Your Height and Blood Clots

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The taller you are, the more likely you are at risk to develop blood clots. According to a study, blood clot that starts in a vein — was associated with height, with the lowest risk being in shorter participants of the study.

“For men shorter than 5’3, the risk for blood clot dropped 65 percent when compared to the men 6’2 or taller. For women, shorter than 5’1″ who were pregnant for the first time, the risk for clot dropped 69 percent, in comparison to women that were 6 feet or taller.”

Height is not something we can do anything about. However, the height in the population has increased, and continues increasing, which could be contributing to the fact that the incidence of thrombosis (formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel) has increased.

The most common triggers of blood clots are cancer, immobilization, surgery and hospitalization. In women, pregnancy and use of hormones for menopause symptoms are also the triggers.

It could just be that, because taller individuals have longer leg veins there is more surface area where problems can occur.

There is more gravitational pressure in the leg veins of a taller person that can increase the risk of blood flow slowing or temporarily stopping.

Signs of a Blood Clot

There are easily identical signs that may be a sign of a blood clot. Firstly, keep an eye on your boundaries. Keep a check in your legs for following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • A warm sensation
  • A pale or bluish discoloration

Your symptoms will depend on the size of the clot. That’s why you might not have any symptoms, or you might only have minor calf swelling without a lot of pain. If the clot is large, your entire leg could become swollen with extensive pain.

It’s not common to have blood clots in both legs at the same time. Your chances of having blood clots increase if your symptoms are isolated to one leg.

It can even occur in your arms. If you’re having a sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting spells, or a fast heartbeat, then it’s a sign that a clot has entered your lungs.

How to Prevent Blood Clots

Prevention is better than cure, and that applies to every disease and disorder. Instead of treating clots, it’s best to take a preventive style. You can start by dealing with your changeable risk factors, which include hormone replacement therapy or birth control, obesity, inactivity, or diabetes. And be extra cautious if you’ve recently had surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

• Avoid standing for longer.
• Maintain a healthy weight.
• Exercise to improve circulation.

If you already have varicose veins, you should take these steps to prevent formation of varicose veins. You should also raise your legs whenever you’re resting or sleeping.

Once you’ve controlled most or all of your other risk factors, you can take a healthy approach to life to stave off blood clots. These four strategies should do the trick:

Wear Compression Leggings

Your doctor may advise you to wear special socks or leggings. These long socks place enough pressure on your legs so that blood can flow more easily keeping blood from merging in your lower legs, area of ulcers, and help relieve symptoms caused by varicose veins (occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood).The level of compression varies, but most types of compression stockings are available in drugstores or medical supply stores.

Do Not Cross Your Legs

When you cross your legs you wrap your blood vessels behind your knees. The crushed space creates a narrow window in which blood can gather and create a clot.

Stop Using Pillows Under Your Knees

Just as like crossing your legs, pillows can wrap blood vessels behind knees, which create a central point of contact for the formation of blood clots.

Move Often

Activity is the name of the game. Besides preventing blood clots, regular, daily activity lowers your stress and decreases your risk of acquiring all kinds of diseases. It’s a general rule of health that more and more people are abiding by these days. Even if you consider yourself an active person, keep in mind that we all experience periods of inactivity traveling long distances or sitting at one place all day.

While the science doesn’t yet prove that height puts you at greater risk of blood clots, doctors think it makes sense, given what we know about blood clot formation. You can’t change how tall you are, but you can take steps to lower your risk today.

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