Anticoagulants are those medicines that are used to prevent blood clotting. These are also known as blood thinners. Blood clots are a plug of blood platelets and fibrin molecules formed to prevent the loss of blood when blood vessels are cut or damaged. Blood clotting is a natural mechanism of prevention of blood loss that can be prevented by a shock, and possible death can occur.
Blood flow through arteries and veins in our body. Blood circulation is necessary for the supply of different nutrients and oxygen to the different tissues and organs of the body. When these blood vessels get damaged or leak, then the blood clotting mechanism of our body repair the damage and helps to restore the circulation of blood.
Causes of Blood clot:
The medical term used for a blood clot is ‘Thrombus’. thrombus is a natural process to prevent the blood loss, perferctly done by our blood vascular system. It maintains the the RBC and other rich nutrients contained in the blood by preventing its loss. but some time blood clot may occur causing damage to the body rather than helping it out.
A blood clot in veins: if the clots are formed in legs and arms then it is called DVT or deep vein thrombosis. The possible risk factors are:
• Prolonged stillness • Pregnancy • Smoking • Use of hormonal pills or therapy including birth control pills • Blood clotting disorders
A blood clot in arteries: the risk factor of arterial blood clots are related to heart stroke and peripheral vascular disease. The common causes are:
• High BP • High cholesterol levels • Smoking • Diabetes • Family history of cardiovascular disease
A blood clot in other areas: bladder infection and hemorrhoids are sometimes responsible for the blood clots passed in the urine, stools or through a vagina. It is a very frightening condition and should be informed to doctor immediately.
Signs and Symptoms:
There are various signs and symptoms of a probable blood clot that may help you to identify its presence and to thus avoid any possible adverse effects of blood clotting. Many times blood clots do not provide any symptoms. The common symptoms of blood clot are:
• Blood clot in legs and arms produces signs such redness, pain and swelling • The blood clot in an artery in the brain shows symptoms that are similar to brain stroke • A blood clot causing pulmonary embolism can be identified by breathlessness and chest pain. • When blood clot occurs in arteries then blood supply to different organs is halted, the symptoms of which are somewhat similar to heart attack, stroke, pulselessness and painful arms or legs.
Adverse effects of the problem:
Although blood clotting is an important function of our blood circulation system, but sometimes several life-risking problems may occur due to blood clotting.
Acute Heart attack, Angina pain, Pulmonary embolism, Stroke and Mini stroke or transient ischemic attack all these can occur if blood clott hinders with the smooth flow of blood in vessels
If you are worried about the probability of having blood clot, then you can easily ward off your worries by using these simple tips:
• loose weight and maintain a healthy weight • Avoid smoking • Do not remain in the same position for a long time as it may cause blood clotting in legs and arms • Pick up some sports activity to keep yourself physically active • Proper hydration is necessary to prevent blood clotting • Be always attentive about the symptoms of clotting • Research family history to know about the presence of any member with blood clotting disorder because this problem is inheritable
Common Anti-blood clot medicines:
Common anticoagulant drugs that are available for the preventing blood clots are:
• Plavix • Deplatt • Uniwarf • Ivecop • Warf
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Myths and facts:
Myth: Alcohol can cure blood clots
Fact: no, it’s a big misconception because although alcohol is a blood thinner researcher have found that in moderate drinkers alcohol is known to generate blood platelets, and they make the blood much stickier.
Myth: massaging during pregnancy can avoid blood clots
Fact: no its is not true, in fact, massaging increases the blood clot formation. Hence, it is better for expecting mothers to avoid massaging.
Diagnosis of Blood clot:
Blood conditions are taken care of by specialists called Haematologist. He is person who can confirm the presence of blood clots by following tests:
Anticoagulants or Blood thinners are used for the treatment of blood clots. A few anti coagulants are explained below:
It is an antiplatelet drug and is given in atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, myocardial infarction and unstable angina. It doesn’t allow the formation of blood clots by binding itself at ADP (adenosine diphosphate) receptor and stops its platelet aggregation activity. It is available in the market in the form of tablets. The recommended dose is 75 mg once daily with or without food.
Aspirin is the most widely used blood thinner medications. It has analgesic, antipyretic and antiplatelet effects. It demonstrates the antiplatelet action by inhibiting the production of thromboxane that stimulates the aggregation of platelets. It does not allow the formation of blood clots. It is one of the most recommended drugs given in the patients of heart attack and strokes.
It is a natural protein given via injection or drip into the vein before surgery as it prevents the formation of clots. It is a good blood thinner medication used to treat and prevent blood clots in the veins, arteries or lung. Don’t take an intramuscular injection. Heparin binds with the enzyme inhibitor antithrombin-III that inactivates the clotting factors, especially Xa and prevents the formation of blood clots.
Dalteparin is a low molecular weight heparin and acts the same way as heparin by inhibiting the activity of clotting factors. Its dosage is particularly dependent upon the individual and the condition. It is used to treat blood clots in deep veins, artery diseases and prevents recurrence of clots in cancer patients.
It is a newer oral anticoagulation drug or blood thinner, which inhibits the thrombin activity and doesn’t allow the formation of any blood clots. It is usually given in the atrial fibrillation condition and also prevents the formation of clots in the veins. Further, it is available in the form of capsules, which has to be taken twice a day with or without food. Side effects associated with the drug are bleeding, stomach pain and nausea.
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Steps to improve the health:
Following steps may help you to improve your condition if you are prone to blood clot problems:
• Loose excess of weight • Stay fit by exercising daily • Stay away from smoking • Opt for hydrotherapy • There are certain foods that help in preventing the unwanted clot formation in the body. Concomitant use of drugs and foods is contraindicated, so there is a need to consult with a physician before taking them. Ginger, garlic, fish oil like salmon, tuna and grape seed are the food items that exclusively possess anticoagulant properties.
Important thing to know:
There are certain medical conditions that can cause blood clotting problems, as in the case of haemophilia, where the person’s blood doesn’t clot if bleeding occurs. A condition called von Willebrand factor deficiency also slow down the blood clotting process.