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Causes of Thick Blood and How to Prevent it

Having thick blood (hypercoagulability) will increase your risk of experiencing blood clots spontaneously. Without proper treatment, abnormal blood clots can inhibit blood flow and interfere with various functions of the body's organs. This can then cause serious health problems.

Blood clots are the body's natural response to stop bleeding and heal wounds.

But if it occurs abnormally, blood clots can cause a variety of health problems, such as pulmonary embolism, heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, and kidney disorders.

Know the Causes of Thick Blood

The process of blood clotting involves platelets and special proteins called blood clotting factors. Under normal conditions, this blood clotting occurs when the body is injured. After wound healing is complete, this formed blood clot will disappear.




However, in the condition of thick blood, this blood clot can occur even though the body is not injured. Various things can cause a person more at risk of experiencing thick blood, including:

  • Hereditary or hereditary factors inherited from parents.
  • Certain medications, such as hormonal drugs, birth control pills, tamoxifen, and heparin.
  • Cholesterol clots in blood vessels due to high cholesterol levels in the blood.
  • Having certain diseases, such as cirrhosis, cancer, diabetes, inflammation of blood vessels or vasculitis, heart disease, sepsis, and autoimmune disorders.
  • Have an injury, such as a broken bone in the leg.
  • Obesity.
  • Have unhealthy living habits, such as smoking and rarely exercising.

In addition to some of the above, several other factors can increase the risk of blood exposure, such as having to lie down long after surgery, old age, and pregnancy.

If it has caused a blockage in the bloodstream, thick blood that is prone to clotting can cause further health problems. Therefore, this condition needs to be detected early and treated as soon as possible.

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Symptoms of Thick Blood that need attention

Thick blood itself usually does not cause symptoms. Symptoms will appear when the blood has clotted and blocked blood flow. Symptoms that can occur when blood has been clotted also varies, depending on where the location of the clot appears in the body.

The following are symptoms that can appear based on the location of blood clots:

1. On the arm or leg

If clots occur on the arms or legs, symptoms can include swelling, pain, skin discoloration, and a sensation of warmth or tingling in certain limbs.

2. In the heart and lungs

Viscous blood that causes blood clots in the heart organ can cause heart disease. Symptoms can include severe chest pain that spreads to the arm or neck, shortness of breath, cold sweat, nausea, dizziness, and fainting.

Whereas thick blood in the lungs can cause symptoms such as chest pain, coughing, sweating, shortness of breath or heavy breathing, dizziness, fainting, and rapid pulse.

3. In the digestive tract

If clots occur in the digestive tract, symptoms that can appear are severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting, and blood mixed in stool or vomit.

4 In the kidneys

If clots occur in the kidneys, symptoms can include fever, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, blood in the urine, pain in the waist or back, and swelling in the legs.

5. In the brain

Viscous blood that causes blood clots in the brain can cause blood flow in the brain to be disrupted. This can cause symptoms of stroke, such as weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, dizziness, confusion, headaches, difficulty swallowing or talking, to seizures.

If you experience the symptoms above, immediately see a doctor so that disorders that arise due to thick blood can be immediately examined and treated appropriately.

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Prevention of Blood Clots

Given the many disorders that can occur due to thick blood, it would be better if prevention is done early. Based on the risk factors, several ways can be applied to prevent thick blood clots, namely:

1. Avoid sitting for long periods

Being in the same position (especially sitting or lying down) for a long time can cause blood to clot. This blood clot will usually form in the legs, then spread to other organs and cause blockage of blood vessels in the organ. To avoid this, move or stretch every one to two hours.

2. Drink enough water

Dehydration can make blood vessels narrow and blood coagulate, thereby increasing the risk of blood clots. Therefore, make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water or about 2 liters every day.

3. Live a healthy lifestyle

By changing lifestyles to be healthier, such as eating healthy foods, losing excess weight, exercising regularly, avoiding cigarette smoke, not consuming alcoholic beverages, and regularly checking health to the doctor, then the risk of blood clots due to thick blood can be prevented.

Also, to prevent thick blood clots, you are advised separately to consume foods that contain omega-3s, fruits, vegetables, and foods that contain vitamin E.

4. Taking drugs

If needed, your doctor can advise you to take blood-thinning medication. Usually, these medicines are prescribed by your doctor if you have a risk of blood clots that can cause organ damage, such as heart disease and stroke.

This drug may also be given to people who have just had surgery or pregnant women who are at risk of developing blood clots.

5. Wearing compression stockings

In addition to medication, your doctor may also advise you to use special stockings to facilitate blood flow in your legs. This stocking usually needs to be used by people who are hospitalized for a long time, traveling by plane for a long time, or pregnant women.

People who have a history of diabetes, deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins will also usually be advised by a doctor to use this stocking.

Read Also : Recognize Thalassemia, Blood Disorders that Parents Lowered

Efficacious Fruits Thinning Blood Dilution

Types of fresh fruit that can be processed into fresh blood-thinning drinks include:

1. Purple / Red Grape Juice

The content of Flavonoids in purple grapes is strong enough to prevent blood clots. When consumed appropriately, the fruit can have a positive effect as a natural blood thinner.

2. Kiwi

Kiwi is quite efficacious in supporting a diet program and helps nourish the heart. People who consume 2-3 kiwifruit per day can reduce high blood pressure because the risk of blood clots can be reduced.

3. Pineapple

Maybe you often hear that pineapple has great benefits for reducing high cholesterol levels.

But not only that, the content of bromelain in pineapple is enough to help minimize the risk of abnormal blood clots, and reduce the formation of plaque in the arteries. So consuming pineapple every day is also recommended as a blood-thinning food in the body.

4. Tomatoes

Bromelain enzyme content is also found in this fresh fruit. Consuming 3-5 tomatoes a day makes the body get additional nutritional intake, especially the problem of blood clots that can be avoided.

5. Mango

The content of vitamin E in mangoes has a good role as an anticoagulant to prevent blood clots. Where the content can inhibit platelets if the amount is too high.

If you run the risk of getting thick blood, do a health check or check-up regularly to the doctor. To assess your health condition, the doctor will conduct a physical and supportive examination, such as a blood test.

If the results indicate that you are experiencing or are at risk for developing thick blood, your doctor will determine the appropriate treatment and prevention methods, as well as recommend what you can do at home to maintain your health.





References

References

  1. Senst, et al. NCBI Bookshelf (2019). Hypercoagulability.
  2. National Institutes of Health (2019). U.S. National Library of Medicine MedlinePlus. Blood Clots.
  3. American Heart Association. Understand Your Risk for Excessive Blood Clotting.
  4. WebMD (2018). Blood Clot Symptoms: How to Tell If You Have One.

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