- Blood clots are gel-like lumps of blood that form in the veins or arteries when blood goes from liquid to partially solid.
- While they are helpful for stopping bleeding, if they form unnecessarily they can be life threatening.
- There are many myths surrounding blood clots, from how common they are to who’s at risk.
- To prevent blood clots, be active, eat healthy, don’t smoke, and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
Blood clots are a double edge sword. In some cases they are healthy or even lifesaving when they stop bleeding. However, if they form when not needed, they can be extremely dangerous, causing a heart attack, stroke, or other serious medical problems.
You might not have experienced a blood clot personally, but have likely heard about them as a possible side effect of medication or lifestyle choices. To get better informed on the topic, we’ve compiled a list of common myths surrounding blood clots and what the truth is behind them…
What are Blood Clots?
First let’s distinguish what exactly a blood clot is. The Cleveland Clinic explains that blood clots are essentially gel-like clumps of blood that form in the veins or arteries when blood goes from liquid to partially solid. Clotting is normal and can help stop bleeding, however if they form and don’t dissolve on their own, they can be dangerous.
A clot typically starts in response to an injury. “Two substances — platelets (a type of blood cell) and fibrin (a firm string-like substance) – combine to form what is called a platelet plug to stop up the cut or hole,” writes the Cleveland Clinic. If a clot forms where it shouldn’t, it’s called a thrombus.
Symptoms and treatment will depend on where in the body the blood clot forms.