Not to be brushed off or ignored, blood clots can be quite painful and block major blood vessels, which can cause a heart attack or stroke and if left untreated, possibly death.
Blood clots can form if you don’t move around a lot. You may also get a blood clot if you:
- Have had recent surgery.
- Are 65 or older.
- Take hormones, especially for birth control. (Ask your doctor about this).
- Have had cancer or are being treated for it.
- Have broken a bone (hip, pelvis, or leg).
- Have a bad bump or bruise.
- Are obese.
- Are confined to bed or a chair much of the time.
- Have had a stroke or are paralyzed.
- Have a special port the doctor put in your body to give you medicine.
- Have varicose (VAR-e-kos) or bad veins.
- Have heart trouble.
- Have had a blood clot before.
- Have a family member who has had a blood clot.
- Have taken a long trip (more than an hour) in a car, airplane, bus, or train.
Here are five ways you can prevent them from happening:
1. Get up and move.
Do not stand or sit for more than an hour at a time. If you travel a lot or if your job requires you to be stuck at a desk for long periods at a time, get up every hour and walk around for a few minutes to get your blood flowing.
2. Know the side effects of your meds.
If you’re on the Pill, you’re at a higher risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Other risk factors include pregnancy, certain cancers (lung, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers), heart disease, obesity, major surgery, and a family history of blood clots.
3. Stop harmful activities.
That means quitting smoking, eating less processed foods, drinking lots of water, and making sure you take a visit to the doctor every now and again.