Blood clot prevents excess bleeding when some blood vessel is damaged, and our body can naturally dissolve this blood clot once the injury self-heals. Rarely, clots form in the blood vessels even in the absence of an injury nor do they dissolve naturally. Blood is distributed throughout the body by the circulatory system to keep us strong and healthy. There are certain circumstances under which this distribution is affected resulting in blood clots that can trouble the affected person in different ways. The most dangerous and familiar type of blood clot that worries numerous people is the deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT mostly occurs when blood clumps in the legs. These clumps can dissolve by themselves sometimes or can also reach your lungs resulting in pulmonary embolism. Such impairment in the blood flow to the lungs can cause organ damage or even death sometimes.
Major Risk Factors
Venous clots and arterial clots stem up due to different reasons and it is not mandatory that if you get one type of clot you are sure to get the other type too! There are different factors that can cause blood clots and genes play an important role in your response to these clots.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy can cause a rise in estrogen levels which in turn can rise your risk of forming a clot. The third trimester and the first two weeks after delivery are the most crucial periods that can pave way for the maximum risk of developing a blood clot.
Hormonal birth-control pills: Here again, estrogen is the culprit as birth-control pills use both estrogen and progestin to prevent pregnancy. One study found that women on these pills had a .06-.18% chance of getting a blood clot compared to those women who were not on pills (.04%).
Remaining inactive for prolonged periods: Sitting for long hours continuously while travelling by bus, train or plane can increase your risk of developing a blood clot. It is recommended that you stand up, flex your muscles or do simple exercises every two hours or so to reduce your risk of DVT. People already having DVT are advised to meet their physician before leaving to countries that require them to travel for long hours.
Obesity or overweight: Excess weight imparts excess pressure to your lower body and this in turn can put pressure on the veins.
Smoking: Just like how smoking can affect all other organs in your body, it can affect your circulatory system too. It affects the lining of the blood vessels and makes platelets stick together that can lead to increased chances of blood clot. Read more on the side effects of smoking at www.firsteatright.com.
Age: People over 60 are at a higher risk
Surgery or Injury: Clots usually form in your lower body and surgeries performed in your lower body puts you at an even greater risk for blood clot. Remaining in bed for a long time can also cause blood clots post-surgery as the patient remains dormant without moving around.
Certain cancers: Cancers can increase proteins that cause clotting, thereby increasing chances of blood clot. Chronic inflammatory diseases or family history of blood clot are also other factors that can put an individual at an increased risk of blood clot.
Individuals with any of these risk factors are advised to meet their physician and discuss their problems. Together they can come up with effective treatment strategies.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.