July 13 2021
A blood clot is responsible for stopping excessive bleeding when an injury to a blood vessel occurs. Injury causes the blood vessels to become narrower. These blood vessels then limit the flow of blood to the injured tissue and also prevent the loss of blood. The platelets and proteins present in the plasma get attached to the damaged part of the blood vessel. These form a clump together and reduce the bleeding. The clump is solidified by the action of various substances in the blood and tissue, which are known as clotting factors or coagulation factors.
When the injury gets healed, the body will naturally dissolve the blood clot. In some conditions, even if there is no external injury, clots get formed inside the blood vessels. They do not get dissolved naturally. This reduces the blood flow and a large number of platelets group together, stick to each other and form a blood clot. Such situations may require immediate medical attention and can even cause life-threatening complications.
Symptoms of blood clots
The symptoms of Blood clots vary depending on the location of the blood clots. Some of the symptoms of a blood clot in these specific locations are :
- Heart - heaviness, pain in the chest, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, and discomfort
- Brain - weakness of the face, arms, legs, vision problems, difficulty in speaking, sudden bouts of headache and dizziness
- Lung - sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, sweating, and palpitations
- Arm or Leg - sudden onset of pain, swelling, tenderness, and warmth
- Abdomen - intense abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea
Types of Blood Clots
The common areas of Blood clots are in the veins or arteries. Veins are the blood vessels that help in the transport of oxygen-depleted blood away from the body’s organs and back to the heart. When an abnormal blood clot forms in a vein, it impairs the return of blood to the heart. This in turn leads to pain and swelling as a result of blood gatherings behind the clot.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) refer to the blood clot that has formed in a major vein of the body. They are most commonly formed in the lower leg or thigh. When such clots break off and travel through the bloodstream, an embolus is formed. It can travel through the heart to an artery in the lungs where it blocks the blood flow. This is known as pulmonary embolism, and it is a medical emergency. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism are breathing difficulties, coughing up blood, and chest pain.
Clotting in the arterial walls leads to the condition known as atherosclerosis where hardening of the arteries occurs. The plague gets narrowed inside the blood vessel and they are made of substances like cholesterol, fats, cellular waste, calcium, and fibrin which is a clotting material in the blood. When the arterial muscles continue to force blood through the opening with a lot of pressure, the plaque ruptures. These blood clots develop in the coronary arteries in the heart, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke.
Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Blood Clots
- Changing the Diet
It is essential to change the diet to maintain the desired weight, adequate cholesterol, and blood pressure levels, improve the body’s insulin sensitivity and reduce the overall inflammation. Increasing intake of healing foods like dark leafy greens, colorful vegetables like yellow squash, red bell peppers, and purple eggplant, fruits, legumes, whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice and omega-3 foods such as wild-caught salmon, walnuts, flaxseeds, and grass-fed beef helps keep the vascular system active. Supplements of omega 3 fatty acids like Alvizia flaxseed oil supplements improve heart health and help in losing weight.
- Staying active
It is important to stay active to avoid the formation of blood clots. This can be achieved by exercising regularly and avoiding periods of prolonged inactivity and immobilization. It is also recommended to take breaks regularly when sitting for long. Moving around and stretching throughout the day helps in keeping blood clots at bay.
- Consider changing Medications
Studies show that intake of some medications is known to increase the risk of developing blood clots. Using hormone replacement drugs, birth control pills, medications to control blood pressure and cancer treatment drugs should be regularly monitored for clot-related side effects. It is also beneficial to incorporate the use of natural remedies for the health conditions that are currently being treated with medications.
- Quitting Smoking
It is a fact that smoking cigarettes increase the risk of developing blood clots. The risk increases even more with the presence of other underlying factors like obesity.
Turmeric is a naturally occurring spice that is known to reduce inflammation. It also acts as a natural anticoagulant and is used for antiplatelet treatment. Studies show that the presence of curcumin in turmeric is associated with the inhibition of the development of blood clots due to its anticoagulant activities.
Garlic is known for the prevention and treatment of many cardiovascular diseases including blood clots. Intake of raw garlic helps to reverse the plaque buildup. It also prevents the formation of new plaque in the arteries. Consumption of garlic daily decreases the serum cholesterol and increases the clotting time. Studies show that garlic may also be useful for the prevention of thrombosis.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful anticoagulant. It is effective in the prevention of ischemic heart disease and stroke. Vitamin E is useful in the treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system and blood vessels like chest pain, high blood pressure and blocked or hardened arteries. Almonds, hazelnuts, avocado, butternut squash, mango, sunflower seeds, broccoli, spinach, kiwi, and tomato are rich sources of vitamin E.
- Helichrysum Oil
Topical application of Helichrysum oil is effective in the disintegration of coagulated blood under the surface of the skin. Helichrysum oil is also useful in lowering inflammation, increasing the functioning of the smooth muscles, and lowering high blood pressure. Helichrysum oil helps improve circulation and decrease pain and swelling.