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Blood clot treatments include different types of prescription blood thinners and lifestyle changes. Prescription blood thinners are generally grouped into three categories: anticoagulants, thrombolytics, and antiplatelets. Lifestyle changes include restricting intake of fatty foods and implementing an exercise program. In addition, some natural remedies and supplements may have some impact on preventing blood clots from forming.
Anticoagulants are probably the most common of all blood clot treatments, and studies show that the two most popularly prescribed anticoagulants are heparin and warfarin. Both of these drugs work to stop clots from forming, by interrupting the clot-forming cycle. Warfarin is designed to slow down production of vitamin K, which when overproduced can sometimes cause blood clots. Heparin affects a blood enzyme called thrombin that is necessary for the creation of blood clots.
Thombolytics are drugs that target blood clots, causing them to dissolve. Tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is a drug that is often used in this type of therapy. Blood clot treatments that include thombolytics are most often given when a blood clot is considered an immediate threat to health. They tend to work more quickly than many other types of blood clot medications.
Platelets are cell fragments found in blood that group together to create blood clots. Antiplatelets are drugs that prohibit the grouping of platelets. Blood clot treatments designed for patients who are considered high risk will typically include antiplatelet medications. Some common types of antiplatelet medications include aspirin, glocoproteins, and thienopyridines.
Blood clot treatments that are considered natural remedies primarily include supplements that contain salicylates, which behave much in the same way as aspirin. Some of these supplements include cat’s claw, green tea extract, and ginkgo biloba. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids may also help prevent blood clotting, and these include salmon, herring, and tuna. Mercury content can sometimes be a concern when consuming seafood, but freshwater fish such as trout are also a good source of omega-3. In addition, fish oil extract can be purchased as a daily dietary supplement at most health food stores and pharmacies.
Blood clotting is considered the body’s natural response to bleeding, but sometimes the process breaks down and blood clots form when there is no bleeding present. In some cases, blood clots dissolve without the need for medication. In fact, many people may suffer blood clots without ever knowing it. In other cases, blood clots may be too large to break down on their own, and can lead to heart attack, stroke, and even death.