In the normal human body, blood clots in order to stop bleeding. If the body is not working correctly, the blood could clot abnormally and cause problems. Certain blood clots can even become fatal for the individual.
What is a Blood Clot?
Blood flows continuously throughout the body throughout someone’s life. It must perform a series of complex interactions in order to keep the body functioning properly. To make a blood clot, platelets begin to form into a plug. These tiny parts of the body react when they sense that a blood vessel is damaged. They create a plug that can stop bleeding and release an additional chemical reaction. One this chemical reaction is released, the blood starts to use dissolved proteins to promote clotting. They arrive at the site of bleeding to form a more durable blood clot.
After these processes have formed a clot, anti-clotting proteins stop the clot from getting too large. This ensures that the blood clot is the right size to treat the cut. As new tissue develops, the body will slowly break down and absorb the blood clot. It uses the enzyme plasmin to perform this action.
Normally, this is how blood clots are created. In some cases, the blood clots form within the blood stream. They can become lodged in the brain or lungs. If this happens, patients need immediate medical attention because the clot can be fatal.
What Causes Blood Clots?
Blood clots are started whenever certain substances come in contact with the blood. These substances are called thrombogenic because they create thrombus or a clot. Normally, these substances are separated from the blood and are found within the blood vessel walls. If the wall is ruptured, the body will come in contact with thrombogenic substances. These blood clots may form within cholesterol on an artery in the heart or brain. The plaque may rupture slightly and release thrombogenic substances. This causes blood clots to form. If this occurs, it can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Blood clots are also created when the blood does not flow through the body correctly. With atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart beat makes blood begin to pool within the heart. Afterward, this may form into blood clots that travel into any part of the body. This condition is worsened on long flights when the legs are immobilized.
What Are the Symptoms of a Blood Clot?
When a clot occurs within a vein, it can stop blood from returning to the heart. This can cause serious symptoms within minutes. Individuals may experience swelling, water retention, pain, heat and redness. An arterial clot occurs in an artery and also stops blood from flowing to an area of the body. Once blood stops flowing correctly, the body’s tissue will become deprived of oxygen and begin to die off. Initially, individuals may experience pain as the tissue becomes oxygen deprived. Within the area of the clot, the body may stop to function properly or the limb may become white. The individual may feel weak or unable to feel the affected area. In addition, paralysis, heart attack or strokes may develop. If the blood stops flowing to the bowels, it may cause bloody diarrhea.
How do Blood Clots Relate to Water Retention Problems?
Normally, blood carries nutrient to all of the body’s tissue. As it leaves the area, it takes waste, excess fluid and toxins away from the tissue. When a clot forms in the blood veins, toxins and fluid cannot be removed properly. In addition to numerous health problems, this can cause water retention. When the blood is unable to remove toxins, swelling and pain will occur.
Are Blood Clots Preventable?
Sometimes, blood clots will occur no matter what individuals do to prevent them. Individuals should work out regularly to make sure that their cardiovascular system and veins remain strong. In addition, drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet can help. If someone has a known heart problem, drugs like aspirin or Plavix can stop platelets from forming. This can inhibit the formation of unnecessary blood clots.
How is Blood Clots Treated?
If someone is at risk for blood clots, a doctor may prescribe baby aspirin to ensure that the blood does not clot excessively. Natural treatment methods include avoiding smoking, trans-fats or saturated fats. Individuals can improve their heart health by working out and eating plenty of fatty acids. Traditional fermented soya like natto can support heart health and garlic can help to thin the blood. If there is a hormonal problem, adjusting estrogen levels can help.
Individuals with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are at a higher risk of developing blood clots. Other risk factors include a family history and smoking. Individuals who have any of these risk factors should discuss preventative techniques with their doctor.