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To Clot or Not to Clot: 10 Natural Ways to Prevent DVT and Stroke

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Everyone knows when your kiddo scrapes his knee or you cut your finger, there is a mechanism in your body that stops the bleeding. But what happens when your clotting mechanism goes awry within veins and arteries?

Blood 101: The Delicate Balance of Clotting

We know blood’s main function is to transport oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and also to carry away waste that will be eliminated. However, another function of this vital fluid is tissue repair. When trauma occurs to tissue in the body, the bloodstream carries proteins (called factors) to the damaged area to clot and seal it from further blood loss.

Perfect! That’s exactly what we need it to do, but what happens when clotting cannot occur? This may arise when there is imbalance in the body caused by genetic disorders, cancer, nutritional deficiencies, or pharmaceuticals like aspirin or Coumadin.

So, what happens when the opposite occurs and a clot manifests within a blood vessel?

As noted above, clots are a part of tissue repair. If there is trauma to a blood vessel, a clot will form and then dissolve once its job is done. Problems arise when the clot does not break down. These clots slow or block blood flow and can lead to Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT- usually occurs in the legs), Pulmonary Embolisms (PE- in lungs), and strokes.

What Are Common Causes of Clots?

The most significant root cause of blood clots (and many other disorders) is an overall unhealthy lifestyle, however some specificcommon risk factors are:

  • Prolonged immobility (post-surgery, car travel, plane travel)
  • Trauma
  • History of DVT
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Sleep apnea
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation
  • Low vitamin D (lack of sunshine)
  • Genetic defects like Factor V Leiden, Prothrombin Gene mutation, MTHFR and elevated homocysteine, Lp(a) and several others.

What are my options to Prevent Blood Clots/DVT?

  1. Organic, Paleo Nutrition
    • Beets and green leafy vegetables (arugula, spinach, and kale)
      • Loaded with nitrates which convert to nitric oxide.
      • Nitric Oxide opens up blood vessels and increases blood flow.
      • The faster blood flows, the less likely a clot will occur.
      • **Bonus: Beetroot also contain phytonutrients that are like natural aspirins, which make platelets less sticky.
    • Seafood
      • Contains a significant amount of Omega-3s as EPA and DHA
      • Assist in healthy blood flow and prevent sticky blood.
    • Garlic and onions
      • Have blood thinning properties.
  2. Sunshine!
    • Studies indicate people with higher vitamin D levels have some of the lowest incidence of clotting (as well as disease).
    • Vitamin D appears to improve circulation by strengthening blood vessels.
  3. Physical Activity
    • Physical activity promotes blood flow
    • Circulates nutrients which keep blood vessels strong
    • Helps prevent DVT. 
    • Building muscle also boosts nitric oxide which helps to keep the vessels smooth.
  4. Hydration
    • Dehydration impacts blood composition
    • Sluggish blood increases risk of clotting
  5. Chiropractic Care
    • The blood vessels/blood flow is controlled by the brain’s autonomic nervous system.
    • Chiropractic is key to the healthy autonomic tone of the blood vessels and the body.
    • Get adjusted regularly.
  6. Sleep
    • Our ancestors went to sleep at sundown and awoke at sunrise.
    • Repair of the liver and other body tissues (blood vessels) happens during sleep.
    • Poor sleep habits increase risk of a variety of health concerns…including DVT.
  7. Reduce Stress
    • Stress takes a toll on our body in a variety of ways, including resulting in inflammation.
    • There is a link between inflammation and DVT/PE.
    • Do your best to address and eliminate stress in your life.
  8. Grounding/Earthing
  9. Avoid EMF
    • Wi-Fi, cellular devices, computers, TV and artificial lighting interfere with our clotting cascade on so many levels.
    • Unplug often and certainly at night.
  10. Healthy Environment
    • Air pollution and other environmental toxins are linked to heart disease, cancer, lung problems, and dementia; one could safely assume they increase DVT/PE risk as well.
    • Avoid bringing toxic items into your home or office.
    • Get an air purifier from Austin Air or something similar.

Ask Your Doctor if a Natural Prevention Strategy is Right for You.

After 3-6 months on heavy duty blood thinners, you may consider a natural approach to healthy blood vessels. Remember, to discuss with your holistic provider (or schedule an appointment with one of our health coaches to discuss).

Supplements I recommend:

If you enjoyed this article, check out: 10 Proven Ways to Thin the Blood Naturally

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