• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Why Do Clots Form and How Dangerous are They?

We have blood flowing in the veins and arteries all throughout our body blood clot in the brain. It is typically continuously flowing and is circulated in the body by the heart. However, the moment a person is injured or starts bleeding, it is important for the blood to start forming a clot in order to stop the bleeding.

How are Clots Formed?

Blood cells consist of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. When a blood vessel gets injured, it will constrict in order to try and limit blood flow.

In response to injury and inflammation, the platelet cells will get activated. In doing so, the platelets will release more chemicals that will attract other platelets to migrate to the site of injury on the blood vessel. After migration, the platelets stick to each other and to the blood vessels with the help of a protein, von Willebrand factor (VWF).

Now there are some additional proteins in your blood known as clotting factors. They cause a rapid chain reaction that triggers the production of fibrin.

Fibrin is a strand-like substance that surrounds the platelet plug and forms a mesh-like net around the platelet plug, keeping it in a fixed place. This mesh-like structure is known as a blood clot.

Thus, one could say that platelets are essentially blood cells with structural function to obstruct unnecessary blood flow to stop your body from bleeding out and the proteins in your blood help form fibrin, which will hold these platelets in place, keeping it stable and intact.

The clot and meshy networks will continue to strengthen but will eventually dissolve when the injured vessels heal.

When does it get Dangerous?

blood clot

Internal blood clot, Credit: Wikimedia commons


Typically, clots will stop your blood from escaping the blood vessels when there is an injury. However, in many cases, the process of clotting can be unnecessary and far more dangerous than helpful to your body.

This is when the blood flowing in your vessels gets triggered and starts to abnormally clot inside your blood vessels. When this happens, the normal and necessary blood flow throughout the body gets obstructed and as a result, the body cells will not receive enough oxygen from the RBCs and start to get damaged.

For example, a blood clot in the brain could seriously damage normal brain function and cause harmful effects.

Blood clot in the brain symptoms include:

  1. Weakness

  2. Problems with vision and speech

  3. Seizures

  4. Dizziness

  5. Headache

Another dangerous case is when the arteries of the heart get blocked by a clot.

Clots in the brain and heart are usually formed when the cholesterol plaques formed in the blood vessels break open and trigger the clotting process. Sometimes, clots can also form when blood does not flow properly. Lastly, head concussion or some form of internal injury could also trigger clot formation.

One way to try to remove blood clot in the brain or any part of the body naturally is to consume foods and substances that act as a natural blood thinner that breaks down clots. They include:

  1. Ginger

  2. Cinnamon

  3. Turmeric

Ginger and turmeric

Ginger and turmeric, Credit: Wikimedia commons


Way to Prevent Dangerous Clot Formation

They include:

  1. Avoiding eating junk food: This is because junk food contains extremely high levels of cholesterol which can cause plaques on the walls of the arteries which can burst and start clot formation.

  2. Maintaining a good diet: As mentioned above, there are food substances that act as natural blood thinners. In addition to that, deficiency in proteins can also cause clot formation protein S and protein C play a major role in controlling the clotting process.

  3. Exercise: Regular exercise will help regulate your blood flow and pressure and also prevent obesity. Moreover, aerobic exercise has also been known to reverse blood clot formation.

Takeaway

Clotting of blood may be an essential mechanism of the human body but sometimes, it can be fatal and could result in death. Thus, It is very important for your doctor to identify an internal blood clot.

In fact, some internal blood clots originating from the arms and legs can travel to your lungs. This is known as pulmonary embolism and a person suffering from it could be in great danger.

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