Blood clots in the heart are an understandably very serious concern and can be a difficult condition to overcome for those prone. Understanding blood clots in the heart begins with getting to know how blood clots are formed. Clots are formed when different components of the blood, otherwise known as platelets, combine with thickening plasma proteins eventually forming a semi-solid mass. Why this happens can vary but once these clots form, they can travel throughout the body causing highly damaging harm.
Blood clots in the heart are commonly associated with a number of different conditions and/or factors that result from it including antiphospholipid syndrome, atherosclerosis, certain medications such as oral contraceptives or hormone therapy drugs, deep vein thrombosis, factor V Leiden, a family history of blood clots, heart arrhythmia, heart attack, heart failure, obesity, peripheral artery disease, polycythemia vera, pregnancy, prolonged sitting or bed rest, pulmonary embolism, smoking, stroke, and/or surgery.
As evidenced, there are many factors that play into the causes of blood clots in the heart. When the signs of blood clots become apparent, it is important to first consult with emergency medical professionals immediately. It is also important to remember that it may not necessarily be blood clots in the heart. There are several symptoms of blood clots in the heart that are identical to those felt for blood clots in the lungs, brain, or in the leg.
Causes of Blood Clots in the Heart
The causes of blood clots in the heart vary. Clots in and of themselves are not always necessarily a negative occurrence. Sometimes they form in response to an injury as the body’s natural response to plug injured blood vessels and thereby reduce or stop bleeding. Sometimes though they form without warning and do not dissolve naturally, requiring immediate medical attention particularly if these become blood clots in the heart. Analyzing the cause of blood clots in the heart begins with a physical exam as well as a review of family history of clotting.
As it pertains to clots that are specific to the heart, these oftentimes originate directly in the heart. When the upper chamber of the heart begins to beat in a disorganized manner, this causes the blood there to become stagnant against the walls of the heart. This can cause blood clots in the heart to form. It is also possible for blood clots in the heart to form in the ventricle following a heart attack when the heart muscle is injured, unable to contract normally, and once again this blood begins to stagnate eventually resulting in the aforementioned clot formation.
Symptoms of Blood Clots in the Heart
The symptoms of blood clots in the heart that one needs to be ready to react to immediately are various. When these symptoms of blood clots in the heart become apparent, it is highly important to seek emergency care. These include cough that produces bloody sputum, a fast heartbeat, light-headedness, difficult or painful breathing, chest pain or tightness, any pain extending to the shoulder, arm, back or jaw, a sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, and any sudden changes in vision. Consult a doctor if these symptoms of blood clots in the heart are present or if there is swelling, redness, or pain in the chest.
It is also possible that there may be no visible symptoms. Generally if there are signs of blood clots or if there is a family history of blood clots and if you think you may have a blood clot, it is best to consult a health care professional who will be able to advise you from there. With regards to blood clots in the heart, these are significantly less common than blood clots elsewhere such as the leg, abdomen, lungs, and brain. That is not to say that it does not happen regularly. If your chest hurts or feels heavy, alongside some of the other potential symptoms outlined here, these are likely the signs of blood clots in the chest or heart region.
Treatment for Blood Clots in the Heart
Immediate treatment for blood clots in the heart is critical for survival. Treatment for blood clots in the heart may include a combination of methods. A variety of medications such as aspirin and clopidogrel, intravenous anti-platelet agents, heparin, or clot busters may be used. In addition, intervention catheters may be used to remove or compress the clots.
The most appropriate treatment for blood clots in the heart will depend upon the personal situation of the patient and the circumstances of the condition. There are many ways in order to prevent a heart attack in patients who are suffering from signs of blood clots in or near the heart and various medications that are often prescribed depending upon the seriousness of the condition. Blood thinners or clot busters are the most widely used methods to address blood clots in the heart or near the heart, and have shown to be highly effective.
Remedy for Blood Clots in the Heart
If you are prone to blood clots in the heart, the most effective form of treatment is always going to be preventative. The most popular remedy for blood clots in the heart is a preventative based exercise program that will involve several exercises given by a health care professional to help ward off the condition. These exercises will involve simple motions designed to keep your blood flowing and to help ward off related risk factors such as weight gain or high blood pressure.
Fighting off blood clots in the heart also means changing up the diet. This, coupled with exercise, is sure to be the most effective long-term treatment for blood clots in the heart and a suitable remedy. Blood clots in the heart most often occur in people who aren’t able to move around well or who are recovering from a recent injury or surgery. Therefore it’s important to keep moving at all costs and to be aware of the little things that can be done. Something as simple as wearing loose fitting clothing, changing your position often, not standing or sitting for more than an hour at a time, eating less salt, and raising the bottom of your bed four to six inches off the ground can all make a difference. This is about staying active and being aware of one’s proneness to blood clots in the heart.
Understanding Blood Clots and Working Towards Early Prevention
If you are at risk of developing blood clots in the heart, as stated above, there are several measures you can take to reduce the possibility of developing these clots. If you are post-surgery or on bed rest, the sooner that you can get up and move around, the better that this is in the prevention of blood clots in the heart. Dehydration can also contribute to the formation of blood clots. Thus be sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, particularly when you are out and about or traveling. Consult with a doctor for a list of lifestyle changes that may also play a fundamental role in reducing your risk which may include losing weight, lowering blood pressure, to stop smoking, and to be put on an exercise program.
If you have been diagnosed with a blood clot in the heart or are recovering from having blood clots in the heart, it can be challenging no doubt. The medications often prescribed come with their own set of side effects and with regards to the psychological impact of having been diagnosed with a blood clot, it is not entirely uncommon to develop a depression or anxiety. If one follows the preventative measures laid out by their doctor, follows their diet routine, and follows their exercise routine, there’s no reason that they can’t live a meaningful, long-lasting life. It’s important to be alert of the possibility of clotting and to take the steps necessary to guard against that but that should not prevent anyone from living their lives. Regular check-ups with your doctor can help monitor the condition and assist in giving you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re doing the right things towards preventing a recurrence.