Ways You Can Prevent Blood Clots
7 of the Best Ways to Prevent Blood Clots
Though it is good for blood to clot around bleeding areas, free forming blood clots that travel through the veins of the body are a very dangerous medical condition because they can block blood flow to various parts of the body. This can result in embolisms, deep vein thromboses, heart disease, or strokes that may potentially be life-threatening. It is therefore essential to do everything you can to prevent blood clots before they start forming, and fortunately, most ways of preventing blood clots are very simple.
Avoid Sitting Still For a Long Time
Many people who get blood clots get them after travelling for extended periods of time. This type of blood clot, which is often called “travelers thrombosis,” happens because blood cannot flow as quickly through the veins while the body is cramped in a seated position. People who sit at an office desk or in a car all day are particularly at risk for blood clots. Try to get up at least once every hour to walk around and exercise your legs for at least five minutes.
Wear Loose-Fitting Clothes
With the recent trends of skinny jeans and leggings, doctors have noticed an increase in leg numbness. All types of tight fitting clothes prevent blood from flowing through the veins and into the heart, and this can cause blood clots to occur. Therefore, it is best to avoid clothes that constrict movement.
Have a Healthy Diet
Eating fatty foods or salty foods can increase blood clot risk because these types of food cause thickened blood vessels. The combination of narrower blood vessels and thicker blood vessel walls can greatly contribute to the formation of blood clots. Try to avoid foods that cause clots, and instead consume foods rich in vitamin E and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which both have blood thinning properties.
Wear Compression Gradient Stockings
Compression stockings that are tight around the ankle area and gradually loosen as they go up the leg prevent blood clots by squeezing the leg and moving blood towards the heart. Compression stockings should be at least knee high to be effective, and thigh high ones are even better.
Raise Your Legs
Blood clots in the legs are very common because blood flow is slower in veins that are farther away from the heart, and the effects of gravity can also make blood clots in the legs more likely. Raising your legs a few inches while sitting at a desk or on a couch can greatly reduce your risk of blood clots, and you can also raise the foot of your bed a couple inches to keep your legs lifted at night.
A healthy, active lifestyle will exercise the heart, allowing it to function better all the time. A 2008 study by the American Heart Association even found that exercising could actually break up pre existing blood clots by increasing levels of tissue type plasminogen activator, a natural compound that dissolves clots.