Understanding the Symptoms and Dangers of Blood Clots

100,000 people die from blood clot related causes in The U.S. each year

There is a silent epidemic that is deadly. It kills more people in the U.S. thean breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and AIDS combined. Each year more then 100,000 people die in the U.S. from blood-clot-related causes.                                                                                      

I call this a silent Epidemic because there may be zero symptoms or the symptoms are not recognized untill there is a serious problem. It is important to be informed about blood clots because having the right information and knowing what to watch for could very well save your life. Risk factors  for developing a blood clot include advanced age, obesity, prolonged hospitalization, surgery, smoking, trauma such as a severe injury, and immobility such as prolonged sitting or standing. Hormone replacement therapy is also a risk factor as is some types of gentic clotting disorders.

Some of the signs/symptoms to watch for are shortness of breath, chest pains, swelling of your arms or legs, redness, tenderness in the extremity and visable surface veins. If you have these symptoms, call your doctor; these could be signs of a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), which can lead to a pulmomary embolism also known as a blood clot in the lung. This could cause death within 30 to 60 minutes if not treated immediatley.  If a clot travels to the brain it can cause a stroke. If it travels to the heart it can cause a heart attack. So as you can see, this is a serious condition and the more information you have the better.

Walking, running and other forms of exercise are the best way to avoid blood clots. If you have had surgery or will be immobile for a prolonged time, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner to keep blot clots from forming. There are also natural blood thinners that can help you avoid clots. Omega 3, such as that found in fish oil, is an excellent choice for clot prevention. A couple of spices that are great for preventing clots formation are ginger and turmeric; thse keep blood platelets from sticking together and clotting. Some studies have shown that ginger is better than asprin in the prevention of blood clots. And of course our old standby's, garlic and onions, have also been shown to be useful in preventing blood clots.

If you fit into the risk categories, see your doctor. Ask questions and discuss your risk factors so together you can  come up with the course of treatment that will be best suited for you.

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