What Are Blood Clots and Why Do We Have Them? | Early science classes taught you that blood is a vital fluid that carries oxygen to the different parts of the body.
You might also remember that blood makes up around 7% of a human’s body weight. Or that it also functions to deliver nutrients to body cells.
Another thing you might recall from your science lessons is the blood’s components. For example, platelets are responsible for blood clotting, and that blood clots can be good or bad, depending on the situation.
Read on for more about blood clots, their functions, and when they become dangerous.
First Things First: Clotting Is a Necessary Process
Usually, blood is liquid, but it can change to a gel-like or semisolid state, aka a blood clot. For instance, let’s say you’re slicing vegetables and your hand slips, resulting in a nasty cut.
If your blood doesn’t clot, you’ll lose too much blood. It may even be a medical emergency, especially for people who don’t have sufficient blood-clotting proteins.
The good news is there are now products such as WoundSeal Powder that can help stop bleeding instantly. These blood clotting products work on cuts, punctures, skin tears, and even wounds requiring sutures.
When Blood Clots Become Dangerous
Blood clots that don’t dissolve on their own can be problematic. If they stay immobile, there’s not much to worry about, but if one breaks off, floating somewhere in your circulatory system, you could be in trouble.
Remember, blood travels through your veins to your heart and lungs. These are the same pathways a blood clot uses to get around your body. If it’s big enough, it can cause blockages in these pathways, preventing blood flow.
A clot that forms in an artery is called an arterial clot. Unlike a venous clot (a clot that occurs in a vein), an arterial clot causes immediate symptoms, including severe pain and paralysis. Since it can lead to a heart attack or stroke, it’s considered a medical emergency.
Meanwhile, venous clots develop slowly, but that doesn’t mean they’re less life-threatening. Deep vein thrombosis or DVT, for example, might not show obvious symptoms, but it can turn into a pulmonary embolism. That means when a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs.
Blood Clot Prevention
Staying active is the best way to prevent blood clots. If your job requires you to sit for long hours, remind yourself to get up and walk around every twenty minutes or so.
Other things that can help prevent blood clots include staying hydrated, eating right, and working out. You should also do your best to quit smoking, and if you have a family history of blood clotting or just had surgery, be sure to let your doctor know and listen to his or her advice.
Are You Worried About DVT and Other Clotting Problems?
Blood clots can save lives in case of injuries, but they can also be life-threatening. If you’re worried about them, it’s best if you follow the blood clot prevention tips we’ve mentioned. And you should always see a doctor if you have a family history of blood clotting.
For more health tips and advice, check out our other posts.