5 Ways to Prevent Deadly Blood Clots

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| August 22, 2012 | 10 Replies
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As Sophia Loren said, “Don’t cry about things that can’t cry over you!”

The feared final event in coronary heart disease – the number one cause of death – is a blood clot blocking off blood flow in a coronary artery. Without overt symptoms, blood clots develop in our arteries on a regular basis. They are not large enough to cause harm, or they are quickly dissolved by the body’s own intrinsic clot-dissolving process (fibrinolysis).

Although these numerous blood clots may readily dissolve, over time they contribute to plaque size and the further narrowing of the artery. Unstable artery health is the result of repeated blood clots forming over existing plaques. UK cardiologist Malcolm Kendrick hypothesizes that:   “Atherosclerotic plaques are just remnants of repeated blood clots, which, in time, turn into a form of scar tissue.”

One function of a healthy endothelium (the smooth, Teflon-like artery lining) is to prevent buildup along the artery wall. As we age and as the lining is chronically damaged, blood clots and plaque formation increase and can eventually get the upper hand.

If clotting over the damaged endothelium leads to increased risk of a heart attack, then preventing this injury and inflammation will help reduce clotting and plaque buildup – but how do we do that?

EASY FIVE STEP PLAN:

1. If you smoke, quit! Smoking creates free radicals that damage the artery wall. Also, smoking increases fibrin, a blood protein that collects platelets together into a clot. (Air pollution – while unavoidable at times – also causes endothelial damage.)

2. Consider enjoying a small amount of alcohol. A daily drink or two reduces free radical synthesis and fibrin buildup. Excess alcohol, however – more than two drinks – leads to blood platelet stickiness and increased blood clot formation.

3. Restrict high glycemic, blood-sugar-raising sugars and grains. Elevated blood sugar – via glycation reactions – causes endothelial damage. Glycation damage occurs when excess sugar attaches – without the aid of an enzyme – to a protein or a lipid, damaging, as an example, hemoglobin and LDL, respectively. Damaged hemoglobin is a marker for diabetes ( (hemoglobin A1c test); small dense oxidized LDL is associated with heart disease.

4. Fix your fats by (1) Including a variety of healthy traditional fats in your diet such as butter, coconut, palm, extra virgin olive oil,  and lard (from pastured pigs). (2) Include omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. (Our bodies can’t manufacture omega 3 EPA and DHA.) In just small amounts, omega 3 fats have strong anti-coagulant effects in blood. Consider eating flaxseed and two or more meals of fatty fish weekly, including sardines, herring, salmon or mackerel.

(3) At the same time, restrict highly processed heat-damaged omega 6 vegetable seed oils such as Canola, sunflower, safflower and soybean. Too much omega 6 and not enough omega 3 = inflammation, infection and damage in the coronary arteries.   Remember, too, that grass fed beef and lamb and eggs from pastured chickens provide more omega 3 and less omega 6 than their grain-fed counterparts.

5.  Learn how to neutralize the harmful effects of stress!  Stress of all kinds (physical and psychological) causes the release of adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone – fight or flight hormones that damage the endothelium by increasing blood stickiness and raising blood sugar. Resistance is the devil; acceptance will help set you free of damaging, blood-sugar raising stress reactions.

The bottom line: Avoid first and second hand smoke. Vacation in the country (unless their fracking).Considering enjoying a cocktail or a glass of wine with your evening dinner. Restrict cheap, high glycemic carbohydrates that raise blood sugar. Avoid the highly processed vegetable seed oils while emphasizing fatty fish, flaxseed and our traditional, healthy pastured animal foods. Yes, managing stress is a challenge but may be most important of all.

As Sophia Loren said, “Don’t cry about things that can’t cry over you!”

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Category: Longevity

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  1. robin canfield says:

    the last point about stress made reference to fracking, what pray tell does fracking have to do with stress,unless you are a left wing nut?

  2. robin canfield says:

    the last point about stress made reference to fracking, what pray tell does fracking have to do with stress?

  3. Alan Watson says:

    The fracking comment is in reference to the over-the-top bumper to bumper truck traffic in rural areas of the northern Badlands (North Dakota). You don’t have to be a “left wing nut” to be concerned about clean water or wilderness retreats for current or future generations.

  4. eric says:

    When I think of fracking, I picture the small earthquakes that go hand in hand with it. Seems like Arkansas had over 100 small earthquakes in a month last year. With Hot Springs being in Arkansas, I could just imagine a fracking incident that cracks open the earths crust and blows molten lava everywhere. That would be a bit stressful if you lived there, so I laughed when I read that. I got the joke, and I voted Republican for the record..lol

  5. Alan Watson says:

    “Vacation in the country (unless their fracking)…” should have been edited out. Stress kills but my own personal negative experience vacationing amidst the truck traffic and fracking activity in the northern Badlands is a poor example.

  6. Karen says:

    Have survived a blood clot, whole right leg, including PE. Tested and found to have the gene that makes me susceptible to blood clots. Spent more than 2 years on various anti coagulates, compression stockings, self injections of clexane…such fun and an eyeopener. Current status, clot in the leg fully resolved, PE still some residual but getting there…that’s 3-4 years on. Now I’m 48, healthier and much less prone to taking on stress. Enjoy the life you have, watch for red sore points (feels like a bruise) in your leg that are almost hot to the touch as is pretty much all the warning you’re going to get before the swelling takes hold.

  7. Magnificent website. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And of course, thank you in your effort!

  8. Alan Watson says:

    Thank you for your kindness! Please don’t hesitate to comment again. Yours truly, Al Watson

  9. health coach says:

    great article; have read your book Cereal Killer and we carry it in our store. i understand the comment on fracking -too bad an earlier reader took offense at it. stress comes in all shapes and sizes, environmental stressors included – and their toll has yet to be fully measured. but the closer to home we can begin, the better, and i believe it’s with diet and our lifestyle choices.

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