Blood clots or medically known as thrombus are one of the most common causes of cardiovascular diseases and cerebrovascular accidents. Thousands of people die from myocardial infarction and stroke every year and the main cause is the formation of blood clots. Not only do they cause heart attack and strokes, they also cause peripheral vascular diseases that lead to poor circulation and perfusion of the peripheral areas of the body.
The diagnosis of blood clots is made through history taking and physical examination and confirmed using various diagnostic procedures. The formation of blood clots is highly preventable and knowing the causes can help you prevent the formation and which as well as the complications that arise from the clotting of the blood.
Causes of Blood Clots
Blood clot formation is a normal response of the body to injury to prevent more bleeding. However, formation of unwanted blood clots can be detrimental for one’s health. The following are the most common causes of the formation of dangerous blood clots:
Lack of activity such as those in bedridden patients causes the venous blood to pool on the dependent areas of the body. When this happens, the blood flow becomes more sluggish promoting the formation of microscopic thrombus that may enlarge. People who sit for prolonged periods and cross their legs often can also develop blood clots through time.
An increase in the blood cholesterol levels may lead to the formation of plaques in the arterial walls. When these plaques rupture, they cause tissue injury in the blood vessel linings promoting the formation of blood clots as a protective mechanism. However, this blood clots also become lodged inside the blood vessel walls as a result of the existing atherosclerotic plaques leading to possible heart attack and stroke.
- Cardiac arrhythmias
Cardiac arrhythmias or abnormalities in the contractility of the heart can also lead to dangerous blood clots. When the valves of the heart do not contract in an organized manner, the blood becomes stagnant and may cause small clots to develop.
Other causes include surgery, smoking, pregnancy, abnormal blood coagulation profile, family history or blood clots, obesity, intake of certain anticancer drugs, use of oral contraceptives and hormone therapy.
Overall, poor circulation is the leading cause of blood clot formation. This implicates the need for a more active lifestyle to keep the blood flowing healthily.
Remedies for Blood Clots
For patients with high risk for blood clot formation such as after surgery, immobility, atherosclerosis and heart problems, blood thinners or anticoagulants are commonly prescribed to prevent the formation of dangerous blood clots. Common anticoagulants include aspirin, warfarin, and enoxaparin.
If you suspect that you are at risk for developing blood clots, the following are some of the remedies that you can employ:
- Reduce cholesterol intake. Prevent blood clots from cholesterol plagues by eating foods low in cholesterol.
- Elevate the feet in the afternoon. After work, your blood usually pools on the dependent areas of the body such as the feet. Elevate the legs to promote venous return and prevent blood stagnation.
- Exercise. Exercise is one of the best remedies for blood clots. Make sure to spend some time to exercise to maintain a healthy circulation.
- Hydrate. Dehydration can also cause the blood to thicken and to be stagnant. Increase fluid intake from water, fresh fruit juices and fruits.
Blood clots are normal reactions of the body to injury, but not all blood clots are desirable so if you think you are at risk for developing harmful clots; consult your health care provider for proper management.