Cure the clot: Ways to prevent the clump of blood from affecting you

A blood clot is a clump of blood that can occur in any part of the body, including the brain, eyes, lungs, heart and legs.
Representational image
Representational image

A blood clot is a clump of blood that can occur in any part of the body, including the brain, eyes, lungs, heart and legs. These could lead to severe pain in the leg, making it difficult to walk. One could even lose a limb if it’s a severe case of clotting.

If found in the arteries, clots can increase the risk of a stroke or a heart attack. Clotting in the veins can cause deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the veins of the pelvis, leg, arm, liver, intestines or kidneys) or a pulmonary embolus (blood clot in the lungs).

Why clots occur

Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation by itself is not a problem. Whenever we get hurt, the wounded area swells up and becomes red. This happens because our vessels dilate, making the blood rush to heal the area. The blood also starts thickening and forming clots so we don't bleed. This process is supposed to kick in at the right time, do its job and then switch off. The problem arises when inflammation becomes chronic and doesn’t ‘switch off'.

Uncontrolled blood pressure

Most people take high blood pressure casually and it’s the very thing that should never be taken lightly. The more forcefully blood pumps, the more the arteries stretch to allow the blood flow. If this force is too high, that too for an extended period of time, it creates vascular weakness, making vascular prone to ruptures.

It also causes vascular scarring, which can catch debris such as cholesterol, blood cells and plaque. This leads to an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

Gum disease

Gum disease is closely connected to heart disease and should be treated immediately. These are caused by bacteria that are capable of entering the bloodstream and damage the blood vessels or arteries, finally leading to blood clots inside the arteries.

Precautionary Measures

  • It is important to seek medical advice and get the nature of the clot checked. Discuss the possible risks and drug interactions before adding supplementation to your diet or making lifestyle changes.

  • For once, go easy on green leafy vegetables as these are loaded with Vitamin K, which cause factors, which could lead to clotting. This means that it can also affect the efficacy of anticoagulant medications like Warfarin, and promote platelet aggregation.

Management through foods and lifestyle

  • Our blood gets its volume through the water content present in it. A lack of hydration can cause blood to thicken.

  • Apple cider vinegar may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Garlic and onion help reduce platelets aggregation due to the presence of an active compound called allicin, which is a vasodilator and anticoagulant. Onion on the other hand is rich in flavonoids called quercetin, which helps in dilating blood vessels.

  • Turmeric acts as an antiplatelet medication and reduces blood’s tendency to form clots.

  • Deep breathing, especially nasal breathing, works like magic for bringing high blood pressure under control. It immediately puts us in a parasympathetic state, which helps relax the walls of the blood vessels.

Note: It is important to keep your health professional in the loop before making amends to your lifestyle. Nothing mentioned above is a replacement for the medication. 

(The author is a Mumbai-based holistic lifestyle coach Integrative Medicine)

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