Blood Clots

Blood Clots

Although blood needs to stream non-stop and without any interruptions in the body, blood clots are normal and necessary as they can stop excessive bleeding due to injuries and physical traumas. However, they become an issue when they arise without there being a need, which can lead to severe health complications such as heart attack and stroke.

Clotting occurs when blood interacts with certain thrombogenic substances. Clotting is typically a symptom of an underlying condition, and certain conditions can result in the formation of blood clots in vital organs like the brain and lungs, resulting in poor blood circulation and even blood pooling in the heart. When a blood clot breaks loose from an artery, it can have a severe effect on blood flow and can damage the brain or the heart.

Blood Clot Symptoms

Having a blood clot with no visible symptoms is common, and when people with do experience symptoms, these are often the symptoms of a blood-clotting disorder. Here are some blood clot symptoms to look out for in different parts of the body.

One of the most common body parts to form blood clots in the body are the legs. Blood clots in the legs may cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. One of the most common complications associated with blood clots is deep vein thrombosis, which is when blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, typically in the lower limbs such as the legs, pelvis, but also in the lungs and brain.

The severity of symptoms usually varies depending on clot sizes. Persistent and severe stomach pain and swelling can be a sign of a blood clot in the abdomen as blood clots most typically form in the lower part of the body. While rare, a blood clot can also form in the heart, causing symptoms of chest pain, breathlessness, and dizziness.

When a blood clot in the body breaks loose and makes its way to the lungs, this can result in a condition known as pulmonary embolism. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include breathlessness, chest pain, and coughing (sometimes blood). Clotting in the brain, on the other hand, can also occur and exhibit itself with excruciating headaches.

Are You At Risk of Blood Clots?

Some risk factors that put one at a greater risk of forming blood clots are:

– Being over 60

– Prolonged inactivity, e.g., a long flight

– Extended bed rest due to surgery or injury

– Being Overweight

– Smoking

– Pregnancy & Birth Control Pills

– Cancer & Some Cancer Treatments

Discuss your personal risk factors, medical history, family history of blood-clotting disorders with your doctor can go a long way in taking preventative measures to keep blood clots at bay.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© frenta

Deep Vein Thrombosis Fighting Foods

Deep Vein Thrombosis

When blood clots in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs, it is referred to as deep vein thrombosis or DVT for short. While a family history of blood-clotting disorders can increase one’s risk of DVT, there are also other risk factors that figure into the development of the condition such as leading a sedentary lifestyle, surgery or injury, pregnancy, and birth control pills.

Although there are traditional treatment options to manage DVT and prevent it from leading to more serious complications such as blood thinners and clot busters, some tweaks in your daily diet can also help to prevent blood clotting.

Red Grapes

Red grapes are rich in antioxidants called flavonoids which have been shown to regulate platelet buildup and prevent blood clots. Not only red grapes but also grape juice and red wine in moderation can have the same beneficial effect on your body.

Water

Drinking lots of water and keeping your body sufficiently hydrated is a significant part of preventing blood clots. Without enough water, your blood can become thicker, which makes it easier for blood to clot. It is vital to drink at least 8 cups of water per day to keep your body hydrated.

Spices and Seasonings

A lot of spices and seasonings contain a substance by the name of salicylates, which can also prevent the formation of blood clots. Some of these spices and herbs are paprika, turmeric, curry, ginkgo, and ginger, all of which you can easily add to your daily diet and cooking.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is nature’s own anticoagulant because it contains an anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory substance called coumarin. However, it is important to note that if you are on blood thinners, discuss your intake of cinnamon with your physician first.

Garlic

Similar to cinnamon, garlic is a natural blood thinner and can prevent blood to clot. Although just as with cinnamon, you must discuss your garlic intake with your physician if you are already on anticoagulants.

Berries and Kiwi

Though most fruits and vegetables benefit our health in innumerable ways, kiwis have been shown to interrupt platelet activity in the blood, which in turn can help in preventing blood clots. Berries, namely strawberries and blueberries, are high in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and salicylates, and these also contribute to a lower risk of blood clots.

Featured Image: facebook

Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms

Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms

Deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT, is a disorder characterized by the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs or pelvis. A clot can form due to a wide array of reasons, which can be anything from an underlying condition that affects body’s blood clotting process to having a physically inactive lifestyle. So what are the deep vein thrombosis symptoms?

Deep vein thrombosis can be deadly, which is why it is imperative to understand the signs of a blood clot. Here is an overview of deep vein thrombosis signs and symptoms.

Understanding DVT Symptoms

When blood clots in a vein, it blocks an artery, which massively restricts blood circulation through the large veins and arteries. When a clot is lodged in a vein and causes a blockage, it results in pain and swelling.

The lower limbs, such as the legs, are typically more commonly affected by deep vein thrombosis. Along with the swelling and inflammation caused by the clot, the affected areas in the legs may also be painful and sore.

However, it is worth mentioning that deep vein thrombosis does not always come with the symptoms of pain and swelling, which can make its detection much harder. With the risk factors in mind, such as being over 50, overweight, a smoker, and whether any blood-clotting disorders run in your family, you should pay close attention to especially your legs and consult a doctor if you suspect you may have DVT.

Living with DVT

Deep vein thrombosis can be life-threatening without proper treatment, but there are effective treatments and preventative measures available to alleviate symptoms and prevent more dangerous complications associated with blood clots, such as going on blood thinners or clot busters. Understanding how deep vein thrombosis affects the body and how it is treated in addition to following your treatment plan thoroughly is vital.

Featured Image: facebook

Can DVT be Fatal?

DVT

While deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be treated, it can also be life-threatening without proper care and treatment. People with deep vein thrombosis do not always exhibit symptoms, so in some cases, individuals become aware of their condition when DVT leads to other complications.

With deep vein thrombosis, the biggest concern is a blood clot breaking free and traveling through the bloodstream to other organs like the lungs, which can result in pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is a condition that primarily causes chest pain and breathlessness. It is important to pay attention to persistent pain and swelling in the legs and pelvis where large veins are present and consult a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.

The Risk of Pulmonary Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis most commonly affects the deep veins in the legs. When a blood clot breaks loose from the vein and makes it way to the lungs, it can obstruct a passage in the lungs, which is identified as a pulmonary embolism.

Pulmonary embolism can be asymptomatic just as deep vein thrombosis, but at least 10% of people with DVT have a pulmonary embolism. Some of the most common symptoms pulmonary embolism is associated with are severe chest pain, persistent coughing, and difficulty breathing. In more serious cases, pulmonary embolism can also cause heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

What Is Post-thrombotic Syndrome?

Post-thrombotic syndrome occurs when a clot remains in the vein so long that it damages the valves, which can lead the blood pooling. While the condition itself is typically not severe, its symptoms can be difficult to manage such as pain, sores, darkening of the skin, and swelling. Post-thrombotic syndrome can also contribute to the development of other blood clots and even a pulmonary embolism.

Featured Image: twitter

Can DVT Be Prevented?

DVT

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT for short, develops when a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body, most usually in the lower limbs like the legs. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition that can result in life-threatening complications. Although many risk factors play a role in the development of DVT, the disorder is preventable to a degree.

Making Lifestyle Changes

Being overweight, a lack of physical activity and detrimental habits such as smoking contribute to the risk of deep vein thrombosis. Being in a healthy weight range is important as too much weight puts extra strain on the body’s large veins susceptible to blood clots.

Remaining inactive, for instance sitting at a desk for long durations due to work, can also lead to DVT, so it is imperative to keep your legs moving and stretched whenever you get a chance to allow for sufficient circulation.

Avoiding extra pounds and being sedentary are especially vital if there are other risk factors that can also contribute. Finally, smoking and alcohol also have an adverse effect on blood flow and can result in blood to clot.

Genetic Predisposition

People who have a family history of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism are at a greater risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Not only a family history but also some other blood-clotting conditions that run in the family can make one genetically predisposed to developing deep vein thrombosis.

If you are aware of a close family member with a blood-clotting disorder or DVT, you should discuss your options to prevent DVT with your doctor. People over 50 with a genetic predisposition are especially at a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Recovering from An Injury or Surgery

Following surgery or an accident, you may be ordered bed rest for a long duration,  which can contribute to blood clot formations. It is essential to keep your legs elevated, and with your doctor’s blessing, stretching and moving your legs as much as possible during your recovery period can also help.

Pregnant Women and Those Who Are on Birth Control

Pregnancy can put too much pressure on the large veins in the lower limbs, which can increase pregnant women’s likelihood of getting DVT. Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy are also associated with an increased risk of blood clot formation in women.

Featured Image: twitter 

What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep Vein Thrombosis

When a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in the body, typically in the lower limbs, it is identified as deep vein thrombosis or DVT for short.

Affecting nearly 1 million Americans and leading to approximately 100,000 deaths annually, the most major concern with deep vein thrombosis is the potentiality of a blood clot breaking loose and making its way to other organs such as the lungs, resulting in pulmonary embolism, which can be a deadly condition.

Deep vein thrombosis typically develops without any obvious signs and symptoms, which can make its diagnosis more challenging. While the root cause of DVT remains unknown, there are a number of factors that contribute to the development of the condition.

Understanding DVT Risk Factors

There are a lot of risk factors that can result in the development of deep vein thrombosis, and having more risk factors makes it more likely for an individual to develop the condition.

Family History — Having a family member with deep vein thrombosis, a parent or sibling with the condition or another blood-clotting condition, increases the risk of DVT.

Extended periods of inactivity — being confined to bed following surgery or an accident lead to the legs remaining inactive for a long duration, which prevents muscle contractions, and by extension, results in poor blood circulation. Restricted blood flow is a leading cause of blood clot formations.

The same applies to remaining seated for long durations of time where your legs do not get enough movement and are deprived of proper circulation. Additionally, surgery or certain types of physical trauma can also contribute to a higher risk of blood clotting.

Age — People who are over 60 are an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

Smoking — Smoking has a detrimental impact on circulation, so it is closely associated with the risk of blood to clot.

Pregnancy and Being Overweight — Pregnancy puts extra pressure on the large veins susceptible to clotting in the legs and pelvis, and similarly, being overweight can also contribute to blood clots to form.

IBD and Cancer — Certain types of cancer along with some cancer treatments can also up the risk of blood clots. Inflammatory bowel diseases, specifically colitis and Crohn’s disease, also contribute to a greater risk of deep vein thrombosis.

Heart Disease — Those with heart disease or failure typically already suffer from poor circulation, which puts them more at risk of blood clots.

Featured Image: Depositphotos/© zlikovec

Understanding Deep Vein Thrombosis Risks

Deep Vein Thrombosis Risks

Deep vein thrombosis, DVT for short, is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body, typically one in the legs.  DVT can lead to pain and swelling but can also be life-threatening when a clot breaks loose and makes its way to the lungs or heart through the bloodstream. In extreme cases, DVT can limit blood flow to the lungs. DVT can be a silent but deadly disease, so it is vital to be familiar with the deep vein thrombosis risks for preventative measures.

Age

Though it is not the only factor that contributes to the development of DVT, the risk of deep vein thrombosis is higher with age, especially over the age 50.

Family History

Having a family member such as a sibling or parent with a disorder that affects blood clotting or with DVT also increases the risk of an individual developing deep vein thrombosis.

Prolonged Immobility

Not moving for a long duration such as following an accident or surgery or while on a long flight or driving can lead to the formation of a blood clot. Leg movement is essential for the contraction of muscles in the calves, which promotes circulation. Staying in the same position without moving your legs can affect blood circulation in the legs, especially the calves.

Surgeries and Injuries

Physical trauma of any kind that impacts the veins including invasive surgery can also affect and limit blood flow. Anesthetics are also associated with the expanding of veins, which in turn can lead to clotting.

Pregnancy and Contraceptives

Pregnancy can put much strain on the large veins in the lower limbs, and women who have a family history of DVT or another blood-clotting condition are at particularly at risk. In addition to pregnancy, birth control pills can also put you at risk of DVT due to their blood-clotting nature.

Being Overweight and Smoking

Similar to pregnancy, being overweight can put too much pressure and take its toll on the veins in legs and pelvis, affecting circulation. Smoking is also known to be a big contributor to DVT as it has a detrimental effect on blood flow.

Other Conditions

Inflammatory bowel diseases, certain types of cancer as well as their treatments also put you at an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis. Individuals with heart conditions and lung diseases are at a greater risk of DVT as well due to poor blood circulation.

Featured Image: twitter

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

Deep Vein Thrombosis Treatment

Deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT, refers to the formation of a blood clot in deep veins in the body, typically in the lower limbs such as the legs. DVT can be caused by an extended period of immobility, such as following surgery or an accident that requires bed rest. DVT can also be brought on by other blood-clotting diseases. So what does deep vein thrombosis treatment involve?

DVT can be life-threatening as the blood clots in the deep veins can burst and get released into the bloodstream, affecting the function of the lungs and limiting blood flow, which can be deadly.

Once a doctor diagnoses you with DVT, the course of treatment typically aims to prevent the clot from expanding and bursting, making its way to the lungs -which can cause a pulmonary embolism – and recurrence of the clot. While DVT can be dangerous, there are many treatment options to lower your risk of DVT-related complications.

Anticoagulants

Also referred to as blood thinners, the use of anticoagulants is the most common approach to managing deep vein thrombosis. Unlike what its name suggests, blood thinners do not thin blood but work by slowing down blood clot formation as well as preventing the blood clots already present in the body from getting larger.

Some common anticoagulants doctors typically prescribe are warfarin, rivaroxaban, enoxaparin, and dalteparin. Anticoagulants come with adverse side effects, so following your physician’s instructions while you are on is imperative.

Clot-busters

In more severe cases where anticoagulants prove to be ineffective, clot-busters, also known as thrombolytics, can be used to prevent more serious complications. Clot-busters are taken intravenously and work by dissolving stubborn clots.

Vena Cava Filter

Though not very common and reserved for severe cases, when patients are unable to take blood thinners,  a vena cava filter gets inserted into the large vein of the same name to prevent clots from moving to the lungs and heart where they can obstruct blood flow.

Swelling is also common with DVT. Keeping your legs elevated when you have the chance, putting on compression stockings, and taking walks can help you in improving pain and swelling as well as preventing more complications in the long-run.

Featured Image: facebook.com