It is essential for the blood in our bodies to clot to prevent excessive bleeding after an injury. But at times, blood clots can occur inside a blood vessel that has not been damaged and cause serious issues. Blood clots don’t always go away on their own and sometimes require treatment to restore proper blood flow through the body’s veins and arteries.
Here is some information about the causes of blood clots, how you can prevent them, and natural treatment suggestions for healthy blood flow.
Causes of Blood Clots
Blood clots are common among people who have recently had surgery, in older adults, and due to cancer treatments. People who are sedentary for any reason are more prone to blood clots, including individuals who work at a desk all day, who are confined to a wheelchair, or who are traveling long distances in a car or airplane. Obesity, pregnancy, heart conditions, and family history can also impact a person’s likelihood of getting a blood clot.
What a Blood Clot Feels Like
Blood clots commonly form in the arms and legs, but they can also appear in the groin, lungs, and other parts of the body. If you have a blood clot, you may have difficulty breathing, notice a fast heartbeat, run a mild fever, have reddened skin, or feel a warm, swollen, and painful spot on your arm or leg.
Preventing Blood Clots
If you are prone to blood clots or going to be in a situation that makes them more likely, there are precautions that you can take to help prevent them. For example, you can wear compression socks during air travel or on long car trips to prevent blood from settling in your legs during long periods of sitting. Additionally, flex and stretch your feet and ankles to promote good blood flow, and also make a point to raise your legs in the air occasionally. Eating less salt, avoiding crossing your legs, and changing your body position often can also go a long way in preventing blood clots.
Treatment for Blood Clots
Doctors often prescribe medication after diagnosing blood clots to help thin the blood. Injectable heparin and Coumadin pills are commonly prescribed in conventional medicine. It is important to be mindful about bleeding too much while taking blood thinners, however, because this is a common side effect of blood thinning medications. With severe blood clots, emergency treatment may be necessary to help break up the clot in a life-threatening situation.
Natural Approaches to Blood Clots
To promote healthy blood flow on an ongoing basis, you can also adjust your lifestyle to incorporate more natural blood thinners into your days. For example, the spice turmeric is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties. Ginger has also been studied for its blood-clotting potential, as well as cayenne pepper, garlic, and vitamin E. Meanwhile, grape seed extract promotes healthy blood vessels and blood flow, and cinnamon may be beneficial as well. Regularly eating foods that contain these ingredients help your blood continue to flow properly so that you may never need to worry about blood clots. Also, daily exercise is great for improving bodily circulation and keeping your circulatory system functioning as it should be.