Aug 3, 2012

Anyone Can Get A Blood Clot - Daily Preventative Measures!

DVT's Deep Vein Trombosis
A blood clot or DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a very serious matter that we as humans underestimate. There are many ways individuals can get a blood clot and there's an equal amount of risks that come with having an artery stoppage, including death. A great deal of young individuals have died suddenly because they failed to realize the huge risks of a clotted blood vessel. Bellow I will outline preventative measures you can take to minimize the risks of getting a clot within blood vessels throughout the body.

DVT's Kill - No One is Safe!

Studies have shown that the lack of movement for a long period of time, increases the chances of getting a DVT. You might not know it, but you may be at risk from some of your non-active daily habits. DVT's can affect anyone young or old. Older people are more at risk since they tend to move less frequently, but that doesn't mean that someone who is only 20 years of age - that cannot get a blood clot just the same.

"National Blood Clot Alliance Lauds CDC Report of 547,596 Hospital Discharges per Year with Blood Clots"

Symptoms of Blood Clots:

  • Chest pain (blood clot within the lungs)
  • Headaches (brain aneurysm)
  • Swelling in the legs (blood being prevented upwards within the veins)
  • Pain within the calves
  • Redness in the lower leg
  • Stiffness within the leg

If you suffer from any or all of these symptoms, please see a doctor immediately to ensure you do not have a clot within your body. Take this warning serious, many die for no reason which is later on determined that they developed a clot that passed through one of their vital systems. People with Diabetes sometimes get "water build up" within their legs that resemble these clotting symptoms, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Activities Which Increase Your Chances of Getting a Blood Clot:

  • Long Flights: Many individuals who take long flights in airplanes around the globe increase their risks of getting blood clots. The lack of movement while sitting in your chair can slow the flow of blood within vessels and start the process of building a "sugar ball" within arteries and veins. As your flight ends, you get up and stretch not knowing that a blood clot had formed which then dislodges into your lungs or brain ending in death or being hospitalized shortly there after. If you take a flight longer than 3-5 hours, be sure to try and get up a few times just to prevent getting this deadly killer.

  • Playing Video Games: Parents beware!!! Kids are now at risk of getting blood clots just by playing video games. There's a report of a 20 year old youngster who died playing his Xbox since he didn't move from his seat for over 12 hours. After the 12 hour session, he woke up in the middle of the night with chest pains. The pain was from a clot which moved into his lungs. The next day, the young man died suddenly during a job interview. Kids who play video games should try to get up and move around every 20-30 minutes. If your kid plays video games, which doesn't allow them to stop (online gaming events), you should seriously consider buying them a chair which easily shifts up and down to ensure that the angle is changed frequently preventing non-movement during the gaming session.

  • Being Overweight: There are many complications for being overweight, one of them is being at risk of getting a clot. People who are overweight don't always exercise or move away from their television as often as needed. Watching too much TV while not moving around puts you at a higher risk of death. Yes, not moving around can and will kill you. Also, overweight individuals put more strain on blood vessels due to the pressure from the increased weight and size. Make sure to move around if you're going to sit and watch TV for long periods of time, it's important just to keep moving no matter what. Put your legs up for a bit, put them down and try to stretch them out as much as possible.

  • Fishing Trips: Who would of thought a fishing trip could be so dangerous? Once more, this activity can sometimes be very monotonous and unforgiving when it comes to sitting around for long periods of time. While fishing on shore or in a boat, make sure to stretch your legs regularly no matter what situation you're in. There's more to stretching than people realize, it's sometimes a life saver!

  • Back Injuries: I am all too aware of the effects a back injury can have on a person. When I was younger, I had a back injury which kept me still on my couch for a few months due to the agonizing pain and stiffness in my lower back. Since I couldn't move much, I formed a blood clot in my lower left calf which was more painful than anything else I've ever experienced. Nowadays, when individuals have crippling injuries, doctors subscribe blood thinners (Coumadin) for their patients just in case. If you or someone you know has had an injury which prevents them from moving around much, make sure they talk to their doctor about the risks of getting a blood clot a.k.a DVT. It may save their life!

  • Surgery: Having a surgery may be the number one way to getting a blood clot. This is due to the fact that any time your insides are opened up, swished around, and meddled with, the chances become greater of having a bruised blood vessel. Bruised vessels can prevent proper blood flow and can be the catalyst for forming the deadly sugar ball within the affected area. Talk to your doctor about the aftermath risks of your surgery. Surgeries come with great risks, be prepared for the recovery and not for the morgue!

  • Sitting at Your Desk: Ah, yet another reason why work is hard on an individuals mental stress. Thousands of individuals are at risk of getting DVT's every single day from sitting at their desks for long periods of time. Not only is it bad for your wrists to sit still and type all day,  not only is bad for your eyes by starring at a screen for hours on end, but sitting in one position is terrible for your blood vessels usually cutting off circulation without knowing it. Many of the chairs you get on the market are rounded where the legs meet the chair. Chairs are designed this way on purpose to prevent cutting off circulation and forming a blood clot.

  • Pregnancy: Women who are pregnant have a greater risk of getting a DVT since blood clots more frequently while pregnant. Lack of movement, obesidy, surgical deliveries or genetic dispositions play a large role in obtaining a blood clot while pregnant. Pregnant women can be the victim of a "PE" pulmonary embolism.

I'm sure I can come up with many other ways of obtaining a DVT, but I think you now get the point. So now that you understand what activities can be lethal, let's get into the preventative side of healthy living through changing our daily bad habits.

Preventing a Blood Clot:

  1. Just Keep Moving: There's something to be said about movement. Moving around promotes proper blood flow within vessels throughout your body. While you go through your daily activities, just remember to move around as much as possible. Get up and get a glass of water, anything to keep active even just for a moment.

  2. Exercise Daily: We've all heard this a million times throughout our lives. Exercise is the best activity a person can do to prevent a great deal of illnesses that come with being unhealthy. A little exercise or even just stretching daily will increase blood flow, building stronger blood vessels and keep the most important muscle healthy, your heart. It doesn't take much at all, jumping jacks, walking, running, push ups, yoga, palates or serious weight training. Whatever it takes to keep active. The Japanese know this all too well, many corporations require their employees to partake in a stretching exercise every morning prior to starting the day. Employees who fail to meet these stretching exercises are usually let go.

  3. Low dose of Aspirin
    Small Dose of Aspirin Daily: There are many benefits of taking Aspirin daily, one of them is preventing heart attacks due to blood clots. Aspirin helps to thin the blood slightly. People who take blood thinners should NOT take Aspirin at the same time without consulting a doctor, it may increase your changes of bleeding internally. I myself take Coumadin, a generic blood thinner and cannot take Aspirin due to the effects when combined with my other medications. But before you brush off the negative affects, many individuals are advised to take a "low dose of Aspirin" daily to decrease their chances of clotting and getting heart attacks.

    NOTE: Do not take Aspirin without consulting your doctor first (You've been warned).

  4. Get a Suitable Chair for Work: Sitting at a desk day in and day out is not good for your legs. Try to obtain a chair that swivels up and down easily. Every 30 minutes or so, move your chaihin my pelvic area. I've had 15 years of personal experience dealing with DTV's. Trust me when I tell you, the pain from a clot is excruciating. Try to be conscious of yt as much at the end of the day. Sitting at a different angle changes the way you posture yourself while working long hours. You may notice an increase of energy after work since you're not locking your body down.

  5. Watch What You Eat: Obviously we all know that eating properly is good for your health. Eating greasy fast foods can increase your chances of clotting within your blood vessels. A well balanced diet is good for your health. Natural foods containing Vitamin K (i.e. Grapefruit) can help to increase blood flow. Vitamin K naturally thins your blood. Please consult your doctor prior to selecting a vitamin K heavy diet. Individuals who are prone to bleeding should watch what they eat since vitamin K might not be the answer.

Being self aware of some of the daily habits you partake in subconsciously can help to prevent blood clotting. I may not be a doctor, but I've experienced multiple DVT's in both my legs and one within my pelvic area. I've had 15 years of personal experience dealing with DTV's. Trust me when I tell you, the pain from a clot is excruciating. Try to be conscious of your daily activities by taking preventative measures through; daily exercising, eating right, moving around and by not staying in one position for hours on end.

Some of the After Effects of a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis):

There are many after effects that may occur from re-occurring blood clots. After having multiple clots, I developed a condition called Vasculitis which is defined as blood vessels that are inflamed or bruised and can in some cases seep blood to other parts of the body. This is another condition which can easily be avoided by moving around and preventing blood clots from forming. Many individuals also show signs of decreased blood flow through their lower limbs and may also experience visual vein effects called; Vericose Veins.

Like any advise, always consult a doctor prior to changing your diet or taking pills of any kind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this journal, please feel free to post questions or comments below.

Martin Robillard Lemieux
Editor & Author


  1. Hi. I had a DVT in my right are from my birth control pills. I am only 31 years old. If you have any of the symptoms listed in your arm and not just your legs, seek medical attention. And remember that BCP's can also cause clots!

  2. Also, vitamin K aids in clotting not thinning of the blood.