Foods for blood clots

Samantha Kutter Tells Her Blood Clot Survival Story

I had zero problems with my health until three years ago, when I was 19, and started on birth control pills to treat acne that did not respond to over the counter medicine. I am a non-smoker, never had any weight problems, and have not been in the hospital since I was two years old. My gynecologist did not foresee any problems with my decision to take birth control pills, and it seemed like a good decision at the time.

First, let me present my family medical history. My mother and one of her sisters, my aunt, told me they had blood clots, although they never saw a doctor to diagnose the clots, nor had any treatment with blood thinners. Instead, they chose an herbal remedy. My mother’s family also has a history of heart attacks and stroke. However, it never occurred to me that blood clots can be hereditary, and I had never heard of a blood clotting disorder. The doctor who prescribed the birth control pills did not ask me about blood clots in my family. I recall now that the history checklist I filled out included DVT, but was unaware then that DVT stood for deep vein thrombosis or that it was a blood clot.

Not surprisingly, it came as a complete shock to me when, after a month on birth control pills, I woke up with an immense pain and noticeable swelling in my left leg to the point that I could barely walk across the room. I was extremely confused and agitated, because I had no recollection of any injury to explain my symptoms. I looked online to see what it might be, and several sites suggested that my symptoms might be a blood clot, so I had my boyfriend at that time drive me to the hospital.

I wasn’t certain whether my symptoms meant I had a blood clot, and I think the ER staff thought it might be a sports injury. It took about 6 hours before they determined it was a blood clot, and almost 12 hours before a hospital bed was available. I was placed in the progressive care unit (PCU) because my blood clot ran the entire length of my thigh, the largest DVT the staff had ever seen. They gave me shots of low molecular weight heparin right away and medication to minimize my pain. They moved me to the main floor of the hospital a few days later, because I was doing better.

The doctors reminded me repeatedly that I needed to report any chest pain or shortness of breath since a DVT can cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). The night they moved me into the regular room, I felt a slight pressure in my chest, and I told my doctors about it the next day. Two of them brushed it off, but the third one came back and told me to say more about what I was feeling in my chest. This doctor ordered a CT scan that showed multiple clots in both of my lungs. They rushed me back to the PCU so they could monitor me more closely. Just think… I had multiple PEs, potentially lethal, and I did not even know they were there. As strange as it sounds, I sometimes feel as if I would prefer a visible life-threatening injury, even a bullet or stab wound. The fact that a blood clot is hidden within my body and can still travel to the lungs is terrifying!

Eventually, I got better and was sent home. While I was in the hospital, I was tested for many different blood clotting disorders, and tested positive for heterozygous factor V Leiden. As a result, I will be on warfarin for the rest of my life, because of my risk for developing another PE. Needless to say, I stopped taking birth control pills.

While I wish I had known that I had factor V Leiden, I am glad that our family has this knowledge now. My mother has not been tested to see whether she is positive for factor V Leiden, and not interested in finding out. She thinks that there is no sense in worrying about something she has dealt with her entire life. My father was not tested, but neither he nor anyone in his family had any blood clots.

I also try to write reports at school about factor V Leiden because I want to increase awareness about blood clotting disorders and how they may increase blood clotting risk. The greatest impact this experience had on me is my choice of career. I am pursuing a degree in Medical Assisting, but hope to become certified as a pharmacy technician, and perhaps choose nursing in the future. I want to use my experience to ease the difficulty and fear that others may have in coping with illness, particularly those related to blood clots.

Do Blood Clots Go Away on Their Own?

Doctor’s Response

A blood clot is a mass made up of platelets and fibrin in the blood that forms to stop bleeding. When a blood clot forms where it shouldn’t, inside an artery or vein, it can cause problems because it can decrease the blood flow past the clot.

When clots form in the legs they are referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These clots can break off and go to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a medical emergency and can be fatal. Blood clots can also cause heart attack or stroke.

Blood clots do go away on their own, as the body naturally breaks down and absorbs the clot over weeks to months. Depending on the location of the blood clot, it can be dangerous and you may need treatment.

Usually the signs and symptoms of a blood clot will be enough to alert and potentially alarm a patient or their family enough to seek care.

An arterial clot prevents blood rich with oxygen and nutrients from getting to cells, causing them to stop functioning. This usually causes a true emergency and emergency services should be activated (often by calling 911).

  • If those oxygen-deprived cells are in the brain, then symptoms of stroke may be apparent. Time is of the essence in seeking emergency care. There is a narrow time window during which clot-busting drugs may be used to dissolve the blood clot and reverse the stroke. The acronym for symptoms of a stroke are FAST, which stands for:
    • F = drooping face
    • A = arm weakness
    • S = speech difficulty
    • T = time to call 911
  • A heart attack (myocardial infarction) occurs when the blood clot occludes a coronary artery (one of the arteries that supplies oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle). The signs and symptoms of heart attack include:
    • chest pain,
    • upper abdominal pain, arm, neck, or jaw pain,
    • indigestion,
    • shortness of breath,
    • sweating,
    • nausea, and
    • others.
  • Again, time is of the essence to try to re-establish blood supply to heart muscle by heart catheterization and balloon angioplasty and stent or by administering clot-busting drugs. The goal is to have the blocked heart artery opened up within 60-90 minutes of the patient’s arrival at a medical care facility.
  • Other arterial clots will usually cause an acute onset of significant pain and will signal the need for emergency medical care.

For more information, read our full medical article on deep vein thrombosis.

Blood clotting processes in the body are natural. The body manufactures a number of components involved in the development of blood clots to begin the clotting process. This is essential to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is injured through blunt force trauma, a cut, or other types of injuries.

The clotting process also initiates repair and healing of such injury.

Blood clots, depending on the severity of the injury, can dissolve on their own. How does this work?

Blood clots formation and dissolving

Blood clots develop from a process that involves a number of blood components including proteins and platelets. This process forms a clot over a blood vessel injury. The same process in reverse has the capability of breaking the clot down.

In scenarios where blood clot is formed, it can dissolve on its own when a protein known as plasmin (a component of the clot itself) is activated by another substance in the body known as an activator. This triggers a process similar to a “self-destruct” button that breaks up the net-like structure of the clot.

Some clotting processes are visible and take place on the outside of the body, such as a cut, scratch, or more specifically, during the formation and dissolving of a scab.

A blood clot that forms inside the blood vessel, and is not necessarily caused by an injury but sluggish blood flow, narrowed arteries, or other factors often associated with poor lifestyle habits, may require man-made interventions such as anticoagulation therapy or drugs known as clot busters.

Blood thinners or anticoagulants are a common resource when it comes to dealing with deep vein thrombosis or DVT, otherwise known as blood clots that develop in the large veins, most commonly the leg. The danger with a DVT is the potential of the blood clot to dislodge from the wall of the artery and travel through the bloodstream until it reaches the lung, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE) that cuts off blood supply in the lung. This prevents the lung from oxygenating blood returning to the heart. This scenario is potentially life-threatening.

Drugs known as blood thinners don’t dissolve clots per se, but prevent them from growing larger and also prevent the formation of new blood clots. This allows the body the time to naturally break up the clot on its own.

Clot-busting drugs designed specifically to treat pulmonary embolisms are capable of breaking down the blood clot by instigating the release of plasmid, which like with natural blood clot dissolving scenarios, gives the body a head start in also destroying the pulmonary embolism.

Regaining health

Some blood clots are relatively harmless, while others can be life-threatening. DVTs and pulmonary embolisms are not to be underestimated. It can take weeks for such clots to dissolve and for an individual to recover. With proper medical care however, these blood clots will eventually dissolve, but individuals who have experienced such clots must be aware that they have a potential to return when lifestyle habits such as poor diet, smoking, or immobility are involved.

Blood Clot Curcumin Treatment: Is Turmeric a Natural Blood Thinner?

Curcumin is the main compound in turmeric, a spice commonly known for its bright color and unique flavor. You may be familiar with this when it comes to cooking, but you may not know that curcumin can help dissolve blood clots before they become dangerous.

While blood clotting is a necessary process, sometimes clots can move, which is when they become a health hazard.

Curcumin possesses powerful healing properties and is a beneficial ally when it comes to promoting optimal health. More than a condiment, this spice has been used for centuries in ancient Chinese medicine to heal a variety of health issues.

Providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for your health, it now seems that curcumin can also inhibit blood clot formation.

Blood Clotting Basics

Whenever you are injured, or the skin is cut in any way, blood clots form to prevent too much blood loss. Specialized blood cells, known as platelets, coagulate and form a clot to block the wound.

Clots can form in both arteries and veins. When immobile, they are generally harmless. Unfortunately, blood clots do not always dissolve spontaneously, and this is when problems can occur.

If a clot dislodges and becomes mobile, it can travel to your heart or lungs, get stuck, and block blood flow.

Arterial blood clots require immediate medical attention as they can lead to a heart attack or stroke. These clots are typically associated with atherosclerosis, which occurs when plaque builds up along the arterial walls.

When a clot appears, the arteries narrow, but the arterial muscles continue to pump blood. The increased pressure from the blood not being able to pass can cause an artery to rupture.

Venous clots build up more slowly, but they are still life-threatening. Thrombosis can occur when a clot forms in one of your major veins, typically in the legs, arms, lungs, or brain.

When a clot moves, it is known as an embolus, and this is when they become extremely dangerous. If left untreated, you could end up with a pulmonary or brain embolism, which can be fatal.

It is entirely possible to have a blood clot without any symptoms, but it is important to understand symptoms because they differ with regards to the location of the blood clot.

♦ Heart: Pain is felt in the chest along with shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and lightheadedness.

♦ Brain: You will notice vision problems, difficulty speaking, severe headaches, and weakness in your face, arms, or legs.

♦ Lungs: Sharp chest pains along with a racing heartbeat, shortness of breath, fever, and the possibility of coughing up blood.

♦ Extremities: A clot in your arms or legs will result in gradual or sudden pain, swelling, tenderness, and warmth in the immediate area of the clot.

♦ Stomach: A clot in your stomach can cause intense abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.

When Curcumin Meets Clot

By understanding blood clots, it becomes possible to see how the properties of curcumin impact their formation and activity. This powerful compound has the ability to inhibit platelet aggregation, which means clots cannot even form.

The anticoagulant properties make curcumin a possible preventative measure for those at risk for developing dangerous blood clots.

Anticoagulants are the first medication of choice to dissolve a blood clot. However, these can come with unpleasant side effects. Rather than risk dizziness, headaches, and stomach pains, you can opt for a more natural treatment, such as turmeric (and the active ingredient it contains, curcumin).

People at risk for blood clotting are advised to take blood thinners regularly, and it is this overuse that can cause additional complications.

| Related: 12 Turmeric Benefits to Rival Medications |

Taking medications can be tricky because of blood thinners are mixed, you could end up causing more damage than good. The natural anticoagulant properties of curcumin allow it to dissolve blood clots without causing more problems.

Supplements are available at any health food store. With regular use, you can safely regulate blood clotting functions in your body.

The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin can also help in controlling blood clot formation. Many people do not realize that there is a link between blood clotting and inflammation.

Studies have shown that patients with urinary tract or respiratory infections have a higher risk of developing a blood clot. The cause lies in the inflammation associated with these infections.

Curcumin is one of the strongest natural anti-inflammatory agents available, so regular supplementation can control inflammation in your body. The blood-clotting agents in your blood react with viruses and bacteria, triggering inflammation.

Even if you are fighting an infection, controlling the inflammatory response can prevent the formation of a dangerous blood clot.

| Related: Why Turmeric (Curcumin) Keeps Old Age at Bay |

The causes of a blood clot can vary, but there are certain risk factors that can increase your chances of getting one:

♦ A lengthy hospital stay or being sedentary

♦ Being over the age of 65

♦ Lengthy travel, causing you to sit for hours at a time

♦ Obesity

♦ Pregnancy

♦ Smoking

♦ Oral contraceptive use

Lifestyle Tips to Help Prevent Blood Clots

Being aware of what can increase your risk of blood clots will help you make the necessary changes to your life that will help to prevent this. Dietary changes like reducing cholesterol and eating more heart-healthy foods are the first step.

Regular exercise to promote weight loss or healthy weight maintenance is essential because obesity is strongly linked to the risk of thrombosis.

A balanced diet and daily exercise program will keep you healthy. When you add in a curcumin supplement, though, you can be sure that your blood will only clot when needed.

The risk of blood clotting is also increased with smoking (and this includes electronic cigarettes), so quitting is your best option. Once lifestyle changes are made, you are in a better position to avoid the development of blood clots.

The Bottom Line

Because blood clotting is a necessary and natural function to prevent blood loss, there could be inherent dangers in stopping the process. The idea of taking turmeric is not to prevent clotting altogether but to ensure large, potentially dangerous clots do not form.

Unlike most of the anticoagulant medications, turmeric extract has almost no known side effects, making it your best defense against fatal blood clotting.

READ NEXT >>> Can Turmeric Replace Aspirin?

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How I Eat After a Blood Clot

Before I was a VTE blogger, I was a health and fitness blogger. Before I started writing about my blood journey, I wrote about my weight-loss journey. Before I was diagnosed with a DVT and PE, I was diagnosed with insulin resistance as a pre-cursor to diabetes, which motivated me to make changes in my life related to nutrition and fitness. I started running half marathons and eating better – and I eventually reversed the damage being done to my body and came off insulin-sensitivity drugs. In the process, I became enamored with nutrition, fitness and running and continued training – and writing about it – up until that weekend in June of 2012 when un-relenting calf pain turned into a blood clot in my lung and I was out of the fitness game for the next three years.

During my recovery, I gained back all of the forty pounds I had previously worked so hard to lose – and then some. I stopped focusing on making good choices when I ate food and while I didn’t go overboard, my body reached its highest weight ever and I plateaued there. There was nothing I could do – or wanted to do – to change it at the time. My singular focus was on recovery from my blood clot including managing my pain, decreased lung function, leg swelling, a fluctuating INR, multiple doctor visits, physical setbacks, emotional trauma and the numerous lifestyle changes that come with all of the above. Still, in the back of my mind, I knew I had to get the weight off. Once physically recovered from my blood clot, I still felt horrible, lethargic, fatigued and out of control because of my weight. My self-esteem took yet another beating when I already didn’t have much self-esteem left. Eating – and the choices I was making about food – were wrecking havoc on my emotional health.

It’s hard to eat consciously on a regular day, let alone when you are managing an ongoing illness. Now, some of the most common questions I receive at BCRN are, “How do I eat healthy on a blood thinner and how do I lose weight after a blood clot?” While I am not a doctor, nor am I a nutritionist, I am sharing what as worked for me and some tips that I believe can help benefit anyone who is trying to lose weight or make better choices when it comes to food. Studies tend to show that in terms of weight loss, diet plays a much bigger role than exercise – and just because you are taking an anticoagulant does not mean you can’t eat for weight loss and/or optimal health. As a rule, it is important to discuss any dietary changes you want to make with your physician before you make those changes. I talked to three of my doctors – hematologist, endocrinologist and GP – before I made these changes.

Overview: Establish or find a nutrition plan.

Worst first, right? When talking about nutrition for weight loss, it is important to find a diet plan that works for you (here is the only place you will see me use the word “diet” in this context. I refer to the way I eat as a lifestyle, not a diet because it is how I prefer to eat and it is what makes me feel good). The internet, books, magazines, etc. are filled with an overwhelming amount of information about how to eat, when to eat, what to eat and what’s the right way to do things. The thing is, though, finding a plan is just as individual as the blood clot treatment plan you are on. There is no right way because each of us is different.

I have spent many years researching ways to eat and tried a multitude of the plans that are out there – Weight Watchers, Paleo, Whole 30, Low-fat, Autoimmune Protocols, Gluten-Free, Blood Type Diet, Low Calorie, High Calorie – all of them have their pros and their cons. Finding one that works is entirely up to you.

I have chosen to incorporate pieces and parts of these plans to make my own plan, with the guidance of my doctor. The basics of my plan include:

  • 1,500 calories a day (or about 500 calories a meal) – drastically cutting calories does not work for anyone.
  • A focus on eating macronutrients each day with a goal of not more than half of my daily intake of nutrients being carbohydrates, about 30 percent of my daily intake of nutrients being fat and about 30 percent of my daily intake of nutrients being protein.
  • I do not eat (or I limit) white grains (rice, pasta, bread), potatoes (all kinds), sugar (and alcohol), dairy (cheese, sour cream, milk, creams, etc.), soy, whey, protein powders.
  • I eat chicken, beef and fish (although I do limit my intake to a few times a week as a personal choice), beans, eggs, nut butters, vegetables (the list is large: peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, squash, asparagus, etc.), sweet potatoes, whole grains (limited to once a day and is either whole grain rice or bread), fruit (apples, oranges, bananas, grapes), olive oil, coconut oil, butter (not margarine) and on occasion bacon fat or lard. I cook with almost every spice except rosemary and fennel.
  • I eat three meals a day and an afternoon snack, usually. I eat breakfast every single day (not an easy accomplishment) within one hour of waking up. A typical day for me is brown rice, spinach, and an egg fried in butter for breakfast; more spinach and beans or roast beef on a whole grain tortilla and spinach with mustard for lunch; chicken/steak and vegetables or a sweet potato with almond butter and vegetables for dinner. Snacks might be an apple with almond butter or Greek yogurt.
  • I do allow myself to have treats. I eat out about once a week with no restrictions, have a pinch of sugar and sometimes cream in my tea each morning and consume wine every now and then.
Fill up on good things – what works for you.

Finding out what makes you feel good – and is healthy – is important. Once you do, eat those things in excess, even in spite of calories goals. I eat spinach every day because it makes me feel healthy, strong, energized and full. Eating protein makes me feel full. Eating nut butters, fruit and on occasion chocolate makes me feel happy. If I am hungry at the end of the day, I eat a sweet potato, popcorn or a even a piece of chicken, even if I am going over on my 1,500 calorie goal.

Cut out the bad things – what doesn’t work for you.

In the beginning, I read It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, which gave me a lot of insight into how poor nutrition might be affecting our overall health, including inflammation in the body. I did the Whole 30 Challenge where I eliminated grains, dairy, sugar and alcohol according to the plan for 30 days. At the end of the thirty days, I started adding things back into my diet that I previously loved to eat and was certain I couldn’t continue living without. Certain things made me feel horrible – and still do to this day. I avoid milk and white grains (rice, pasta and bread). On the other hand, I do love white rice – especially from Chinese take-out with a lot of hot sauce. I eat it once in awhile, but I am prepared to face massive joint swelling and pain the next day so my once in awhile is really only that – once in awhile.

I rarely eat anything that is not whole – meaning I eliminate processed foods or things that come out of a box, a bag, a container, etc.

Consistency is key.

When talking about nutrition – especially if you are taking medications that can be affected by food, like warfarin – it is important to talk about consistency. Consistency is more important than elimination, especially when discussing the foods that are healthy for you. I eat about the same amount of spinach everyday. I eat about the same amount of protein in a day. I eat about the same amount of carbs in a day. I eat about the same amount of calories in a day.

I also consistently cook at home, make two or three meals out of one (before it even goes on my plate I divide it up) and shop the perimeter of the grocery store (that’s where you find whole foods like vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat).

Write it down, somewhere, somehow.

In writing down what I eat everyday (as a means to keep track of calories), I realized two things: We as human beings consume entirely way too many calories without realizing it and we eat generally the same things each day without realizing it. Write down what you eat. I think you might find consistency is more present than you realize and you eat more than you realize. I use MyFitnessPal mobile app (or checkout the desktop version) to keep track of my calories and macronutrients. It’s free to download for iOS and Android. You can also use a paper or electronic journal.

Drink water.

I exclusively drink water – and black tea in the morning with sugar and sometimes cream. If you feel thirsty, you need to drink more water. I don’t really pay attention to cups or ounces, but I do drink to not be thirsty. If I go out, I order water. I don’t drink soda, juice or coffee very often, if at all. If I want flavor in my water, which I rarely do, I put my own sliced lemon or lime in it.

Treat yourself.

You cannot eat according to plan 100 percent of the time. It’s not healthy, either. What I refer to as treat (not cheat) meals are important to your mental attitude. I do this about once – maybe even twice – a week. I do not take a treat day, but I take a treat meal where I eat what I want (usually from a restaurant) and do not worry about calories, nutrients or goals. I may or may not write my treat meal down. I eat what tastes good and looks good to me (insert Chipotle here). Over time, I have found my desire to do this is less and less and I tend to have treats that are not really meals – a chocolate bar, a glass or two of wine, or French fries with my salad at dinner.

Don’t do weight loss alone.

Apps like MyFitnessPal have a community component where you can “Like” and “Comment,” just like Facebook. Find a group, an app, an online forum, a book, etc. – anything to make connections with other people who are on the same journey as you. Not only is it motivating, it also helps hold you accountable to your own goals.

To sum it up, this is what works for me – and might not work for you too. This is what I discussed with my doctor – your doctor might make different recommendations. All of that is okay.

Weight loss takes time, dedication and hard work. Changes can be slow – they should be slow, as should weight loss. With small changes, comes lasting progress. I take one day at a time. My today is not my yesterday or my tomorrow. By eating to feel good and fueling my body well, I have noticed I feel much better – and while I am losing weight slowly, the emotional benefits far outweigh the physical ones. I feel more confident, happy and secure in my decisions to take care of myself. For me, self-care extends far beyond my initial recovery to caring for my body and my mind from this point forward.

Reader Writes In: Are you trying to lose weight or eat healthy after a blood clot? What works for you? What is your favorite treat?

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

More information to share:
  • Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots
  • Risk Factors for Blood Clots
  • How to Manage a Panic Attack after a PE
  • What does it feel like to recover from a blood clot?
  • What is a DVT?
  • What is a PE?
  • What Everyone Should Know About Blood Clots

Diet and gut bacteria linked with blood clots

(Reuters Health) – Consuming too much choline, a nutrient sold in over-the-counter dietary supplements, can boost the risk for blood clots, researchers warn.

That’s because bacteria in the intestines interact with choline to produce a compound that encourages platelets to clump together and form clots.

Choline is found in a variety of foods including meat, eggs and milk. It’s what’s known as an essential nutrient, which means the body can’t make enough choline on its own and so it must be provided in food.

But “unless prescribed by your doctor, avoid supplements with choline,” said senior study researcher Dr. Stanley L. Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, in a statement.

Hazen and colleagues had previously shown that bacteria in the intestines interact with choline and other dietary nutrients to produce a substance called TMAO, and they linked high levels of TMAO in the blood to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Also, in studies in animals, they linked higher levels of TMAO to a higher risk for blood clots.

Their latest research, reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, shows that choline in food can affect blood clotting risk in humans, and in some cases, that risk can be minimized by taking low-dose aspirin.

In the current study, they gave oral choline supplements to 18 volunteers and then measured TMAO levels, along with the responses of platelets, tiny particles involved in clotting.

After taking the supplements for up to two months, participants had more than 10-fold increases in blood levels of TMAO. The tendency of their platelets to clump together and form clots was also significantly increased, in direct proportion to the increases in TMAO levels.

Aspirin, which reduces the stickiness of platelets, reduced both the increases in TMAO and the increases in platelet clotting associated with choline, but it didn’t completely eliminate them, the researchers found.

The findings are of particular concern in people at high cardiovascular risk, whose increased risk of blood clots may not be overcome by low-dose aspirin. The researchers recommend further study.

They also say it’s worth exploring whether low-dose aspirin is beneficial in otherwise healthy people with high TMAO in the blood – although at this point, they can’t explain why the aspirin seemed to bring down TMAO levels.

Dr. Herbert Tilg from Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, who has studied the link between gut microbes and blood clots, told Reuters Health by email, “This and earlier studies show that we now definitely have to consider dietary aspects in this context, i.e., diet drives thrombosis risk.”

“These associations are totally new and unexpected: a link between diet – gut microbiota – and thromboembolic events,” he said.

“They are extremely relevant for the public and in medicine,” given that clots are “very, very common” and can be fatal, he said.

Tilg added that “preventive strategies are needed, and probably aspirin is not sufficient. This needs further studies.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/1q3uqj1 Circulation, online April 24, 2017.

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

5 Home Remedies for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Natural Treatment

Blood clots are a seen as a common problem these days, considering our sedentary lifestyle and the long hours we spent sitting glued to our seats which can affect the smooth flow of blood in the body. The basic causes of blood clot formation may include sitting at one place for long hours, internal injury or a family history of blood clots. Usually blood clots go away on their own and in some cases, they may require treatment but if the situation worsens it may lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. DVT is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more veins located deep inside your body. It may usually occur due to a leg injury gone bad. Here’s a handy guide to DVT, its causes and symptoms and home remedies that offer relief. Deep vein Thrombosis or DVT is a condition where blood clots form in veins deep inside the body causing disruption in the flow of blood.
The clots are generally formed in your thighs or lower legs, however, can develop in other areas in the body too. Deep Vein Thrombosis can become a serious condition as these blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through the bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking the blood flow. Generally, conditions like DVT are seen in people above 40, but if you have a family history of the condition, you should be careful and consider regular checkup.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Symptoms

Deep Vein Thrombosis may have certain symptoms that one shouldn’t ignore as it may get worse with time. Here are some symptoms to look out for before visiting a doctor-

  • Extreme pain in your leg
  • Reddish or bluish coloured skin
  • Prominent veins
  • Tired legs
  • Swelling in foot, ankle, or leg
  • Frequent cramps
  • The affected area may feel warmer

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Causes

Blood clots are generally caused by anything that prevents the blood from circulating properly. There may be various causes of blood clots causing DVT that you should look out for such as side effects of medications, limited movement, injury to a vein, pregnancy, health issues like cholesterol, stomach issues and if you have a family history of the condition.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Home Remedies and Home Treatment

While DVT may be a serious health condition, it can be treated.

There are certain home remedies for DVT suggested by Wellness Expert Sagar Arya that can be used to reduce the symptoms of DVT –

1. Ginger Apart from being an excellent healing spice, ginger plays an important role in treating deep vein thrombosis. It is an effective medicine to break down the fibrins that cause DVT and further helps in smooth movement of blood. According to Nutritionist Sagar, drink ginger tea at least two to three times a day. It can help prevent high cholesterol that causes plaque buildup further inhibiting blood circulation.
(Also Read: 5 Home Remedies For Blood Clot And Natural Treatment)It is an effective medicine to break down the fibrins that cause DVT
2. Vitamin E rich foods
Vitamin E rich foods like walnuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, olive oil, bell peppers and kiwis help the blood to flow smoothly. Vitamin K is known to thicken the blood promoting the formation of clots; hence, vitamin E acts as anti-coagulant for the veins. Include more green leafy vegetables, spinach, mustard greens, fish, liver, eggs and cereals in your diet.
(Also Read: 5 Blood Thinning Foods To Reduce Blood Clots)Vitamin K is known to thicken the blood promoting the formation of clots
3. Cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper is known to be a natural blood thinner that helps in treating DVT. The compound capsaicin present in cayenne promotes smooth blood circulation and helps prevent blood clots. Apart from this, it also helps normalize blood pressure and reduces cholesterol levels that may be a cause of blood clots. Make sure you do not eat cayenne pepper without consulting a doctor.
Cayenne pepper is known to be a natural blood thinner that helps in treating DVT​
4. Garlic Cloves
Garlic is a known ingredient that promotes blood circulation and helps you get rid of all the effects of DVT. According to Nutritionist Sagar, one clove a day can actually help reduce the signs of DVT. It is known to be anti-thrombotic, which helps in preventing blood clots in patients at the risk of clots. Eating raw garlic first thing in the morning is said to be quite effective for many people.
Garlic is a known ingredient that promotes blood circulation

5. Cinnamon
Cinnamon has a natural anticoagulant called coumarin that helps in lowering blood pressure as well acts as a blood thinner promoting blood circulation and preventing blood clots. Cinnamon’s blood thinning properties can help deep vein thrombosis patients manage blood clotting by acting as an anti-clotting agent. Drinking cinnamon water is super-beneficial for over-all, as per various health experts. Do not regard this as a sole measure for alternative healing in blood clotting.
Cinnamon has a natural anticoagulant called coumarin​
CommentsWhile all the natural remedies and treatments for DVT are effective, you shouldn’t completely rely on them. Consult a doctor before switching to the natural remedies. Also it is imperative to exercise regularly, at least for 15-30 minutes to ensure regular movement of the body and good blood circulation.

Blood Thinners and Food | A Few Tips

When It Comes To Food, Consistency Is The Best Ingredient

Blood clots are very serious, even life threatening, because they may stop the flow of blood to the lungs, the heart, and the brain. Warfarin, also known as Coumadin®, is a medication that helps slow or prevent blood clots from forming. When you take warfarin, it’s very important to keep your diet consistent. A balanced, healthy diet is always recommended, of course, but you can eat what you normally enjoy as long as you do so consistently.

Healthy Choices

When a person learns that they have a blood clot, or that they are at risk for developing a blood clot, they may begin to make healthier choices in their life, including a change to a healthier diet. It’s okay to make the change to a healthier diet, as long as you work with your healthcare provider to monitor your INR and to make sure that you are becoming consistent with your diet. Some of the healthiest foods that you can eat, including foods like broccoli and spinach, are high in vitamin K. You might read or be told that you need to be aware of your vitamin K intake, because vitamin K can interfere with how warfarin works or make it less effective. It’s always very important to understand how different things, like food, might affect how your medication works. However, if you eat these very healthy foods that are rich in vitamin K consistently – in the same amounts over time with no sudden changes – you can enjoy the wonderful nutritional benefits they provide as part of a healthy diet. You should talk with your healthcare provider before making any changes in what you eat. You can also talk to a registered nutritionist to help make sure that your food intake is healthy and consistent. The United States Department of Agriculture has a nutrient database that provides information about vitamin K levels in many of the foods you might choose.

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages, including hard liquor, beer or wine, also can affect how warfarin works. Experts advise that, as with food, consistency is key here as well. You should avoid drinking too much at any one time and always avoid binge drinking.

Herbs And Supplements

Herbs and dietary supplements, including vitamin and mineral supplements in both pill and liquid form, also may change the way Warfarin works. The amount of vitamin K content in herbs and dietary supplements can vary a lot and be unknown. For this reason, experts recommend that you avoid taking herbs and supplements if you are taking warfarin.

Talk To Your Health Care Provider

If you are taking warfarin, talk to your healthcare provider about what you are eating and also any herbs or dietary supplements you are taking. Your provider will monitor your INR closely to make sure that your blood thinner and your diet are working together in the best way for you.

The Top Foods to Help You Avoid DVT!

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is caused by a blood clot which has formed in one (or more) deep veins, usually within the legs. This can be a very serious condition, as these clots can break and move to your lungs to cause a pulmonary embolism, something that can be fatal. Fortunately, DVT can be fought, and one of the best ways to fight clots forming is diet; as such, here is a look at some foods that can help fight DVT, as well as decrease your risk of forming blood clots.

Hydrate

If you become dehydrated, your blood will thicken – a condition which increases the risk of blood clot formation. To avoid this, you need to make sure you drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. For a visual gauge, check your urine – if it is a light-yellow color or clear, you are probably drinking enough. If it’s dark, you’re probably not and should increase your daily water intake.

Red Wine/Grape Juice

Studies have shown that the flavonoids found in purple grapes help prevent blood clots by creating platelets. In addition, you should eat five to seven servings of vegetables and fruit per day as part of a heart healthy diet.

Virgin Olive Oil

A recent study found that certain substances (phenols) in virgin olive oil can help combat blood clots. So, go ahead and dip that bread in some virgin olive oil, or use it in your everyday cooking.

Leafy Greens

While eating foods high in vitamin K, such as leafy greens, may interfere with the effects of medications such as Warfarin, if you consistently add these foods to your everyday diet, you will actually benefit. In other words, rather than having those leafy greens occasionally, eat them every day and you will increase your chances of avoiding DVT.

Limit the Fats

As with most suggestions for a heart healthy diet, to help reduce the risk of blood clots, you should avoid those foods containing unhealthy trans fats. This includes fatty meats and full-fat dairy products.

For More Information, Visit the Skin and Vein Center

At the Skin and Vein Center, we can help you find a healthy diet that can help you avoid DVTs and other potentially harmful vein diseases. Just give us a call today to set up a consultation.

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