Knowing what the causes and possible risk factors are for blood clots is important. When a person knows that they are at a higher risk for developing blood clots due to the risk factors, they can stay alert and watch for signs and symptoms of the condition. This will help them get medical attention sooner if blood clots were to develop. This means that they are helping prevent extreme damage to the body, as well as other health complications like heart attack and stroke. Being educated about the different risk factors will only benefit a person in the long-run. Below are five of the most common risk factors that can cause blood clots that you should know about.
1.) Family History
When a person in your family, whether it be a parent, grandparent or sibling, has had a blood clot, the risk that you are going to develop them is much higher. You can also inherit a blood-clotting disorder that makes the blood clot more easily. This inherited condition may not cause problems unless it is combined with other risk factors, but it should still be cause for concern. Make sure to tell your doctor about your family history so you can both be alert for blood clots.
2.) Sitting For Lengthy Periods Of Time
If you are sitting in a car or on an airplane for a long trip, your chances of developing a blood clot are much higher. When you sit for more than four hours at a time, your calf muscles do not contract, which normally helps the blood circulate. This makes the chance of a blood clot in the legs higher. If you must travel or sit for lengthy periods of time, make sure to get up and move around as often as possible. This will help prevent the blood clots from happening.
3.) Being Overweight
Not only does being overweight or obese put you at risk for many other health problems, but it also increases your chances of developing blood clots. Being overweight increases pressure on the veins in your pelvis and in your legs. This makes it more difficult for blood to move and increases the chances of blood clotting in these areas. Losing even just a few pounds can decrease your risk of developing blood clots if you are overweight.
If you have had surgery, especially in the legs and abdomen, you are at a high risk of developing blood clots. This is because there may have been injury done to the veins during surgery. When there is damage done to the veins, the flow of blood is not as normal as it was. This increases the chance of blood clots.
Like being overweight, smoking is bad for your health overall. Smoking also affects the circulatory system, which has to deal with blood clotting and circulation. Smoking increases the risk of developing a blood clot with each cigarette. Even just after two days of quitting smoking, the body will see the benefits and the risk for blood clots will drop.