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Preventing Blood Clots

How to Prevent Blood Clots

As the name blood clot would imply, a small amount of blood that has clotted within the blood vessel. There are many reasons that they can develop, and some of them can be very dangerous. A blood clot that forms in your legs can travel up into your lungs and cause the life-threatening illness known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. They can be the cause of strokes, heart attacks, and other serious health problems. The good news is that there are many ways to prevent these dangerous blood clots from forming in your blood stream.

One of the chief causes of a blood clot is immobility, so the best form of prevention is exercise. Try not to stand or sit for more than 1-2 hours at a time, and take a short walk if you can, whether it’s on a plane ride, at your work desk, or just walking around your house. If you must sit for a long time then contract your leg muscles periodically. And if you have the opportunity, you should raise your legs nearly six inches above your heart every once in a while. Sometimes you won’t be able to get up due to illnesses that require bed rest, or because you may have your leg in a cast. When you can’t get up, make sure to wear loose fitting clothes and socks, and if your doctor prescribes compression stockings be sure to wear them. Try not to hurt your legs and raise the bottom of your bed by 4-6 inches, but don’t use pillows to raise them as they can increase the risk for a blood clot.

Another way to prevent a blood clot is to live a healthy lifestyle. Drink plenty of water every day, maintain an average, healthy weight, and eat less salt. High amounts of sodium in your body can dramatically increase your risk for clots. If you’re in need of surgery, or if you need to visit the ER due to injury, consult your doctor about ways to keep blood clots at bay. Your doctor can prescribe special medications that reduce clotting such as , , or even just aspirin, and can also give you an exercise regimen that keeps your legs active. And tell your doctor what medications you currently take some forms of medication can increase your chances for a blood clot, especially if you have a family history of Deep Vein Thrombosis, or if you’re a smoker.

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Posted on May 5, 2023