Do you have any idea what blood clots are? Blood clots are the leading cause of many cardiovascular problems and among the top causes of death in the USA as well. They are gel-like clumps of blood platelets that form in the body after injuries and have the role of stopping blood loss. It’s a completely normal process, but the problem occurs when they won’t dissolve in the body after has healed.
Sometimes, blood clots can form in our veins and arteries and can’t dissolve on their own due to one reason or another. Over time, they will block the blood flow in the vessels, leading to pulmonary embolism or even a stroke. In this case, blood clots can be dangerous and even deadly.
Stroke is among the leading causes of death in the USA, claiming the lives of more than 130,000 people annually. Most of these stroke cases are ischemic, which occurs when the blood flow to the brain is obstructed. Even if an ischemic stroke doesn’t kill you, it can leave you severely disabled, which is why you need to pay more attention to blood clots.
Types of Blood Clots
In general, blood clots can be divided into 2 types – venous and arterial, depending on the type of blood vessel they block.
Arterial clots form in our arteries and can obstruct proper blood and oxygen flow to vital organs. They most commonly ‘attack’ the leg and feet arteries, but can often appear in brain arteries as well.
The most common symptoms of arterial clots are cold hands and feet over a prolonged period, frequent muscle pain and spasms, weakness in the feet, tingling and numbness, and losing color in the legs and feet.
The most common factors for arterial clots are age and genetics, but poor diet, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure, and physical inactivity can all trigger their appearance as well.
When it comes to venous clots, they most often appear after serious trauma such as a broken leg. Venous clots can be separated into 3 categories – deep vein thrombosis, superficial venous thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism.
Deep vein thrombosis clots can form in the legs, feet, brain, kidneys, intestines, thigh, and pelvis, while PE clots can break off the organ where they originated and travel to other organs such as the liver and brain. Superficial venous clots are the least dangerous type and form on the surface of the skin after injuries. They are known to be pretty painful, but as we said, they’re not generally dangerous.
The symptoms of a blood clot are largely dependent on the area where they occur. If they appear in the abdominal area, you may experience diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. If they form in the lungs, you will experience sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, and even cough up blood if the situation is serious.
Blood clots in the brain can lead to dizziness, weakness in the face and arms, vision problems and slurring speech as they attack vital centers in the brain. When blood clots form in major blood vessels that lead blood to the heart, the consequences can be deadly and you’ll most likely experience chest pain, dizziness, sweating, nausea, and shortness of breath.
If you notice any of the symptoms from the list, you should know that you require immediate medical attention. Blood clots aren’t a cough you can resolve at home – they require medical attention and shouldn’t be disregarded.
The good thing about blood clots is that there are several ways to reduce the risk of them forming. Making minor changes to your diet and physical activity can go a long way to prevent blood clots. If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking (it’s a nasty habit anyway) will seriously reduce the risk of blood clots.
Additionally, you should also include omega-3 fatty acids in your diet and some vitamin E as well, which you can find in fish, pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables, kiwis, onions, garlic, and olive oil.
Finally, make sure to take Ginkgo Biloba supplements or drink tea from this wonderful plant to reduce the fibrin content in your body and effectively prevent the formation of blood clots. Start living healthier right now and you won’t have to worry about the dangers blood clots bring.