In recent years, a great deal of attention has been given to blood clots because they have been associated with sudden death and paralysis in women who have taken certain types of birth control.
While blood clotting itself is an important part of our health because it prevents us from bleeding to death, when clots form inside our veins this can be very dangerous.
What Causes Blood Clots?
The main cause of blood clot formation is a disruption to the circulation of blood. As long as the blood keeps moving in our veins, clotting is unlikely to occur.
However, there are some risk factors that make it more likely for interference to occur and blood clots to form.
For example, if you are not active for a long period of time or are a smoker, you would be at greater risk.
Women who have just had a baby or who are taking any type of hormone-related medication also have an increased risk of developing blood clots. Obesity, a family history of blood clots, and some types of cancer can also make you more likely to face this problem.
Unfortunately, having multiple risk factors will increase your chances even more. This is one reason why women who take birth control pills are urged not to smoke.
When Do Blood Clots Become a Problem?
In most cases, blood clots form and dissolve without causing problems. However, when a blood clot remains in your vein and causes an inflammation this is known as Thrombophlebitis.
This condition can either be known as superficial (affecting a vein near the skin) or deep. The deep vein types of blood clots are the ones which are cause for the most concern and which have a tendency to cause serious health problems.
The biggest fear in these cases is that the blood clot will leave its location, usually in the legs, and will travel through the body. If it blocks one of your arteries, it can cause you to have a heart attack, a stroke, or other life-threatening conditions.
How are Blood Clots Treated?
If you have a superficial blood clot, you’ll probably be given some anti-inflammatory medication and told to apply heat to the area for a couple of weeks.
However, if you have a more serious blood clot, the doctor may begin treating you with blood thinners or may even have to operate in order to remove the clot before it can do any serious damage to your health.