For those of you who are not familiar with the term ‘blood clots’, they are plods of coagulated blood that crop up when the blood solidifies from a fluid to semi-solid state (coagulation). Blood clots can occur in different parts of the body. For instance, a blood clot that forms inside the heart and blood vessel and stays put there is called a ‘thrombus’. On the contrary, a blood clot in the artery is called as ‘arterial thrombi’. The main function of a blood clot is to bring to a halt a leak in an injured blood vessel. This function guards a person from extreme blood loss. If the body did not have this capability, even a trivial cut could cause severe medical outcomes, eventually resulting in death if copious blood is lost. Blood clots can form due to various reasons. This article deals with the most important reasons for blood clotting. Read on to find out more.
Causes Of Blood Clots
Blood clots are known to occur in the veins of somebody who happens to be immobilized. In such a condition, the person’s muscles will be incapable of pumping blood back to the heart. Under such circumstances, the blood that is stagnant starts forming small clots along the lining wall of the veins. If not checked, the clots can steadily grow; thereby partially or completely obstructing the vein.
Blood Clots In The Heart
A rapid and often irregular heart rhythm is known as atrial fibrillation. In this state, the blood tends to stagnate along the atrium walls. With time, this stagnation may cause tiny blood clots to form. There are possibilities of clot formation in the ventricles especially after a heart attack, when part of the heart muscle is wounded and is powerless to contract as usual. Given that the wounded area doesn't contract with the rest of the heart, blood tends to collect or stagnate, thus leading to clot formation.
Blood clots that occur in the artery are known as arterial thrombi and these clots occur differently. For those people afflicted with atherosclerotic disease, deposits of plaque form along the lining of the artery and develop to cause narrowing of the vessel. This is the disease process that may cause peripheral artery disease, stroke and even heart attacks. In the event of the plaque rupturing, a blood clot can form at the place of the ruptured plaque. This in turn can fully or partly obstruct the flow blood flow at that particular place.
Other Significant Causes of Blood Clots
- Trauma to blood vessels due to a burn, accident, fracture or accident
- Auto-immune disorders like lupus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis
- Hemophilia (bleeding disorder)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Certain types of cancers
- History of varicose veins or other vascular diseases
- High blood pressure
- Elevated platelet levels
- High dosages of oestrogen
- Genetic reason such as a tendency for deep vein thrombosis
- Lack of exercise
- Obesity (being overweight by more than 10 kg)