A Brief Guide to Understand Blood Clotting Disorders
Blood clotting is necessary to stop bleeding, by sealing the cut on the blood vessel wall, when it starts to bleed. If there is tendency towards excessive blood clotting, or the incidences of the clots not dissolving properly, then the person is said to suffer from blood clotting disorders.
Causes of Blood Clotting Disorders
The primary cause of blood clots is the decrease in oxygen levels in the blood, which happens due to trauma caused by accident, surgery, or general illness. Normally blood clots are formed when the lining of either an artery or a vein is damaged.
The damage could be exterior like laceration, or could be invisible interior type. Blood also begins to clot when it becomes stagnant.
Several conditions can change the body’s normal blood clotting process, leading to severe blood clotting disorders. Some of the most common causes for the blood clotting disorders are as follows:
- Plaque on the interior parts of the arteries which is medically known as atherosclerosis. If a plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms at the site of the rupture and obstructs the blood flow at that point.
- Prolonged use of few types of birth control pills
- More clotting factors are present in a woman’s blood during pregnancy which increases the chance of blood clotting disorders by six times.
- Venous thrombosis is a condition where a person becomes immobilized and muscles are unable to push the blood back to the heart.
- Heart diseases lead to clotting of blood in parts of heart.
- Genetic disorders inherited from one or both parents like ‘Factor V Leiden’ and Prothrombin mutations.
- Lupus anticoagulants that attack the substances prevent blood clotting
Blood clotting disorders in simple language is the body making either too many blood clotting factors or less anti-clotting factors that fails to prevent or limit the clot formation.
Dangers of Blood Clotting Disorders
Not many realize that blood clotting disorders can be fatal in many cases. As clotting of blood is natural reaction of our body to any form of injury, not many think of it as a serious condition. In reality, blood clots can leave behind permanent damage or even cause death at times.
The blood platelets or particles of fibrin, solidifies when it gets contact of oxygen, forming a lump and protective covering over the injured area. In absence of this, a small wound on our body would let all the blood flow out leading to death.
Hence clotting of blood is very essential for our survival. On external wounds the blood clots dry and fall off on their own after the body has healed. In case of internal injuries, blood clots dissolve on their own. However, in case the blood clots do not dissolve, they may become dangerous by hindering the flow of blood to important organs of the body, causing failure in their functioning or permanent damage.
Blood clots prove extremely dangerous when they form in one of the major blood vessels and restrict the flow of blood to an essential organ, leading to conditions like heart attack, brain damage or kidney failure which can result in death.
Minimizing the risk of vascular disease by controlling cholesterol, diabetes management and refraining from smoking will help in prevention of blood clotting disorders. Those who have a family history should be more vigilant. Immobilization is the main cause for deep vein thrombosis, hence it is important to move around routinely so that blood can circulate properly.