Blood clots, according to Mayo Clinic research, are often beneficial and represent the body’s natural response to a cut or other injury. In those cases, blood clots form to prevent excessive blood loss. However, certain blood clots can be dangerous, such as those that occur in the heart or within deeper veins, such as those of the leg, arm, or pelvic area. When a blood clot doesn’t dissolve on its own, the blockage can result in limited blood access to vital organs, and should be addressed right away.
Blood clots can be a result of surgery, extended travel, pregnancy, or obesity – to name a few. Sometimes blood clots form in cigarette smokers; other times, poor diet is to blame. The sedentary lifestyle of most Americans results in high levels of blood clots across the board. Blood clots can occur in anyone, but they appear most frequently in those over the age of 50.
Caught early on, most blood clots can be treated with a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and high-quality self-care. Depending on the nature of the blood clot—namely its size and location—a doctor may prescribe a combination of blood thinner medications, or anticoagulants, to diminish the blockage.
Preventing blood clots can be approached in a number of ways, but most recovery regimens include physical activity. Especially in the elderly, who are often confined to chairs or beds for long periods of time, daily physical movement, however small, is critical. Study after study has proven that movement throughout the day—whether it’s walking to the kitchen every hour or jogging five miles before breakfast—facilitates healthy, productive circulation.
And anyone looking to minimize the likelihood of blood clots should prioritize eating healthy food, sleeping enough, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and minimizing stress.