Even though blood clots are avoidable, an estimated 900,000 Indian are affected each year, resulting in almost 100,000 deaths. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a form of a blood clot that usually occurs in the lower leg, groyne, pelvis, or arm. If a DVT is not treated, a piece of the clot can break off and migrate to the lungs, resulting in a blockage known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE can be fatal because it prevents oxygen from touching the lungs. While a blood clot can affect anyone, some risk factors, such as hospitalisation, breastfeeding, disease, and certain cancer therapies, reduced mobility due to prolonged travel or bed rest, a personal or family history of blood clots, or a vein injury, can all increase a person’s risk of forming a blood clot. Find out How to Prevent Blood Clots below.
How to Prevent Blood Clots
Blood is the most essential fuel needed by the body because it transports nutrients to cells and guarantees the system’s smooth operation by providing oxygen to different organs. However, blood clots may form and clog the arteries, further impeding the flow of nutrients to vital organs. Blood clots are essentially an accumulation of red blood cells that form at the site of an injury or as a result of a specific ailment. It can be beneficial in some situations because it prevents unnecessary bleeding in the body; however, excessive clotting can be a symptom of serious health issues such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
In layman’s words, a blood clot is a blockage of a safe artery that can cause a variety of health complications. A clump of red blood cells forms and prevents blood supply in the vessel. Blood clots can grow anywhere in the body and not just in one place.
What is a Blood Clot
Blood clots are gel-like collections of blood that accumulate in veins and arteries as blood transitions from liquid to partly solid. Clotting is a natural process that prevents the body from bleeding excessively when you are injured. Blood clots that grow in specific areas and do not disappear on their own, on the other hand, can be harmful to your wellbeing. Normally, blood clots form as a result of a blood vessel injury. Initially, the blood remains in one place. Platelets (a kind of blood cell) and fibrin (a solid string-like substance) join to create a platelet plug, which closes the cut or opening.
A thrombus occurs when a blood clot forms in an area where it should not have formed. A thrombus is another name for a blood clot. The clot may remain in one location (a condition known as thrombosis) or travel around the body (called embolism or thromboembolism). Moving clots are particularly harmful. Blood clots may form in the arteries (arterial clots) or the veins (venous clots) (venous clots). The signs of a blood clot and the recommended treatment are determined by where the clot occurs in your body and the amount of harm it can cause. Knowing the most common blood clot symptoms and risk factors will assist you in detecting or even preventing this potentially fatal disease.
Which is the Riskiest Blood Clot
Blood clots that occur in the arteries (arterial clots) or veins (venous clots) can be fatal. If you suspect a blood clot, you can contact your doctor right away. Deep vein thrombosis is a clot that occurs in one of the body’s larger veins (DVT). A stationary blood clot, or one that remains in place, does not cause any damage. A blood clot that becomes dislodged and starts to move through the bloodstream can be dangerous. When a DVT travels to the lungs and becomes lodged, it is one of the most serious blood clot issues. This disease, known as pulmonary embolism (PE), can cause blood to stop pumping and can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.
In reality, DVTs and PEs kill up to 100,000 people in India each year. Strokes are caused by arterial clots in the brain. Clots in the heart artery will cause heart attacks. Blood clots may also develop in the blood vessels of the abdomen, causing inflammation, nausea, and vomiting. You may not need to be concerned with blood clots causing these signs or consequences during your lifetime.
Diagnosis of Blood Clots
Blood clot signs may be mistaken for those with other medical problems. A series of procedures are used by doctors to diagnose blood clots and/ or rule out other factors. If your doctor detects a blood clot, he or she can advise you to:
- In certain cases, blood checks can be used to rule out a blood clot.
- Ultrasound allows you to see the veins and blood supply in great detail.
- A CT scan of the brain, neck, or chest can be used to ascertain the presence of a blood clot. This imaging procedure will assist in ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms.
- A magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is a form of imaging test that is similar to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRA focuses on blood vessels in particular.
- V/Q scans examine the flow of oxygen and blood in the lungs.
Prevention of Blood Clots
You can reduce your risk of blood clots by:
- Enjoying regular physical activity
- Do not smoke
- Eating a healthy diet and making sure that you stay hydrated
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Controlling medical problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes
- Make sure you are up to date with cancer screening
Home Remedies of Prevent Blood Clots
A Nutritionist and Macrobiotic Health Coach recommend avoiding inflammatory foods such as white bread, biscuits, pastries, sweets, refined oil, and refined flours. All of these ingredients have the potential to aggravate inflammation in the bloodstream, leading to blood clots. Here are some home remedies that will help to prevent blood clots.
Curcumin, an active agent found in turmeric, acts on blood platelets to remove clots. Its healing properties can also aid in the treatment of pain caused by clot forming. Turmeric’s bioactive properties are due to different compounds derived from its rhizome. Turmeric acts as an anti-thrombotic or anti-coagulant agent, modulating a variety of factors that help in the forming of clots.
Garlic contains sulphur compounds that are known to dissolve blood clots, according to nutritionists. Consume one raw garlic clove first thing in the morning for best performance. Garlic stimulates the smooth tissues of the arteries, causing them to relax and dilate, reducing blood pressure. It also acts as a blood thinner, stopping blood clots in patients that are at risk for clots.
Cayenne peppers are natural blood thinners with a powerful effect on the body due to the inclusion of salicylates in them. It contains the compound capsaicin, which promotes rapid blood supply and prevents blood clots. The compound aids in removing artery-narrowing lipid deposits and can aid in the dilation of arteries and blood vessels to remove clots and the discomfort associated with them.
4. Arjun ki Chhaal
Arjun ki chhaal, or Terminalia Arjuna, is a very powerful natural blood thinner. Everything you have to do is soak Arjun ki chhaal (bark) in warm water every morning and drink the water. Arjun ki chhaal stimulates heart muscle contraction, causing the heart to pump more effectively.
5. Flax Seeds and Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce blood clots and increase blood circulation. Platelets, the blood cells involved in clotting, are said to become less sticky when consumed with flaxseeds. In reality, these seeds can lower the risk of artery hardening. Chia seeds have long been used as a potential blood thinner. They are high in essential nutrients, especially omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to the heart.
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How to Treat Blod Clots
The aim of treating blood clots, especially DVTs, is to keep the clot from growing or breaking free. Treatment will lower the risk of forming more blood clots in the future. Treatment is determined by the location of the blood clot and the likelihood that it will affect you. Your doctor may advise you to:
- Medication – Anticoagulants, also used as blood thinners, aid in the prevention of blood clot formation. Drugs known as thrombolytics will remove already formed clots in the case of life-threatening blood clots
- Compression stockings – These compression stockings apply pressure to the legs to help relieve swelling and prevent blood clots from developing
- Surgery – Catheter-directed thrombolysis involves specialists directing a catheter (a long tube) to the blood clot. The catheter directs drugs to the clot to aid in its dissolution. Thrombectomy surgery involves the use of specialised equipment to gently extract a blood clot
- Stents – Doctors can determine if a stent is needed to hold a blood artery intact
- Vena cava filters – When a person is unable to take blood thinners, a filter is placed in the inferior vena cava (the body’s largest vein) to trap blood clots before they reach the lungs
Common Symptoms of Blood Clot
The signs of a blood clot can vary depending on where the clot occurs in the body. Any patients do not have any symptoms at all. Blood clots can form in the following areas:
- Abdomen: Blood clots in the abdomen can cause inflammation, nausea, and vomiting
- Arms or legs: A blood clot in the arm or leg can be uncomfortable or tender to touch. Other typical symptoms of blood clots include swelling, redness, and temperature
- Brain: Depending on which part of the brain is affected, blood clots in the brain (strokes) can cause a variety of symptoms. These clots may cause difficulty communicating or hearing and the inability to lift or feel one side of the body and, in some cases, seizures
- Heart or lungs: A blood clot in the heart or lungs will cause signs of a heart attack such as crushing chest pressure, sweating, pain that spreads down the left arm, and/ or shortness of breath. A blood clot in the lungs can cause chest pressure, trouble breathing, and, in some cases, blood coughing
Risk Factors of Forming a Blood Clot
Certain risk factors increase the likelihood of a blood clot. A recent hospital stay, particularly one that was prolonged or due to a major operation, raises the chances of developing a blood clot. The below are some common factors that can place you at moderate risk for a blood clot:
- Age, especially if you’re over 65 years old
- Lengthy travel, such as any trips that caused you to sit for more than four hours at a time
- Bed rest or being sedentary for long periods of time
- A family history of blood clots
- Certain birth control pills
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When to Call a Doctor
It is very difficult to diagnose a blood clot based solely on symptoms. Almost half of all DVT patients had no signs. That is why, if you suspect you have one, you can contact your doctor right away.
Symptoms that appear out of nowhere are particularly worrying. If you have any of the following symptoms, contact the nearest emergency services right away:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pressure
- Difficulty breathing, seeing, or speaking
A doctor or other healthcare provider will be able to inform you if there is cause for concern and will be able to refer you for further examinations to ascertain the precise cause. In certain cases, a noninvasive ultrasound would be the first phase. This examination will generate a picture of your veins or arteries, which will aid your doctor in making a diagnosis.
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