An article featured on The National Blood Clot Alliance, namely, the stop clot website indicates that the ratio of lung and leg blood clots is 2:5. Fortunately, this ratio is calculated against the non-fatal cases reported annually. However, there are fatalities every day that result from people not being aware of the signs and symptoms of thrombosis.
Thrombosis is defined as localized clotting within the circulatory system. The detriment comes in when these clots travel through the arteries into vital areas such as the lungs, brain, and legs.
It is normal for the body to create mechanisms that allow for clotting. Blood platelets and fibrin are designed to assist in cases of blood vessel injury or prevention of excessive blood loss due to external skin cuts or injuries.
However, overproduction of these preventative measures can and do often cause problems of their own. Thrombosis is one of these health-related problems that can become fatal in nature. Knowing the facts equips people to be vigilant when the signs and symptoms occur.
Here are 10 myths about thrombosis and how to dispel them:
1. It Is Not A Real Disease
There appears to be a myth that assumes that thrombosis is not an actual disease. Perhaps like the effect cholesterol has on the arteries, people conclude that blood clots work in the same way.
Because of the effect, namely it being a catalyst in thrombotic stroke, it is classified as a disease. Thrombosis can be distinctly divided into two categories: venous thrombosis, which occurs in the veins, such as DVT, or arterial thrombosis which originates within the walls of the artery. What is important to remember and stress is that anybody is at risk of thrombosis and one-third of people will develop lifelong complications due to the damage caused.
Due to the complications that arise from DVT, it’s renowned for killing more people than breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and HIV combined, even though it is a somewhat preventable disease. The cautionary tale is that you need to be aware of how to decipher false information when it comes to diseases.
2. It Only Happens To Older People
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that 1 in 2 people are at risk of developing thrombosis after a prolonged stay in a hospital. Furthermore, any period of sustained sedentary is likely to instigate the blood clot.
Statistics found that as many as 900 000 Americans are affected each year by thrombosis, and as much as 100 000 Americans die due to complications faced with the illness. Unlike many illnesses or diseases, thrombosis does not discriminate according to age as seen in pediatric thromboembolism. The fact of the matter is that even unborn babies can have a blood clot as it is the substance that sustains life.
Other risk factors include but are not limited to age maturity, being overweight or obese, recent or recurring forms of cancer, during or after pregnancy, or some form of injury or trauma. It is important to stress that thrombosis can affect anybody.
3. Physical Activity Can Lower The Risk
There is a common misconception that being physically fit means that you don’t have to worry about the potential of having thrombosis. Even though physical activity does assist in the prevention, it is when an injury occurs that blood clotting in this detrimental form is likely to happen. This is due to the body’s healing ability where it seeks to alleviate the injured area and sometimes this can create overstimulation of the clotting mechanism.
Current medical study data is yet considered inconclusive. However, certain studies have found that athletes are at a higher risk of contracting thrombosis compared to the rest of the general public. This is the result of physical injury or participating in long-distance traveling for their sporting events.
Another study conducted by scholars of the Department of Epidemiology in Leiden University’s Medical Center was able to find, in 3006 patients 39.7% of the participants who were active in some form of sporting activity were at a reduced risk of contracting DVT when compared to their non-sport participating counterparts.
4. Birth Control Pills Can Increase Your Chances
The myth that birth control is responsible for, or at the very least increases your chances of, thrombosis may seem plausible given the amount of study this particular subject has received. However, there appears to be no direct correlation between birth control tablets and thrombosis.
The indirect cause which may be likely to circle this myth is that hormonal contraception has been known to increase weight gain. The increase in body mass can often result in the strain as the body pumps more blood and creates more clots.
It is also important to note that women who are obese, over the age of 40 and still use birth control or oral contraceptives are at a greater risk of developing blood clots. In turn, this could lead to a higher probability of them developing thrombosis. Regular visits to a physician, who can easily allay any concerns you may have regarding the subject matter.
5. It Affects More Women Than Men
Studies conducted on thrombosis often give the indication that women are more susceptible than men. This may be due to factors like pregnancy, where blood clotting is most likely to prevail.
However, research done in 2008 based on the data analyzed in a case study of 1,838 patients found that thrombosis was more prevalent in men than it was in women. Statistics showed a 14% greater risk of thrombosis affecting men compared to 9% in their female counterparts.
Another study conducted and published in 2010 by German researchers were able to discern from a pool of 5000 participants than men were 37% more inclined to develop some form of thrombosis such as DVT than 24% of women in that same test group.
The studies were able to dispel any myths about women being at greater risk of developing thrombosis. This scientific proof back-up the need for all people across both gender to remain alert to any potential symptoms.
6. There Is Nothing You Can Do To Prevent It
The risks associated with the formation of thrombosis are based on a multitude of factors as opposed to a single one. Several of the contributing factors towards this localized clotting can be and usually are preventable.
A proactive approach rather than a reactive one is far better in controlling any potential health problems. Adopting a healthier lifestyle is about body protection and life longevity and it is up to you to decide how you choose to live your life. However, thrombosis is simply waiting for the right catalyst in order to strike and limited its chances is an individual choice.
This doesn’t mean you should be like a sitting duck just waiting for thrombosis to develop. There are plenty of signs that the body gives off to alert you to problems that are happening within the system. Symptoms can range from swelling in the legs, pain, cramps and even feel some kind of warmth in the legs.
7. Blood Donations Can Give You Thrombosis
There is no real evidence available as to how this myth of blood donations being a cause of thrombosis. However, many people seem to be under the assumption that losing blood in regards to donations can be a trigger.
That is because of the way the body works when blood loss occurs due to injury. Naturally, blood clotting will occur after blood donation, as the body cannot discern against accidental or voluntary injury, such as the needle puncture and blood loss.
The intensive screening process that is done prior to an individual giving blood often ensures that nothing untoward is likely to happen. The ideal candidates are often people who have a healthy number of platelets, are not overweight and or anemic.
Certain types of medication are also limiting in terms of donation candidacy. All in all, it appears that this myth is just like most myths, a story went viral and founded on false assumptions.
8. Eating Fatty Food Increases Your Chances
A widely believed misconception is that a meal rich in fat such deep-fried chips, chicken, fish or any other kinds of food can lead to blood clots. Medically, a diet based solely on these types of foods is not healthy.
The body has to work harder to deal with the excess and high consumptions are the reason for the obesity epidemic. Highly caloric foods result more in clogged arteries and less in blood clots.
That latter is an altogether different operation mechanism. In a sense, it can be said that they are indirectly linked to thrombosis as they cause you to become overweight, which can trigger blood clots. Conditions that are likely to act as secondary catalysts include but are not limited to arthritis, sclerosis, diabetes, and obesity.
Foods low in vitamin k such as leafy green vegetables may reduce the bacteria required to synthesize vitamin k. This vitamin is essential in assisting with the specialized functions in the body like clotting up blood after cuts or injury.
9. Alcohol Is Able To Cure The Onset Thrombosis
Alcohol, due to the way it is created, when consumed in moderation performs in a similar manner as a blood thinner. Blood thinners have the ability to activate platelets within the circulatory system of the human body. Studies have found that in certain circumstances, moderate alcohol intake can have a beneficial effect on lowering heart disease.
This is illustrated by the encouragement of having a single glass of wine to get this medicinal effect. However, alcoholism is another thing altogether. The more you drink, the more hazardous alcohol becomes to the body.
Certain strains of thrombosis. such as DVT, are more likely to be reactive to high quantities of alcohol in the bloodstream. This, in turn, can make the condition worse. The reality, however, is that alcohol creates platelets that tend to stick together and thus increase the probability of blood clotting or the onset of thrombosis due to the effects alcohol has on the behavior of blood.
10. Men With Limited Sexual Contact Are Likely To Get Thrombosis
Sex and thrombosis have no correlation with one another whatsoever. However, there appears to be a myth that a man who does not have sex frequently is likely to get thrombosis, in the form of a vein under the ball sack.
In contrast to this mythical belief, the reason is not sex but hygiene. Men who do not follow adequate genital hygiene are likely to create the right environment for blood clots.
A study of venous thromboembolism published online in Circulation was set up to find a possible link between sex and obesity and the effects it had on blood clots. At the end of the decade-long study, the results yielded concluded that obesity had a greater risk of the formation of DVT and other forms of thrombosis regardless of gender.
Sex, on the other hand, did not make any difference regarding the chance of increased or decreased probability of contracting thrombosis. Debunking the myth that men who don’t have sex are at greater risk of contracting thrombosis.