First, let’s remember what thrombosis is. In thrombosis, a thrombus (blood clot) forms in a healthy or damaged blood vessel, which narrows or blocks the vessel. A thrombus appears due to insufficient outflow of venous blood towards the heart. Most often, blood clots form in the veins of the lower part of a person’s body (in the legs and, not rarely, in the pelvic area). In this case, veins are affected much more often than arteries.
There is a high risk of thrombosis due to physical inactivity in people with limited mobility, with a sedentary lifestyle, or with forced inactivity due to long air travel. Plus, the increased dryness of the air in the aircraft cabin in the summer leads to blood viscosity and, as a result, the formation of blood clots.
The following factors influence the formation of venous thrombosis:
- family inheritance
- operations under general anesthesia
- taking hormonal contraceptives in women
The risk of thrombosis also increases with age. Veins become less elastic, which increases the risk of damage to blood vessel walls. The situation is critical in older people with limited mobility and insufficient drinking regimen.
Prevention is better than cure! In healthy veins, the risk of blood clots is minimal.
So, what can you do now to preventing the risk of thrombosis?
- Any form of physical activity is suitable, be it swimming, cycling, dancing or hiking. The basic rule applies here: it is better to lie down or run than to stand or sit!
- Drink at least 1,5 – 2 liters of water daily to prevent increased blood viscosity.
- Avoid visiting the sauna in the summer, as well as prolonged exposure to the sun.
- Smoking and being overweight increase the risk of thrombosis. Try to take control of bad habits.
- When traveling long distances on a bus, car or plane, you need to do special “sedentary exercises”.
The ideal prevention of blood clots is Nordic walking. Here you kill two birds with one stone: good physical activity and control of excess weight. Be aware of yourself and your health, and thrombosis will bypass you.