We've all had the experience of a minor cut or scrape that quickly stops bleeding thanks to a blood clot. But did you know that sometimes these clots can become a serious health concern? Blood clotting is an essential mechanism that helps to prevent excessive blood loss, but it can also lead to serious health complications when it occurs inappropriately. In this article, we will explore the basics of blood clots, the health risks associated with them, and how to prevent them.
What is a blood clot?
Clotting is a normal function that stops your body from bleeding too much when you get hurt. Blood clots are gel-like collections of blood that form in veins or arteries when platelets combine with fibrin network and create a fibrin web. However, when a blood clot forms where it should not have developed, it is called a thrombus. A blood clot is also called a thrombus.
Which blood clots pose the most health risk?
Any blood clots that form in arteries or veins can be serious. A stationary blood clot may not hurt you, but when it travels to another part of the body, it can block blood flow, leading to serious complications such as stroke, heart attack, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is when blood clots form in deep veins. It can make its way to your lungs and gets stuck. This condition, called pulmonary embolism (PE), can stop blood from flowing, and the results can be very serious, even fatal.
Who is at risk?
Some people have a higher risk of developing blood clots than others. Apart from people overage 65, other factors such as taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, having cancer or having been treated for cancer, and having a family history of blood clots can also increase the risk of blood clots. On top of this, certain lifestyle choices, such as being overweight or obese, living a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking cigarettes, may also increase the risk of developing blood clots.
Prevention of Blood Clots
Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent blood clots. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing can all reduce the risk of blood clots. Stay hydrated and having a healthy diet is also significant to prevent the formation of blood clot or thrombus.
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