk to experience blood clots. According to a study conducted by the Netherlands’ Leiden University, a minor leg injury leads to pulmonary embolism and deep vein leg clots.
The symptoms of thrombus depend on its location in the body. Some blood clots produce no signs until they travel thru the circulatory system. Below are some of the symptoms in specific body locations. Take a glimpse at the following.
- Legs. Aside from excruciating pain, your legs will look red and swollen. Instead of taking advantage of an unproven treatment, give the nearest hospital a call for your safety and convenience.
- Limb. The symptoms here are a pain, coolness to touch, and pale color. Once you feel and see all these signs, don’t hesitate to go to the hospital.
- Lungs. It includes chest pain, rapid pulse, and shortness of breath.
- Stroke. It encompasses loss of speech, weakness on one side of your body, and blurry vision.
- Heart Attack. The symptoms are chest pain, nausea, sweating, indigestion, and shortness of breath. The elderly, women and those people with diabetes may see other non-specific symptoms.
- Mesenteric Ischemia. When blood clot takes place in an artery that supplies the intestine, the signs are blood in stool, abdominal pain, and nausea.
How to Prevent a Blood Clot?
Thrombus can be avoided. It’s not like diabetes that lasts a lifetime. In fact, you can put an end to it. But have you ever wondered how? Here are some of the most effective tips you can weigh in mind.
- Wear loose-fitting stockings or clothes. Fond of wearing tight jeans, shirts, socks, or undies? If that is the case, it’s advisable to use the loose-fitting ones. While protecting yourself from a blood clot, you can stay fashionable, stylish and stunning. Use your creativity and imagination to boost your fashion sense.
- Raise your legs above your heart. From time to time, raise your legs a few inches above your chest. It’s good enough that will lessen the threats of thrombus. While doing a workout routine, make sure to include it as one of your exercises.
- Wear special and tailored stockings. Once a specialist prescribes catered stockings, also called as compression, use them. Follow what a healthcare professional tells you to do for optimal protection and maximum health.
- Exercise. It does not necessarily mean you will carry our strenuous activities. You do not have to hit the gym throughout the day or lift weights. You don’t have to go beyond your limits in an exercise center. What you have to do is to do routines suggested by your doctor. You can also perform other exercises as long as they are simple and convenient.
- Never stand or sit for more than an hour. If your job requires you to sit or stand for long hours, the threats of blot clot will be visible or possible on your part. Take a break, drink water, go to the powder room, or stand in your workplace for a while. All of these will reduce the risk to encounter thrombus.
- Eat less sodium. Do you love to eat smoked, salted, cured, or canned meat? How about frozen breaded dinners such as pizza and burritos? Do you enjoy canned entrees, salted nuts, and foods that are high in sodium? You are prone to high blood pressure that can result in thrombus. Instead of having that kind of diet, choose fresh fruits such as apples, bananas, and oranges. Also, incorporate organic spinach, broccoli, carrots and other veggies.
Other good options are whole grains, whole wheat, unsalted popcorns, shellfish, chicken without marinade, lean cuts of pork, beans, eggs, milk, yogurt, soymilk, etc. For seasonings, take advantage of herbs and spices. Instead of using a marinade, use garlic, onion, pepper, ginger, lime juice, and many more.
- Avoid using pillows under your knees. It is advisable not to use some.
- Try not to cross your legs. When walking or running, try your best not to hurt your legs. Be more careful as much as possible.
- Take all medications a healthcare specialist prescribes you. Whatever the drugs a physician lets you take, use them. No matter how complex your treatment is, do not skip it. Think of your health and safety.
Thus, a blood clot will no longer be a big dilemma nowadays. Being health conscious is the key! Change your lifestyle now!