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3 Ways to Lower Your Your Risk of a Blood Clot

As a doesn’t health threat, a blood clot, has led to over 100,000 annual deaths in the United States alone. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female. Anyone can suffer from a blood clot. There are warning signs you need to be aware of, so you know the precautions you can take if you are at risk for developing a blood clot as well as prevention for PE.

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What is a Pulmonary Embolism?

Your blood flows from your heart to your lungs through your pulmonary artery. When your blood goes into your lungs, the lung supplies the blood with oxygen; it then travels back to your heart, which pumps blood to the rest of your body.

 

When a clot gets caught in one of the arteries that goes from your heart to your lungs, it is known as a pulmonary embolism. The clot blocks the normal flow of the blood through your body. Because the clot can block the blood flow to your lungs, it can be life-threatening. However, if you seek medical help right away, you will significantly reduce your risk of death.

 

 

What are the Symptoms of a Potential PE?

If an artery in your lung becomes blocked by a blood clot, you have a pulmonary embolism. While symptoms can vary depending on the size of the clot you have or if you have pre-existing health issues, you should seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms:

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Leg pain or swelling, usually in your calf
  • Chest pain
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in your back
  • Cough that may be bloody or blood in the phlegm
  • Sweat more than usual
  • Lightheaded and feel like you might pass out
  • Blue lips or nails


 

How to Prevent Pulmonary Embolism?

While anyone can develop a blood clot, certain factors put you at a higher risk for developing a pulmonary embolism. Some factors that put you at a higher risk include:

 

If you have a family history of blood clots or pulmonary embolisms.

 

  • Heart disease – cardiovascular disease or heart failure
  • Cancer – Certain cancers, especially pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer. Chemotherapy will also increase your risk.
  • Surgery – One of the most leading causes of blood clots. Medication is given to help prevent a blood clot from forming both before and after surgery.
  • Inactivity – If you are inactive for long periods, gravity causes your blood to become stagnate in your lower extremities, which can lead to a blood clot.

 

In order to lower your risk of developing pulmonary embolism, there are ways to help prevent them including:

 

  • Blood thinners – Blood thinners are given to patients that are at risk of blood clots. Often these patients have complications from cancer, heart attack, or stroke.
  • Compression stockings – During and after surgery, compression stockings are used as a safe and inexpensive way to prevent stagnation of the blood. They help the blood flow in your veins.
  • Elevation of the legs – While in bed, make sure to elevate your legs at least six inches.
  • Pneumatic compression – This also helps improve the blood flow by squeezing and massaging the veins in the legs. During the treatment of Pneumatic compression, the use of calf-high, or even thigh-high cuffs which will also reduce the risk of PE from occurring.
  • Physical activity – Make sure to exercise on a regularly.
  • Quit smoking – When you stop smoking, it can significantly reduce your chance of developing a blood clot.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Make sure you are aware of the warning signs of a potential blood clot and take precautions if you are at high risk for a pulmonary embolism.

 

 

This post contains affiliate links and I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you, should you purchase through one of my links. Please see my disclosure for more information.
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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL Working Moms and Co-Owner of Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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