How To Avoid the Risks of Blood Clots

The thought of getting a blood clot is horrifying to most of us.  No one can be assured that they won't get a blood clot, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk of getting them.  The following article will give suggestions on things you can do to help lower your risk of getting blood clots.   

First and foremost, keep moving and active.  Blood clots can form when the body is inactive or immobile.   Your blood is like water flowing in a stream.  The heart pumps it out, but it is the movement of your muscles and body that helps pump it back to the heart.  If you are inactive or immobile your blood can become stagnant in the veins and form clots.   

If you are taking a long car or airplane trip where you will be sitting for an extended period of time stop and get out of the car and walk and stretch for a few minutes.  Also running in place or some form of aerobic exercise can be done for a few minutes to stimulate your blood circulation.  When in an airplane on long flights, get up and move around the cabin.  If you can find an open space you can stretch or walk in place.  If no open space is available you can always go to the bathroom and do some light exercise in there.  Also avoid wearing tight clothing when flying as this can limit circulation. The important thing is to keep your blood moving and circulating throughout your body.   

Certain medications have a risk factor for blood clots.  Hormones and birth control products have bold warnings about the risks of forming blood clots.  Check with your doctor before taking these medications if you have a family history of blood clots because this increases your risk of getting them.   

Have you heard of vitamin K foods?  These are foods high in vitamin K and they can thicken your blood causing your risk to be higher.  Some vitamin K foods are leafy green foods such as spinach, turnip greens, collards, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, asparagus, sauerkraut, okra, celery, cabbage, and many others.  Eating these foods in moderation is the key to maintaining a balanced diet, but eating a diet which consists of too much of these foods may put you at greater risk for blood clots.  Any person that is on blood thinner medication is advised to avoid eating these foods.   

Surgery and sickness can put you at risk for clots.  If you are having surgery they will probably put you on a blood thinner for a short time.  They will also try to keep you moving and as active as possible to help blood circulation.  Ted hose are tight massaging stockings that are also recommended during your hospital stay.  Sometimes you are hooked up to a machine that will squeeze and massage your legs to improve circulation.  If you are having major surgery or sickness talk to your doctor about these steps to lower your blood clot risk.   

In summary: keep active, avoid being immobile for long periods of time, watch your medications for blood clot risk, eat a healthy balanced diet and take steps to lower your risk while sick or having surgery.


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