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Thick blood, scientifically known as hypercoagulability, happens when the blood becomes thicker than normal, occurring due to changes in clotting factors, ultimately making it difficult for blood to pass through blood vessels and increasing the risk of complications, such as stroke or thrombosis, for example.
The treatment of thick blood can be done through anticoagulant drugs and a he althy diet, which must be prescribed by the general practitioner or hematologist in order to prevent clot formation and promote the person's quality of life.
Symptoms of Thick Blood
Thick blood has no symptoms, but it can lead to clot formation, increasing the risk that they clog some vessels and lead to the occurrence of some diseases, such as stroke, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.Thus, the symptoms of thick blood can vary according to the associated disease, the most common being:
- Pain and swelling in the legs, especially in the calves, usually on one side only, in case of thrombosis;
- Altered leg skin color, which may be indicative of thrombosis;
- Headache, in case of stroke or stroke;
- Loss of limb strength and speech impairment due to stroke or stroke;
- Chest pain and difficulty in taking a deep breath in case of pulmonary thromboembolism.
The diagnosis usually occurs when the patient has any of the above complications. In some cases, thick blood can be detected in routine laboratory tests, such as the coagulogram, which is a test frequently requested in preoperative consultations.
Thick blood is more common in people with obesity, a history of thrombosis in the family, pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives and in the period after surgery, in addition to being present in patients with hematological diseases that lead to clotting disorders.When the blood gets thick, it can lead to clot formation, which can increase the risk of developing some diseases, such as:
1. Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA)
Thick blood can lead to clot formation and favor the occurrence of an ischemic stroke, for example, since there is a change in blood flow to the brain due to the clot, which clogs the vessel and makes it difficult for blood to carry oxygen, resulting in damage to brain cells and the appearance of symptoms such as difficulty speaking or smiling, crooked mouth and loss of strength on one side of the body. Know how to recognize other symptoms of ischemic stroke.
If the characteristic symptoms of an ischemic stroke are identified, it is very important to call 192, the emergency number in Brazil, or 112, the emergency number in Portugal, to have an assessment, as soon as possible, of the person's situation.See what first aid is for stroke.
2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Thick blood can lead to clot formation, which can lead to a blockage of a vein, preventing blood circulation and increasing the risk of thrombosis, which causes symptoms such as pain and swelling at the site, more often in the legs and changes in the color of the skin site. Check out other symptoms of deep vein thrombosis.
3. Pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism occurs when a clot, which can form due to thick blood, blocks a blood vessel in the lungs, decreasing the flow of blood to the lungs, which causes difficulty breathing, feeling short of breath breath, chest pain, cough, increased heart rate, or dizziness.
If there are at least two of the symptoms of pulmonary embolism, it is recommended to go to the emergency room or call an ambulance so that the doctor can evaluate the symptoms and adapt the treatment, as soon as possible, since it can take to serious sequelae and lead to death.
4. Acute myocardial infarction
Acute myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, happens when one of the arteries of the heart becomes clogged by a clot, which can be a consequence of thick blood. This prevents the transport of oxygen needed for the heart muscles to work. In this way, the heart muscles do not work properly, leading to symptoms such as severe and intense pain in the chest, which can radiate to the left arm, shortness of breath and dizziness.
In the presence of these symptoms, it is important to go to the nearest hospital or emergency room so that tests can be performed to help identify the infarction and, thus, initiate the most appropriate treatment.
5. Renal vein thrombosis
Renal vein thrombosis happens when there is an obstruction of one or both renal veins, due to clots that can be due to thick blood, which results in kidney damage, causing sudden pain in the region between the ribs and the hip or presence of blood in the urine.
How is the treatment
Treatment for thick blood should be indicated by the general practitioner or hematologist and aims to make the blood thinner, and the use of anticoagulant drugs such as warfarin, apixabo, clexane and xarelto, for example, is indicated for this.. These medications should not be started without medical advice, as there may be an increased risk of major bleeding.
Furthermore, it is important that the person is careful with their diet, as it is possible that the treatment with medication is more effective and it is possible to prevent the formation of other clots.
The food for thick blood aims to improve blood circulation and prevent clot formation and, for that, it is recommended to consume foods rich in vitamin C, D, E and K, since these vitamins have an anticoagulant effect.However, it is important that these foods are consumed according to the nutritionist's recommendation, as consumption in large amounts can reduce the effectiveness of the drugs used, which can bring complications.
Thus, foods rich in these vitamins, such as acerola, orange, salmon, cod liver oil, sunflower seed, hazelnut, spinach and broccoli, should be part of the daily diet and consumed according to medical recommendations. Discover other foods that help improve blood circulation.
Also, during treatment with anticoagulants, it is important to be careful when consuming garlic, ginseng, horse chestnut, boldo, guarana or arnica, as they may interact with the drugs and reduce their effect.