Body & Fitness

How to prevent a blood clot

Each year, thousands of people die from blood clots that form in the deep veins of the body, where they travel to the lungs or brain. Here is what the experts advise to prevent them:

  • If you are travelling, avoid sleeping pills. Sleeping in a cramped position and not moving impairs circulation, which can lead to clots, says Aaron Sweeney, a vascular surgeon at Lewisham General Hospital, London. Simple leg exercises such as flexing your ankles, wearing elastic compression stockings and walking every hour will help reduce risks.

  • Generally, walking is the best exercise as it improves all-round circulation.

  • Brush and floss teeth at least twice a day, says London-based dentist Dr Charles Ferber. Bacteria from plaque and gum disease can escape into the bloodstream and attach to blood, forming clots.

  • Eat garlic: it has an anti-coagulant effect, says Eddie Chaloner, a vascular surgeon at Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust. Foods containing salicylates may also inhibit clotting, such as cayenne, paprika, strawberries, oranges and cranberries. Aspirin also contains this compound.

  • Wear tights rather than stockings and keep well hydrated, too, he says.

© Daily Mail

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