A blood clot is a collection of blood that can occur in any part of the body, including the brain, eyes, lungs, heart, and legs. These could cause severe pain in the leg, making it difficult to walk. You could even lose a limb if it is a severe case of coagulation.
If they are in the arteries, clots can increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. Coagulation in the veins can cause deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the veins in the pelvis, leg, arm, liver, intestines or kidneys) or pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs).
Why clots occur
The inflammation itself is not a problem. Whenever we are injured, the injured area swells and turns red. This happens because our vessels dilate causing blood to rush to heal the area. The blood also starts to thicken and form clots so that we don’t bleed. This process is supposed to start at the right time, do its job, and then end. The problem arises when the inflammation becomes chronic and does not “go away”.
Uncontrolled blood pressure
Most people take high blood pressure casually and this should never be taken lightly. The more forcefully the blood pumps, the more the arteries stretch to allow blood flow. If this force is too high, this too for an extended period of time creates vascular weakness, making the vascular system prone to ruptures.
It also causes vascular scars, 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 is closely linked to heart disease and should be treated immediately. These are caused by bacteria capable of entering the bloodstream and damaging the blood vessels or arteries, ultimately leading to blood clots inside the arteries.
It is important to see a doctor and have the nature of the clot checked. Discuss possible risks and drug interactions before adding supplementation to your diet or making lifestyle changes.
For once, take it easy with green leafy vegetables as they are high in vitamin K, which causes factors that can lead to clotting. This means that it can also affect the effectiveness of blood thinning drugs like warfarin and promote platelet aggregation.
Food and lifestyle management
Our blood obtains its volume thanks to the water content it contains. A lack of hydration can cause the blood to thicken.
Apple cider vinegar can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Garlic and onion help reduce platelet aggregation due to the presence of an active compound called allicin, which is a vasodilator and blood thinner. Onion, on the other hand, is rich in flavonoids called quercetin, which help dilate blood vessels.
Turmeric acts as an antiplatelet medicine and reduces the tendency of the blood to form clots.
Deep breathing, especially nasal breathing, works like magic to control high blood pressure. This immediately puts us in a parasympathetic state, which helps relax the walls of the blood vessels.
Note: It is important to let your healthcare professional know before making any lifestyle changes. None of the above is a substitute for the drug.
(The author is a Mumbai-based holistic lifestyle coach in integrative medicine)