Blood clots happens in our body all the time. When we skin our knee or cut ourselves on a knife, our blood thickens around the area of the wound until our skin starts repairing itself. It’s actually a miraculous process.
However, blood clotting can happen at unusual times, and unwanted clotting can cause problematic and even life-threatening situations if not prevented or properly handled.
There is need to understand the types of blood cloth before knowing the causes
Types of Blood Clots:
1. Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is one of the most dangerous types of blood clots that forms within one of the major veins of the body. Usually, people experience DVT in the lower leg, and estimates for DVT go as high as 900,000 people each year, and an estimated 60,000 to 100,000 of these 900,000 will eventually die from the blood clot or subsequent Pulmonary Embolism (PE).
Symptoms include swelling, general or localized discoloration, a warm sensation or aching pain.
2. Pulmonary Embolism
This happens when a blood clot forms or travels to the arteries in the lungs. This type of blood clot is also extremely dangerous because it blocks the free flow of blood to the lungs.
Symptoms includes shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing with signs of blood, feeling of weakness or dizziness.
3. Heart Attack
In this situation, a blood clot can also form or travel to the heart, blocking the flow of blood and leading to a dangerous heart attack. In this case, many symptoms mimic a pulmonary embolism because of its location where it happens. Either way, immediately help is required.
Symptoms include severe chest pain, pain that extends to the arms, back, neck or jaw, shortness of breath, overall weakness or dizziness
The next possible danger is stroke, when a clot that blocks the flow of blood to the brain in an otherwise healthy person, which can be caused by injuries to the head.
Symptoms include speech difficulty or changes, headaches, paralysis, dizziness or seizures.
What Causes a Blood Clot?
As earlier mentioned, blood clots usually form when you sustain an injury. They help to stop the bleeding so that you do not lose too much blood.
Sometimes, the blood may thicken or coagulate due to some other factors. Also, blood clots can cause danger when they perform their job for an injury but do not dissolve right away.
Few factors that cause blood clots to form unnecessarily:
Pregnancy – This increases the volume of blood, leading to a higher risk for blood clots.
Obesity – Can slow the rate of blood flow in the veins.
Family history –
Smoking – This causes damage to the lining of blood vessels and increases the chances that platelets will stick together.
Cancer – May increase the risk of blood clot due to chemotherapy damage or a decrease in protective proteins.
Immobility – Immobility such as bed rest or long trips can develop blood clot. During this period, the legs are not moving and thus unable to keep blood pumping through them.
How to Prevent Blood Clots:
Ensure to keep moving throughout the day to keep blood clots from forming. If you work at a desk job or have a long trip ahead, make sure to always stand up and move around every 1–2 hours. Performing toe lifts or simple desk exercises can also do some good.
Also, follow the same rules even when you’re watching TV or relaxing on the weekend. While you sleep, you can also raise the foot of your bed or rest your feet on a pillow to keep the blood from pooling.
Maintain a healthy exercise routine and weight management to reduce your risk in these areas. Make sure to drink plenty of water, increasing your intake during trips, exercise or hot weather.
You should do all you can to reduce your risk of blood clots if you fall under one of the other risk categories and try to stay active and healthy.