In this Health Article:
IntroductionBlood clots are the lumps, semi-solid masses of sticky blood cells that result from coagulation of the blood. Coagulation refers to the process by which the blood clot forms. By way of coagulation, the body stops the flow of blood after an injury. Blood clots are essential to prevent a person from losing too much blood after an injury. These blood clots will dissolve back into the blood or are reabsorbed when the body has healed. However, blood clots that occur within arteries and veins are potentially dangerous. Under these circumstances, the blood clots obstruct the normal flow of blood within the body.
Back to top^
Causes of Blood ClotBlood clots can form for many reasons under different circumstances. The risk associated with blood clots often increases with age.
- Blood clots formations are more likely when a person is immobilized.
- Slow blood clots are likely to form in deep veins of the legs when an individual is moving around in a restricted manner.
- Certain health disorders like disseminated intravascular coagulation and the antiphospholipid syndrome can cause blood clots.
- Disorders such as atherosclerosis, arteritis and polyarteritis nodosa can cause blood clots. Inflammation or injury to arteries as a result of disorders contributes to clot formation.
- In people who are obese, the veins are pressured thus slowing the flow of blood, which in turn can cause blood clotting.
- Blood clotting can be as a result of hereditary disorders.
- Breathing polluted air raises risks of blood clotting.
- Blood clots can form due to a high level of homocystenine, which is an amino acid in the blood.
- Too many platelets produced by the bone marrow can make blood to clot more often.
- Other conditions such as heart failure or atrial fibrillation also increases the risk of blood clots. The heart remaining stagnant or moving too slowly in the case of heart failure and the heart beat being abnormally fast in case of atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clot formations.
- Use of certain medications such as tamoxifen and estrogen can make blood clotting possible.
Types of Blood Clot
- Blood clots that remain stationary within a vessel or heart are thrombus.
- A thrombus, which forms in the pelvic vein or leg, is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
- A thrombus that doesn’t remain in the same place but has dislodged from its origin and moves through the bloodstream is called an embolus.
- An embolus that blocks an artery located in the lung is called pulmonary embolism.
Back to top^
Symptoms of Blood ClotBlood clots symptoms differ in relation to the type of clot and its location. However, there are instances when the symptoms are very minimal or even silent. With respect to embolus, the symptoms differ depending on where the embolus travels and locates. In general, the symptoms are as follows:
- Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Unexplained anxiety.
- Pain in the back, shoulder or upper abdomen.
- Symptoms of pulmonary embolism:
- Skin may become warm.
- Gradual onset of pain in the leg
- Redness and tenderness.
- Cramps only at night in the leg.
- Skin color turning bluish or whitish
- Extreme pain while bending foot.
Diagnosis & TestsDo not ignore even if you can relate vaguely to symptoms of blood clot. Seeking immediate medical help is appropriate. Certain questions will be asked by the doctor so as to understand the medical history of the patient. This will be followed by a physical examination of the affected area. Certain diagnostic tests may be required.
Duplex ultrasound: Used to look for deep vein thrombosis
Chest x-ray: Helps to check lungs, heart and ribs.
Lungs scan: Recommended to check possibility of blood clots in the lungs.
Venogram: Test to check blood flow through the veins, back to the heart.Other tests: Blood tests to check oxygen levels in the blood, electrocardiogram to evaluate heart rhythm and consideration of clotting factors.
Back to top^
Treatments Available for Blood ClotThere are specific tests that may be recommended by the doctor to diagnose blood clots. The doctor may then proceed to determine future course of treatment plan relevant to the type of blood clot. The goal of the treatment will be to relieve symptoms and reduce associated risk factors.
If the blood clots are in the arteries, it may lead to heart attack, stroke and severe leg pain besides difficulty walking. Medications like aspirin, Clopidogrel, intravenous antiplatelet agents, warfarin (Coumadin), heparin (injection) and clot busters may be prescribed. Besides, medications if needed interventional catheters may be put to use to remove or compress the arterial clots.
Ways to Cope Up with Blood ClotConfirmation of diagnosis can often be disturbing to the afflicted individual and others who share a close relationship. Besides, the physical pain the patient undergoes, the diagnosis can also bring in emotional disturbances. Here are few tips that can help in coping with diagnosis of blood clot formations.
- Minimize discussing the topic of illness
- Give importance to following doctor’s instructions.
- Do not give importance to other’s opinions about the illness.
- If advised rest, ensure you are least disturbed.
- Read books, try to gain knowledge of the illness.
- Analyze and discuss with doctor to remove doubts or suspicions.
- Keep a track of symptoms. Keep your doctor updated.
- Never postpone or miss to take medications.
- Relax and reduce stress.
- Involve in activities that make you feel worthy and happy.
Ways to Prevent Blood ClotThose who are at risk need to take extra special care to prevent blood clots. Even otherwise, every individual can take measures to prevent blood clots of the arteries or the veins. Though the influence of genetic factor cannot be minimized, taking precautions by adapting a healthy lifestyle will to a great extent help in reducing associated risks.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Opt for high-fiber, low Cholesterol foods.
- Maintain an ideal weight.
- Exercise regularly to promote good blood circulation.
- Get treated for other health related medications.
- Discuss with doctor medications taken for other health conditions.
- Be conscious of minor health conditions.
- Do not postpone or miss appointments with doctor.
- Avoid self-medication.
- Check with doctor about anticoagulant medications.
- Be open with health care provider.
- Quit smoking.
- Never remain static for a long time
- Periodically walk and stretch.
- Decrease sugar consumption.
- Increase cold-water fish intake.
- Include fish oil and avoid blood clotting.
Medications for Blood Clot Available at InternationalDrugMart.comWe have at www.internationaldrugmart.com medicines like Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix (Clopidogrel), Persantine (Diprydidamole) that help in the treatment of blood clots. Shop from www.internationaldrugmart.com and make incredible savings. Back to top^
Self CareHere are few simple tips you can follow for preventing and reversing blood clot formations.
- While taking trips that involve sitting for long periods, periodically get up walk and stretch.
- Your overall health is very important. Eat right foods, sleep well, relax and avoid stress.
- Make it a habit to drink plenty of water.
- Check with your doctor, if you can take preventive medications.
- Chart an exercise schedule and be regular.
- Know your body. Do not overlook pain, swelling or inflammation or any other abnormal body-working pattern.
- Be aware of genetic influence related to blood clot formation.
- Discuss with health care provider. Accept recommendations.