It is important to be aware of any risk factors for what causes blood clots such as smoking, health conditions or medications that thicken the blood Find out more »
There are many different types of blood clot treatment, and which one is right depends on what type of clot is present, where it is located and how big it is Find out more »
Natural Blood Thinners and Blood Clotting Facts
Blood is a vital bodily fluid that performs essential functions including carrying oxygen to all cells, tissues and organs in the human body. Blood also supplies nutrients, hormones and chemical compounds for supporting bodily functions to all major systems of the body and evacuates waste products maintaining the health equilibrium. It also helps maintain proper body temperature by distributing warmth accumulated in the body after chain chemical reactions. However, one of the most important functions of blood is its ability to provide repair to damaged tissues and organs by its superior coagulatory mechanism. There are some health conditions, however, that can lead to blood coagulatory imbalances resulting in too thick or too thin blood. Both of these conditions are dangerous because without natural blood thinners, thick blood can lead to blood clots, thickened masses of blood platelets sticking together and forming blockages in arteries and blood vessels resulting in strokes and heart attacks, to say the least. On the opposite side from thick blood, some people may suffer from what is known as thin blood, or blood that does not coagulate properly leading to heavy bleeds even from minor injuries.
Blood Clot Formation and Blood Clotting Disorders
As a response to an injury to a blood vessel wall, blood starts clotting to seal a wound to stop blood loss and repair the site. This mechanism is set in place by small particles in blood called platelets. Platelets cling together to build a barrier at the injury site to stop excessive bleeding and help the wound heal. Once the blood vessel wall has healed, certain substances in blood help dissolve these blood clots to avoid any further damage to body from excessive blood clot formation. Under normal circumstances without any injury or trauma, platelets should not form blood clots in the blood stream. Unfortunately, in some people blood can coagulate excessively under seemingly normal conditions. This may lead to blood clot symptoms that can cause blood stream blockages leading to strokes, heart attacks and various dangerous health conditions. There are many medical predispositions that can result in blood clotting disorders that have genetic and environmental nature and also a result from chronic acquired diseases.
Blood clots can be formed in even very healthy individuals if they are exposed to some life scenarios that make thicker blood a possibility. After prolonged periods of inactivity like air travel or long car rides, some people may develop life threatening blood clots in the legs caused by blood pooling in one spot of lower extremities. It has been estimated that 1 out of 1,000 people in America can develop DVT or deep vein thrombosis every year. DVT is especially dangerous because it can be a silent killer when a piece of a blood clot (emboli) gets detached and travels virtually to any vein or artery causing a life threatening blockage.
Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs) is one of the most common result of the deep vein thrombosis. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include difficulty of breathing, turning blue in the face, increased heart rate and extreme chest pains. Prolonged sitting or bed rest are not the only reasons for developing dangerous blood clots, pregnancy or obesity also put individuals at an increased risk for this conditions. Blood clots during pregnancy are also if not common but a possible occurrence due to extra weight of the growing uterus pushing on internal organs impairing normal blood circulation. Poor circulation leads to stagnant blood and possible blood clots.
A need for natural blood thinners may arise for individual recovering from a recent surgery or a major injury. These will help thin blood and prevent dangerous excessive blood clot formation. Individuals with predisposing medical conditions like diabetes or heart disease, or those with high levels of cholesterol in blood can also benefit from the use of natural blood thinners to prevent coronary blood clot symptoms (heart attacks) or blood clot in brain damage in case of aneurisms and strokes.
Traditional Blood Clots Treatment Methods
Most traditional medicine physicians do not receive training on alternative methods to treat blood clots like natural blood thinners in medical school, instead they are taught to rely mostly on traditional blood clot treatments like blood thinning drugs. There are two main types of blood thinning medications, ones that inhibit the formation of the blood clots like Coumadin and those that prevent platelets to clump together like Aspirin. Blood thinning drugs under the names of Coumadin (Warfarin), Plavix (Clopidogrel) and many others work by making blood less viscous and freely flowing. Though blood coagulation is essential in helping you recover from an injury, excessive blood coagulation can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Unfortunately, traditional blood thinners side effects at times are very serious and put patients taking them at additional risks going beyond treating the conditions. Natural blood thinners work in tune with the bodies addressing the danger of blood clots without dangerous side effects of traditional pharmaceutical drugs. Among some of the serious blood thinners side effects it is important to point out the risks of severe bleeding, both external and internal. Because a body’s natural blood clotting mechanism is impaired, even the tiniest cut can lead to severe medical condition. Blood thinner drugs can also cause excessive swelling in the face and hands, bruising, chest pains and extreme cases gangrene requiring amputation.
In order to diagnose blood clotting disorders physicians may prescribe a series of tests including a blood coagulation test. The blood coagulation test helps a physician understand how well your blood clots and how long it takes to form a clot. According to the results of the test, your physician may recommend blood thinning drugs in addition to sticking to a special diet to decrease chances of blood clot formation. Increasing the intake of water, fresh fruits and vegetables combined with Omega-3 rich wild sources of seafood and eliminating processed ingredients may make blood thinner naturally. Some physicians may also prescribe vitamins to help with thick blood like Vitamins A, D and E in addition to other blood clot treatments.
In severe cases of especially large blood clots like DVT clots in legs, surgery may be the last resort to provide immediate relief for this life threatening condition. It has been estimated that out of all DVT cases only 5% of patients are recommended surgery to remove clots, especially if large blood clots pose complete vein blockage resulting in future necrosis of the tissues.
Natural Blood Thinners for Thick Blood
Certain herbal compounds have been known for centuries to act as natural blood thinners. Some of the most popular blood thinning herbs work by naturally thinning blood without the dangerous side effects of traditional medications. Turmeric with its bright orange color packs an anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet and anticoagulatory punch helping manage risk of blood clots. White willow bark in addition to its ability to combat headaches, is one of the popular natural blood thinners since it contains salicylates helping make blood less thick. Chamomile is another champion among natural blood thinners for its ability to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to blood vessels, and where there is less inflammation, there is less risk for thick blood. Traditional Chinese medicine has used Danshen for thousands of years to treat abnormal bleedings, menstrual disorders and else due its potent anticoagulation compounds. Ginkgo biloba has also been known for its powerful anti-platelet abilities and used in Chinese medicine to not only reduce blood clot risks but to improve mental capacity.
For all those wondering how to prevent blood clots naturally, foods can just be the answer. Some foods can also be powerful natural blood thinners. Spice up your salads, soups and main dishes by adding garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper to prevent dangerous thick blood and many other blood coagulation disorders. Garlic is among potent blood thinning foods capable to not only make your blood flow freely but provide an array of additional health benefits. In fact, garlic is a double whammy for people with increased risks of heart attacks and strokes due to thick blood and high cholesterol levels. Ginger, a popular Asian root vegetable and spice is among some of the most potent natural blood thinners that can also soothe an upset tummy and provide overall anti-inflammatory relief. Cayenne pepper is not only a spicy kicker for many hot dishes; it also acts as a natural vasodilator meaning it relaxes the walls of blood vessels making them wider and relieves blood pressure. Dried cherries are not as well known for their blood thinning abilities; however, these sweet treats can act as excellent natural blood thinners if consumed regularly. Additionally, pomegranates seeds have been found to be powerful antioxidants and blood thinners.
A word of caution for those taking natural blood thinners along with anticoagulatory medications is to watch out for dangerous symptoms of blood that is too thin leading to severe bleeding situations. Consult your doctor if you decide to add potent natural blood thinners to your regimen.
Natural blood thinners combined with smart diet choices and active lifestyles can help avoid many chronic health conditions leading to blood clots in the first place or help improve health dramatically. Pharmaceutical drugs act as mere “band aids” on the health problem without addressing the actual causes for the condition by treating just the symptoms. Without treating the root cause of the excessive blood clotting, the dependence on artificial drugs will arise potentially leading to life threatening side effects. Natural blood thinners in herbs and foods get to the root of the hypercoagulation by fighting inflammation, high platelet activity and lowering blood pressure naturally. Active lifestyles and plenty of water daily will help your blood move freely for life.
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