Candidate of Medical Sciences, pediatrician, nutritionist, co-founder of the UniProf Academy of Physicians
What are thrombi? Where do they come from? What to do if you have a blood clot?
First, let’s understand what a thrombus is. This is a blood clot that attaches to the wall of blood vessels and interferes with its normal passage. This process is promoted by impaired hematopoiesis.
What are blood clots
In general, blood clots are constantly formed in the body in order to “patch” damaged vessels and capillaries. This is the absolute norm as long as there are not too many of them.
Blood clots can form in veins and arteries (venous and arterial thrombosis).
Superficial vein thrombosis is characterized by such symptoms: varicose veins, seals, pain and heaviness in the legs, swelling, redness of the skin in the vein area, general weakness, malaise.
Deep vein thrombosis may be asymptomatic or may cause severe swelling of the limb. In this case, the area of u200bu200bthe skin or the entire limb will turn white or even turn blue. Lameness may also appear.
Arterial thrombosis is characterized by a wider range of symptoms: different blood pressure when measured on both hands, pallor and cyanosis of the skin, pain (even when at rest), tissue death and ulcers.
To be 100% sure of the health or unhealthiness of the veins and blood vessels, you need to do an ultrasound. The doctor may also order a CT or MRI.
Why do blood clots appear
Among the direct causes of blood clots:
- increased blood clotting;
- slow blood circulation.
Various factors can lead to these problems, including:
- bad habits (smoking, alcoholism) that affect blood quality and hematopoiesis;
- overweight, excessive load on the limbs (weight lifting);
- injuries and surgical intervention (minor injuries, sprains, torn ligaments, vascular injuries);
- prolonged bed rest, sedentary lifestyle;
- stress and dehydration;
- taking drugs that thicken the blood;
- an unbalanced diet that increases the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Why even athletes are susceptible to blood clots
There are several reasons for this. First, sports can be equated with stress. Secondly, frequent and prolonged dehydration thickens the blood if the drinking regimen of an athlete – especially a professional one – is not debugged.
Runners and cyclists often have lower resting heart rates than normal people. It also affects blood circulation. Athletes of these sports are prone to edema of the limbs, and hence to vascular injuries, thinning of their walls.
Read more about what tests athletes should take here.
What should an athlete check? What tests to pass in the first place and why
What does a person feel when a blood clot breaks off
Most often, patients with thrombosis and thrombophlebitis are shown to rest, since sudden movements, jumping, running can provoke a blood clot. But a blood clot can come off for no apparent reason. Moreover, you may not even be aware of its existence.
For example, if it breaks thrombus in the brain, a stroke occurs. Speech is disturbed, facial paralysis is observed (usually, the left or right half), dizziness, paralysis of various parts of the body.
Thrombus in the jugular vein (on the neck) will cause dizziness, clouding of consciousness, decreased visual acuity.
Blockage of a coronary artery leads to a heart attack – chest pain, heaviness, difficulty breathing, dizziness, pressure surges.
Thrombus in the lungs characterized by blue skin, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat.
It is almost impossible to feel the process of detachment of a blood clot.
In fact, blood clots can come off daily – the danger depends on their number and size. As long as the clot does not clog an important artery or vein, and gives a normal passage for blood, there is no threat to life. When it blocks the passage to the lungs, heart or brain, serious pathologies arise that can cost lives.
Can thrombosis be cured?
Today, thrombosis is treated by two methods: medical and surgical. Patients are prescribed drugs that “thinn” the blood, reduce the number of platelets, and, if indicated, prescribe surgical procedures.
Blood clots are removed in several ways. The most popular are laser therapy and a technique when the operation is performed under local anesthesia and without incisions – a blood clot is removed through small punctures in the vessels. It can also be done through an incision.
What happens if thrombosis is not treated
Deep vein thrombosis, which often does not manifest itself in any way, in 30% of cases leads to pulmonary embolism – sudden death within half an hour. If you do not treat varicose veins and inflammation of the walls of the veins in which a blood clot forms, you can lose the capacity of the limb and acquire tissue necrosis, which will develop into ulcers.
Read more about how blood type affects nutrition and training here.
Healthy lifestyle by blood group. What loads and nutrition are effective for you
How to avoid blood clots
First of all, lead a fairly active lifestyle – try to stretch your limbs as often as possible. In addition, it is important to monitor blood pressure and vascular health. Women are encouraged to wear high heels as little as possible. It is also important to stop smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, simple sugars. It is necessary to monitor the weight and metabolic rate.
- Make sure there are no clots. If the age is more than 40 years, there is a predisposition to thrombosis, according to the analysis, the patient has a large number of platelets, and the state of the circulatory system leaves much to be desired – undergo an ultrasound scan.
- If poor blood counts are found, the doctor should prescribe corrective treatment, as well as find out the cause that influenced the patient’s condition.
- If a blood clot is detected, the doctor will help determine its location and prescribe therapy. You may need surgery to remove the clot.