What is a Blood Clot?

What is a Blood Clot?

The human body's ability to create a blood clot is a natural and essential function. Blood is endlessly circulating throughout the body to carry necessary fluids and oxygen to organs and moving waste away for removal. When accidents occur that cause blood to unnecessarily flow, such as a cut or puncture wound, the body can miraculously cause blood to clot and prevent the body from losing excess fluids.

However, the term blood clot often sees greater use in regard to harmful or life-threatening conditions. When the body formulates an unnecessary blood clot within the body, it creates a substantial risk for a severe heart attack or stroke. Let's investigate what causes blood clots, the potential effects, and what medical options can assist in preventing any harmful outcomes. 

What Triggers Harmful Blood Clots?

Whenever an internal rupture within an artery occurs, the body will trigger its natural response of sending red blood cells to assist in mending the affected area. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen, removing dead cells, and helping to build new tissue. These cells will clump together and trigger a chemical reaction that allows the creation of a netlike substance that can trap red blood cells from passing through.

Whenever the issue resolves itself, additional processes occur that see the creation of clot-dissolving enzymes to allow blood flow to resume as intended. 

When a blood clot does not dissolve naturally, it poses a substantial risk for more significant health issues. A blood clot that stays in the area of origin is known as thrombosis, whereas a clot that manages to break away and travel to other areas is known as embolism. Depending on where the clot exists or where it moves to, the consequences can prove deadly.

What Are the Symptoms or Signs of a Blood Clot?

The symptoms of a blood clot can vary depending on where it exists within the body. For example, if you experience leg pain, leg swelling, or leg numbness, or warmness of the skin, seek medical attention for a possible clot in that area. A clot in the lung or chest area will likely trigger dizziness or shortness of breath. If you experience anything such as coughing up blood, sudden fever ,sweating, or vision or speech impairment, you could even be at immediate risk for a heart attack or stroke.

What Are the Risk Factors and Can I Prevent Them?

The good news is that harmful blood clots are highly preventable occurrences by disengaging from the hazardous activities that can instigate them. Some risk factors that are preventable by changes in lifestyle and behavior are: 

·       Smoking

·       Being overweight or obese

·       Hormone altering medications such as birth control

·       Inactive profession or lifestyle

Losing unhealthy weight, quitting smoking, and making an effort to be more active regularly can benefit a healthier life and reduce the risk of clots. If you have a job that requires constant sitting or frequent, consciously make an effort to stand and move your body. You can also wear compression socks while on long flights to avoid deep vein thrombosis.

Clots can, unfortunately, trigger as a result of accidents or other unavoidable factors. These include physical injury, autoimmune disorders, family history, inflammatory diseases, age, and recent surgery. It is essential to consult a physician if you fall under any of these potential risk factors. A doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medication or surgery for more severe cases as a means to treat blood clots.

Dealing with Blood Clots and Related Diseases

The best approach to handling these occurrences is by taking preventative action. Making healthier lifestyle choices will go a long way to mitigate the risk of life-threatening clots. Expert physicians like Dr. Scott Hollander and those at Pulse Vascular are here to provide consultation and treatment for clot-related illnesses and diseases such as Venous Disease and Peripheral Arterial Disease.

If you require medical consultation or treatment in the Vineland or Freehold, NJ areas, contact Dr. Holland today to discuss your options. As always, dial 9-1-1 for serious medical emergencies.

 

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What is a Blood Clot?
What is a Blood Clot?