Preventing Blood Clots

Blood clots can occur in the body in a different ways. A blood clot may occur inside the small veins that appear near the surface of the skin, causing localized redness and pain but few complications. Blood clots can also form inside larger, deeper veins, causing a condition called deep vein thrombosis. These blood clots can cause much more serious health problems, and, as such, it is important to take appropriate action to prevent their formation. Learn more about preventing blood clots and protect your ongoing health.

Aspirin

According to National Institutes of Health, research has shown that a simple aspirin may help prevent a life-threatening blood clot. A research group of 402 people that had suffered blood clots were given anticlotting drugs for a time. Some were then switched to aspirin, while others where switched to an inactive placebo. Those who started taking aspirin were found to have a 40 percent lower likelihood of further deep vein thrombosis.

Anticoagulants

If you are at risk, drugs called anticoagulants may be prescribed by your doctor to help prevent blood clotting. These drugs are also known as blood thinners, and they reduce the blood's ability to coagulate or form clots. According to the American Heart Association, common anticoagulants include dalteparin, enoxaparin, heparin, tinzaparin and warfarin. These drugs do not dissolve existing blood clots, however, and should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor.

Physical activity

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) points out that the way in which you carry out physical activities can help prevent a blood clot from forming. Your doctor will be able to recommend certain physical exercises, which will help, but how you conduct your daily life is also relevant. You should not stand or sit for more than one hour at a time, and you should try to move around regularly. If you are taking a long trip (in a car or plane, for example), ensure that you regularly change your position throughout the journey. At home, from time to time, raising your legs six inches above your heart will also improve your circulation.

Clothing matters

What you wear is another factor that can help prevent the formation of blood clots, according to HHS. Wearing loose-fitting clothes, socks or stockings ensures that what you wear doesn't interfere with healthy circulation. Your doctor may also recommend a special type of stocking called a compression stocking. These work by applying pressure on the veins of the leg. This pressure is greatest at the ankle and decreases further up the leg. These stockings help with the natural pump mechanism of your leg muscles, which improves your circulation.

Changes in diet

Alterations in your diet also can help prevent blood clots. The University of Maryland Medical Center Web site states that preliminary studies have shown that consumption of ginger may reduce the risk of new blood clots forming. Similarly, garlic also seems to have blood-thinning properties. Fatty fish (such as tuna) contain omega-3 fatty acid, which can help prevent blood clotting. HHS also recommends reducing salt in the diet.

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