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To Help Prevent Blood Clot Risk, Try These 10 Tips

Prevent blood clots

Blood clots can be deadly, but you can take numerous steps to prevent them, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions. In addition to the 7 tips provided by the Sessions, there are three more actions you can take as well.

You can help prevent blood clots

Blood clots are an equal opportunity condition: anyone of any age can develop them and they can be deadly. In fact, blood clots found in the lungs (known as pulmonary embolism) or the legs (deep vein thrombosis) are the cause of death for someone in the United States every 5 minutes.

Blood clots are also responsible for heart attacks and the most common type of stroke (ischemic stroke). No matter how you look at it, blood clots can be extremely dangerous.

But you can take steps to help prevent blood clots. At the Scientific Sessions, researchers revealed how when they presented the results of a study that involved 30,239 adults ages 45 years or older who were followed for 4.6 years.

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The investigators rated each subjects’ heart health using the AHA’s Life’s Simple 7: physical activity, no smoking, healthy diet, maintain a healthy body mass index, blood sugar control, blood pressure control, and healthy cholesterol level. Participants were placed into one of three categories based on heart health: inadequate, average, and optimum.

Individuals with optimum health had a 44 percent lower risk of blood clots than did people with inadequate health, while those with average health had a 38 percent lower risk. Of the Simple 7, the two most important ones for lowering blood clot risk were physical activity and a healthy body mass index.

All seven of the tips from the AHA on how to prevent blood clots involve lifestyle modifications, although it is also true that controlling blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol often involves the use of drugs. In keeping with the lifestyle and natural approach to prevent blood clots, here are three more tips to consider.

Three more ways to reduce blood clot risk

  • Ginger. This popular herb has both blood –thinning and anti-atherosclerotic properties that make it a good choice for assisting in the prevention of blood clots. Since it is a versatile culinary herb, you can easily include it in your diet (fresh, dried, juice, oil, or powder) as well as take it as a supplement.
  • Get up. This is a recommendation for anyone who is in a situation that involves sitting for long periods of time, such as airplane travel and car trips. Extended sitting contributes to the formation of deep vein thrombosis. Every hour, get up and walk around and stretch for several minutes. If you cannot walk around, at the very least do exercises such as bringing your knees up toward your chest, rotating your ankles, and shifting your weight on your buttocks while extending your legs as much as possible.
  • Garlic. This popular herb contains allicin, which greatly benefits the heart and cardiovascular system by relaxing the blood vessels and improving platelet aggregation, which contributes to blood clotting. If you don’t like to include fresh garlic in your food, supplements are available.

Don’t be one of the millions of people each year who suffer the consequences of a blood clot to the heart, brain, lungs, or legs. You can follow these helpful 10 tips to help prevent blood clots and save your life.

American Heart Association
Chan JY et al. A review of the cardiovascular benefits and antioxidant properties of allicin. Phytotherapy Research 2013 May; 27(5): 637-46
Liao YR et al. Anti-platelet aggregation and vasorelaxing effects of the constituents of the rhizomes of Zingiber officinale. Molecules 2012 Jul 26; 17(8): 8928-37