Characteristics of embolism
An embolism is a vascular accident caused by one or more emboli. An embolus is a blood clot that breaks loose from the wall of a blood vessel and travels with the blood to another place. It may be stuck somewhere inside a blood vessel, causing a blood blockage that can have serious consequences.
Both, blood embolism and arterial thrombosis are caused by blood clots. The difference between embolism and thrombosis is the fact that in thrombosis blood clots do not move from where they originate while in embolism is caused by one or several emboli displaced from elsewhere in the body. For example, when a blood clot moves from the veins of the legs and obstructs the circulation of the veins of the lungs, it produces a pulmonary embolism.
An embolism can affect any part of the body. However, the most common are:
- Embolism in the legs or feet: They are the most common form of embolism . The circulation in the legs or feet is hampered or held by clots in blood vessels in this area.
- Pulmonary embolism: Pulmonary embolism occurs when an embolus blocks a pulmonary artery.
- Cerebral embolism: It occurs when an embolus prevents blood flow to the brain. The cerebral embolism is the major cause of vascular accident. It is commonly called "brain attack" or stroke. "
- Heart attack: A heart attack can be caused by one or more emboli that obstruct a coronary artery.
- Temporary blindness in one eye, can be caused by an embolus that blocks blood flow to the retina of an eye. It is not so common as the other vascular accidents seen before.
Symptoms of embolism
Symptoms of embolism depend on the area of the body affected. If they affect some specific organ, they usually cause pain and dysfunction of the affected organ.
If the extremities are affected, the main symptoms are: Coldness and pallor of the affected limb, weakness or lack of movement in an arm or leg, muscle pains or spasms in the affected area, pulse weak or absent in the affected limb .
If blood flow fails to be restored, it will eventually produce a disablement of the affected organ. In case of obstruction of the blood vessels of the extremities, blisters, skin lesions or death of the tissues (necrosis) can take place.
Causes of embolism
Embolism is caused when one or more emboli, coming from blood clots formed in another part of the body, are stuck in a blood vessel blocking the flow of blood. The main causes that produce blood clots are:
-Genetic factors: Some people have a genetic predisposition to produce increased blood clotting.
- Diseases of the blood vessels: Among them we have, for example, phlebitis, arrhythmia, endocarditis, hypertension, heart failure, or obstruction of the carotid arteries or veins.
- Increased proportion of coagulation factors: There are a number of proteins, called coagulation factors (fibrinogen, prothrombin, calcium, etc) that facilitate Thrombi formation . For example, when fibrinogen levels are higher, you are more likely to blood clots. These levels in particular can be enhanced by the ingestion of drugs or certain stages of life, including pregnancy.
Other proteins, such as protein C, have anticoagulant properties. Deficiencies in these vitamins can promote blood clotting too much.
- Strokes or accidents: they can cause injuries to the inside of blood vessels that encourage blood clots. (For example, accidents that affect the entire body. Fractures of legs, hips, femur)
- Burns: burned tissues may enter the bloodstream.
- Surgical procedures: heart surgery, pelvic surgery, etc)
- Ingestion of certain drugs, such as oral contraceptives, or cocaine.
- Atherosclerosis: The arteries can be blocked by plaques consisting of cholesterol and fats that stick to walls and harden them as different components, such as calcium, adhere to them. Atherosclerosis is responsible for the formation of Thrombi
- Cholesterol: The presence of "bad" cholesterol promotes the formation of clots.
- Smoking: Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor that decreases the thickness of the arteries and coronary vessels, increases heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking is one of the leading causes of circulatory diseases, such as arteriosclerosis, hypertension, heart failure, etc.
- Alcohol: Alcohol increases blood pressure. Continued alcohol consumption can lead to problems of hypertension. Many doctors believe that a little alcohol helps improve circulation and prevent heart disease, but alcoholism is detrimental to the body and causes it many anomalies.
- Physical inactivity: inactivity , such as sitting for too long, air travel, traveling by car, by train for long hours, staying in bed for several days, etc. may promote clots.
- Poor diet: A poor diet, rich in saturated fats and low in anticoagulant food may promote Thrombi (More information on the diet against blood clots in the listing above)
Diagnosis and treatment of embolism
The diagnosis of embolism is based on a physical examination of the area where some symptoms may appear. In some cases you may need other tests to identify blood clots, such as angiograms, ultrasound or angiography.
The official treatment of embolism focuses on the use of anticoagulant drugs that prevent the formation of new clots, thrombolytic drugs used to dissolve clots, anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation and reduce pain.
Sometimes it will be necessary to undertake surgical procedures such as arterial bypass (a new way of blood flow), aspiration of the embolus (thrombus aspiration ) etc.
The natural treatment of embolism is based on the use of a series of natural resources that can help prevent or treat blood clots.
More information on the natural treatment of embolism in the listing above