You may have already heard about having a thick blood. It’s when your blood is stickier or thicker than its usual volume and nature. Medically, the condition is called as hypercoagulability.
It occurs as a consequence of excess blood clots. One of the leading cause behind a thick blood is an imbalance in the composition of proteins and cells that are responsible for blood clotting. Thick blood can work to hinder the movement of hormones, oxygen, and nutrients in the body.
It works to prevent them from adequately reaching your cells and tissues. On top of that, thick blood can culminate in low oxygen levels in cells. It can also encourage a finale of nutritional and hormonal deficiencies.
Here are is more on what you should be knowing about hypercoagulability:
Simple facts about thick blood
Medically, the condition of having thick blood is called hypercoagulability. However, there is no specific term that denotes thick blood. Other interesting facts include:
- There are minimal symptoms of thick blood to be observed until a significant blood clot is formed
- Some health conditions correlate to thick blood
- Treatment for it depends on the cause behind it
- Of all the people who have blood clots in their veins, less than 15% are due to thick blood
Some of the factors that are behind thick blood include:
- A disease that causes blood clotting
- Excess blood cells in your circulation
- Excess clotting proteins in the blood
Possible causes of thick blood
Hypercoagulability can occur due to heredity. In other cases, causes can develop such as in the instance of cancer. Some of the causes include:
-Prothrombin Gene 20210A mutation
Individuals with this genetic defect have an excess of Factor II, the blood clotting protein. This protein also goes by the name of prothrombin. It is one that factors that allow blood to clot correctly. However, a mutation in prothrombin puts a person at an increased risk of blood clot formation.
-Factor V Leiden
Factor V Leiden is a genetic mutation of Factor V. This mutation antes up a person’s risk of blood clots. The additional clotting risk occurs because Factor V Leiden is resistant to being deactivated by a protein known as activated protein C that keeps Factor V’s activity in check. Resultantly, excessive of Factor V activity promotes excess blood clotting, which thickens your blood.
Lupus erythematosus, SLE, is another of the causes behind thick blood. It is an inflammatory disease that occurs when the immune system attacks healthy tissues as it thinks that they may be diseased. It is understood that the autoimmune inflammation as part of lupus is mainly responsible for a thickened blood.
Polycythemia vera (PV) is a blood cancer that originates in the soft center of the bones where new cells are developed. The area is more accurately called as bone marrow. In the event of PV, the bone marrow ends up making too many platelets, white blood cells (WBCs) or red blood cells (RBCs) which results in a thick blood.
-Deficiency of proteins C and S
The hereditary types of the deficiencies of proteins C and S are rare. However, people with the deficiency of protein S or protein C face an increased likelihood of high blood clots for the rest of their lives.
Symptoms of hypercoagulability
Hypercoagulability is often symptomless. The symptom will first show as a blood clot. In certain occasions though, there may be more symptoms than blood clots. Other symptoms of blurred vision, headaches, easy bruising, high blood pressure, lightheadedness, lack of energy, anemia, and excessive clotting or menstrual bleeding.
There are two possible treatment plans for hypercoagulability. These include antiplatelet therapy and anticoagulation therapy.
Antiplatelet therapy involves medication that prevents the blood cells or platelets responsible for clotting from forming. Aspirin is an example of this therapy. On the flip side, anticoagulation therapy revolves around the intake of medicine that inhibit blood clotting at the level of coagulation factors. An example of an anticoagulation drug is warfarin.
Lifestyle changes that can help
Some of the lifestyle changes that can assist you in improving the consistency or volume of your blood include:
- Losing weight if need be
- Lifting tobacco smoking
- Keep blood flowing by not sitting for long time periods
- Staying physically active and engaging in daily physical activity
Possible complications due to thick blood
Thick blood can result in shortness of breath. Besides, it can cause chest pain, rapid heartbeat, and blood with coughing. Possible serious complications that can occur due to blood clots include:
- Stroke if a blood clot heads to the brain and blocks an artery that carries oxygenated blood the brain
- Heart attack due to blood clot in a coronary artery
- Acute kidney injury from a blood clot or blockage in one or both of the renal veins that transport blood away from the kidney
Summing up, a thick blood can a problem. You should head to your doctor if you notice a blood clot of unknown origin, have blood clots for no known reason, or experience recurrent pregnancy loss in the first trimesters.