Out of all blood clots reported in the United States, up to 70% are provoked by controllable risk factors like diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices. If that statistic seems high, it’s because it is. The truth is simple but harsh. The prevention of blood clots has much more to do with the choices of Americans than the makeup of their genetics.
While the risk of a blood clot increases after 40, it’s important to implement preventative measures now to avoid a serious and potentially dangerous clot-induced heart attack or stroke later in life.
Not sure where to start? We’ve put together several methods you can look into to reduce your risk of a fatal blood clot.
Work towards a healthy weight
Since managing your body’s overall weight is often known intrinsically as a way to improve your health, we’ve decided to get this one out of the way first. Just because it’s known, doesn’t make it any less important.
Excess fat on the body will choke off your bloodstream and force your heart to work faster and harder in order to compensate for the abnormality.
Simple choices in diet can help you make huge strides in your body weight, so being conscious of the need to reduce your overall weight to a doctor-recommended number will help prevent blood clots from forming in the future.
Reconsider your hormone intake
Many Americans take hormone pills and associated medication without realizing the potential health risks involved. This point is important for women especially, as hormones commonly found in birth control have been shown to be especially dangerous.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted studies that has shown hormones like those used in the manufacture of birth control medication can increase the risk of a blood clot by a favor of three or even four.
While this statistic may scare you, don’t be so quick to flush those pills.
Since these hormones are prescribed by a doctor, it’s important to set up a meeting and talk about health risks before dropping hormones entirely. Your doctor may be able to get you more detailed information about the specific hormones you’re taking, as well as suggest any alternatives that will keep the positive benefits of hormones without the drawbacks.
Wear loose-fitting clothing
Since blood clots are tied intimately to constricted blood vessels, tight clothing with little give like jeans or certain stockings and pants can increase your risk.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) explains that loose-fitting clothing, and particularly loose clothing for your legs, will help you combat either genetic predisposition of other environmental factors of blood clots.
Consider wearing skinny jeans less often or purchasing clothing with more give than your current wardrobe to contract the negative effects of constricting clothes.
There are many options out there that will allow you to dress the way you like without putting your health on the line for the sake of fashion.
Getting on doctor-approved medication
This one’s particularly important for the 30% of Americans that face blood clots either genetically or otherwise via factors outside of their control.
If possible, talk to a medical professional about your desire to get on anti-clotting medication like Eliquis or Praxada. Utilizing a prescription alongside some of our other options will significantly lower your risk, so be sure to ask about methods you can implement once you receive medication.
There are also several methods online and other services that can help you get an Eliquis discount, so be sure to shop around and make sure you’re not overpaying for medications.
So much of the battle against blood clots involves the reduction of fats and other clogging agents in the bloodstream, so going over your dietary habits is a must.
Drop fatty foods like red meat and deep dried options entirely and consider taking daily vitamins like C or E to help your blood thin out.
It’s even possible to utilize alcohol in moderation to keep blood thinner, but this can often backfire and result in gained weight. Consuming too much alcohol can lead to other serious health issues so use caution and moderation if you choose to do so.
No matter how you alter your diet, remember that being aware and proactive in your dietary plan might be the least interesting way to prevent blood clots but it’s quite possibly the most effective.
Limit long trips and sedentary days
Finally, for those who work office jobs or travel long distances for their work, offsetting that time seated with walking and exercise will help your body keep blood flowing.
We know that remaining seated for any longer than an hour at a time increases your risk of blood clots, so consider setting a timer or reminder to get up for a few minutes at the top of every hour.
Even simple actions like stopping at a convenience store during long road trips or pacing the aisle in an airplane can do wonders for your cardiovascular health. Since more and more Americans remain seated or work primarily with computers, chances are high that this lifestyle change may be needed for you.
It is often not a singular cause or action that results in a fatal blood clot but the culmination of several deciding factors and years of poor decision making.
That’s why remaining aware may be the most important tool you have. Knowing the dangers of sitting too long will cause you to want to exercise more which will help you to lose any extra weight. So many of our tips here go hand and hand with each other, and for good reason.
So keep aware, talk to a doctor before making drastic alterations to your lifestyle, and make the little changes in your routine that will result in the long-lasting prevention of blood clots and an improvement on your overall cardiovascular health.
What are some other healthy changes you can make to improve your overall quality of health? Leave us a comment with your suggestions in the comments below.