What causes blood thickening and clots?
Blood thickening is a process of forming a mass known as blood clots. This process is generally called as Blood Coagulation. It is the conversion of blood from a free flowing liquid to a semisolid gel.
Causes may be due to tissue damage and this is the usual case, however, a lot of things should be considered like clotting which can occur within an intact blood vessel, tumor cells which causes viscous blood than normal (e.g. tumour cell producing proteins which are Waldenstroms macroglobulinemia and multiple myeloma).
Hypovolemia is another cause where body fluid is decreased. Examples are protracted diarrhea, burns, vomiting, and haemorrhage.
Mentioned below are few of the causes of thickening of blood.
* In rare cases the bone marrow produces more red blood cells than required. This is to compensate the lack of oxygen in blood.
Consequently leading to a condition called polycythemia. The excess red blood cells in turn cause the blood to become thicker and stickier. In the long run this increases the load on the heart. This thickening and change in the consistency of the blood can also put a person with at increased risk of pulmonary embolism. The thickened blood clumps and forms clots. Typically these clots are formed in the veins of the limbs. In time these clots dislodge and travel to the lungs.
* An overproduction of IgM immunoglobulins causes the blood to become too thick. This condition is called hyperviscosity. In this case the condition gets harder for blood to flow through small blood vessels.
* There are a few conditions when the blood turns more viscous than what is required.
This is a result of tumor cells churning out proteins. It is akin to the conditions as in the Waldenstroms macroglobuleinaemia and multiple myeloma.
* Blood thickens in a state when there is enormous loss of fluids from the body. This occurs in conditions like proatracted diarrhoea or Hypovolemia, vomiting, haemorrage. There is also a loss of fluids when a person is suffering from severe burns.
* Blood clotting and thickening is also due to the impact of excessive smoking. It leads to the blockage of carotid artery that stops blood supply to brain cells. And gradually results in a stroke. This condition is also known as cerebral thrombosis.
* It is also a result of vitamin b12 deficiency. Wherein there is an increase in the levels of homocystein in the blood, which eventually leads to blood thickening.
* An increase in blood cells called platelets causes blood to thicken or form clots in the blood vessels. This condition is known as Thrombocytosis.