When a blood clot occurs in the circulatory system, it is known as a thrombus and the person is said to be undergoing thrombosis. Usually, blood clots are a normal bodily response to injuries and help stop bleeding. But sometimes, a part of the blood clot can break off, move into healthy blood vessels, and get lodged in them. This can be very dangerous, especially if the blood clot reaches organs like the brain, lungs, or heart. Because the clot can block regular functioning of the blood vessel, a person undergoing thrombosis can face fatal consequences.
Risks and symptoms
People who smoke, are overweight or obese, have high cholesterol levels, do not exercise, suffer from cancer, or experience intense stress are all at risk of being affected by thrombosis. A few of these factors also contribute to increased chances of atherosclerosis where fatty plaque deposits start to clog the blood vessels of the body.
Those who have a family history of thrombosis or suffer from any form of cardiovascular disease are also at risk of thrombosis. In women, those who use hormonal estrogen therapy and birth control also expose themselves to this problem. The risk of thrombosis is also high in patients who have recently undergone any kind of trauma that requires complete bed rest.
As far as symptoms are concerned, it usually depends on the type of thrombosis a person is experiencing. Arterial thrombosis is the one that affects the arteries and can be identified by symptoms like chest pain, heart attack, shortness of breath, reduction in blood flow to the limbs, loss of strength in arms or legs, or the lower half of the face drooping down on one side.
A venous thrombosis usually affects a deep vein in the leg. It results in symptoms like an ache in the affected region, warm sensation on the skin, or swelling and tenderness in the calf. Some people also develop red skin, typically in the back of their legs, just below the knees.
There are two ways you can reduce the risk of getting affected by thrombosis — by making lifestyle changes or by taking medication.
If your life is characterized by a high intake of fatty foods and little to no exercise, then the chances of thrombosis are high. The only way to minimize the risk is by becoming physically active and improving your diet. Make sure to work out at least 20 to 30 minutes every day. Replace processed, fatty, high-sugar foods with items that are rich in protein, minerals, and fiber. And if you have a smoking habit, get rid of it as soon as possible.
As far as medications go, there are anticoagulants available by prescription that will aid in the prevention of thrombosis. One of the most commonly used is Warfarin. However, aspirin also has some capability as an anticoagulant and it is available without a prescription. If given a choice by their doctor, most people prefer to take it because there are fewer complications associated with it.
Sometimes, the ideal treatment will be surgery, especially if there are severe physical complications. The surgeon will go directly to the affected region and try to clear out the blockage. In case this is not possible, they will divert the blood flow. Doctors might also advise to wear compression stockings, which will help prevent swelling and reduce pain in the affected region.
You can also try out traditional Chinese qigong exercises. These exercises work on the energy channels and also facilitate a proper functioning of organs and other mechanisms in the body.