Have you ever tried to drink a thick milkshake through a narrow straw? It’s almost impossible, isn’t it?
The only way to get the delicious drink running is to shake it up a little and break up the small ice-cream cubes that get stuck in the straw.
And even then, it takes quite a pressure to suck it up.
Now imagine your blood stream. Normally, you’d think of it as flowing milk that runs through the arteries and veins as smoothly as could be.
But there is a tendency of the blood to thicken up and form blood clots that makes it act more like the milkshake clogging up narrowed arteries.
This is one of the major causes for high blood pressure, plaque buildup, heart attack and stroke.
But why does this happen and what can you do about it? This is the subject of today’s feature article.
Blood clots are little more than the different types of cells that make up the blood, which clot together to form a kind of web of thicker, more solid substance.
This is actually a very functional mechanism your body uses to repair damaged arteries and veins. It’s mostly visual when you cut yourself and you see a scab quickly form to heal the small wound.
Clotting is, however, happening all the time throughout your body healing both big and small injuries to the arterial walls. This is part of your body’s immune system and functional inflammation system.
Clotting can also happen when the blood isn’t running quickly enough in the veins returning to the heart. This is usually due to lack of physical activity since the body’s muscles are mostly responsible for this task.
The problem rises when the blood in the arteries begins to thicken due to excessive blood clotting. Since it takes much greater force to pump thick blood than thin (as our milkshake example demonstrates), this obviously leads to higher blood pressure, which again leads to more arterial damage.
This all then leads to plaque buildup that narrow the arteries even further and the cycle continues.
So the first thing doctors usually do when they detect thickening of the blood is to give out blood thinning medications, then cholesterol lowering drugs and finally blood pressure medications (the order may differ from case to case).
But they usually ignore the real question: “What caused the arterial damage in the first place that caused the blood clotting?”
Usually, it all begins with oxidization and chronic inflammation. There are most often several things that work together to trigger this in the first place. For example, bad diet, lack of exercise, pollution (or smoking), stress.
So what can you do if you’re already experiencing thickening of the blood?
1) Overdose on antioxidant/anti-inflammatory food. This includes all kinds of berries (especially blueberries), colorful vegetables, omega 3-rich food and more.
2) Avoid all chemicals – mostly found in highly processed food, but also due to smoking and air pollution. Refined sugars and high fructose corn sugar also act like gasoline on inflammation. Instead, use a limited amount of organic honey to sweeten or flavor food naturally.
3) Exercise, exercise, exercise – keep your body moving as much as possible. This helps shake up the blood clots and get the blood flowing again through the arteries.
4) Take drastic measures to lower your blood pressure. The three steps above will do a lot to improve your blood pressure already, but the best method I know that works for almost everyone is the programme of simple blood pressure exercises.