Learn about navigating life after thrombosis (also called a
blood clot) – including prevention, treatment, and life implications – with #ThrombosisTipTuesday, a collection of tips for patients with thrombosis.
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A nosebleed while on a blood thinner is not usually dangerous, but can be pretty messy! Try to keep your noise moist to avoid a bleed.
Vitamins can affect blood thinners! Please speak with your doctor for questions about vitamin/ supplement use.
Drinking caffeine before bed can put you at a higher risk for falls – which are especially dangerous to patients on blood thinners!
If insurance covers it, INR testing at home can be a quick & convenient way for patients using the warfarin to test their levels!
Hair loss & thinning is not uncommon amongst patients on an anticoagulant (AKA blood thinner), but is often an unappreciated side effect.
Many falls happen in the dark & on the way to the bathroom. Falling while on blood thinners can be dangerous. Minimize the chance of falling by keeping homes well-lit & limit beverages before bedtime.
Risk of getting a blood clot may double or triple after sitting 4+ hours! When traveling for extended periods, do seated stretches to minimize risk.
Compression socks can alleviate swelling and discomfort – even if sometimes they’re a pain to put on! Try to leverage friction and put your socks on in the morning to give you a ‘leg up’ with application!
Exercise after a blood clot can feel scary, but is an important part to a healthy lifestyle! Aim to move around or walk 30 minutes each day to stay active.
It’s common for patients on a blood thinner to experience increased gum bleeding, especially while brushing teeth. Aim to brush carefully to decrease the risk of bleeds!
Being dehydrated can increase your risk of a blood clot. Aim to take in water frequently throughout your day to make sure you’re well-hydrated!
For patients who experience a nosebleed, do NOT pack a nose with tissue or gauze. Instead, use decongestant spray to dampen a cotton ball and gently insert it into the bleeding nostril.
Traveling often means sitting – and sitting for 4+ hours significantly increases your risk for a blood clot. If you’re traveling, try to stay active and hydrated, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctors about anything!
Different pain relievers can have different interactions with blood thinners. If taking a pain reliever while on a blood thinner, be sure to first check for any interactions!
Having a blood clot is often incredibly stressful. Many practitioners recommend meditation or yoga as a great way to help reduce stress.
Supplements can interact with a blood thinner. For patients on warfarin or a DOAC, please alert your doctor if you are on or are starting supplements!
For patients who have had a blood clot, compression socks or stockings can help alleviate pain, swelling, & fatigue. You can get fitted at a medical supply store, and often insurance will cover the cost.
Patients on a blood thinner often find their cuts take longer than normal to stop bleeding. Try to slow your bleeding by minimizing blood flow to the area.
For patients on a blood thinner, please let your doctor know if you’re using CBD or marijuana. Your doctor is not there to judge, and these things can affect the effects of medications.
While you aren’t allowed to donate blood while on a blood thinner, sometimes you do need to have blood drawn for other reasons. These tips look at ways to make your blood drawing go as smoothly as possible!
Travel can be a risk factor for developing a blood clot, so it’s a good idea to keep blood circulation going and stay hydrated!
Patients on a blood thinner will often notice that their menstruation is heavier and more exhausting than when not on a blood thinner. Here are tips for managing these changes.
Lately, there’s been a rise in telehealth (aka virtual) appointments. Sometimes it feels like an appointment can can go by very quickly, so it’s important to prioritize your needs on your call with any anticoagulation clinic, or care team.
Feeling anxiety or fear after a blood clot is incredibly common. These tips aim to provide insight for helping to manage anxiety after a clot.
Non-medical switching is when a patient’s medication is switched from one prescription to another for non-medical reasons. While it is often time consuming to fight non medical switching, it can be done!
If you have a blood clot and are on estrogen-containing contraception, you don’t necessarily need to stop birth control. In many cases, you’re able to continue use alongside a blood thinner.
When you’re on a blood thinner, a nuisance bleed (like nose bleeds, bleeding gums, bruising, or minor cuts) is not usually dangerous, but can be annoying. These tips look at ways to avoid nuisance bleeding.
A fall while on a blood thinner can be dangerous. Try to minimize risk of falling by taking both environmental and self-action!
Being sedentary is a risk factor for having a blood clot. Reduce your risk of clotting by keeping your blood moving!
If you’ve had an unprovoked clot, ask your doctor if genetic testing is right for you. Some genetic variations (aka “clotting disorders”) can increase risk of developing a clot & be passed down to children.
After a blood clot, coming off of a blood thinner can feel like a big decision. Knowing blood clot signs & symptoms, focusing on prevention, and joining a support group can help patients hit their stride.
After a blood clot, many patients are put on a blood thinner, which can cause gums to be sensitive or to bleed. Prevent bleeds by being gentle with teeth cleaning – and mitigate bleeds with table salt & tea bags!
While there is no “silver bullet” for completely preventing a blood clot, there are steps patients can take to mitigate risk, including staying active + hydrated and being aware of factors that may cause a clot.
For patients on a blood thinner, surgery may mean you need to pause your medication. When preparing for your procedure, please check with your surgery team AND your blood thinner prescribing team to make sure everyone is on the same page about your blood thinner use plan.
For patients who have had a blood clot, it is very common to fear having another clot. While you can check for symptoms of a clot yourself, often times you will need to confirm this in a medical setting. If you suspect you have a clot, please see a doctor ASAP – it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Patients who have had a blood clot may experience Post Thrombotic Syndrome, or PTS, which can cause pain, aching, or swelling in legs. While there is no “quick and easy” cure to this syndrome, blood thinners may help prevent PTS, and compression stockings can help alleviate symptoms.
When you are sedentary, blood flow slows down, putting you at risk of developing a blood clot. Reduce risk by trying to work exercise into your day, and breaking up the amount of time you spend sitting!
While some patients are on blood thinners for life, others may come off in as little as 3 months. If it’s been 3+ months since you’ve been put on a blood thinner, consider discussing with your doctor when is best to come off.
Exercising after a blood clot can help you heal faster and feel better! These tips share some not-so-typical ways you can add exercise to your day.
Did you know: oral blood thinners like warfarin & direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) should be avoided in pregnancy due to the risk of birth defects. Often, injectable blood thinners will be used to replace oral blood thinners.
Reversal agents should be used for only serious, major bleeding events, and only at the instruction of your doctor or care team. This tip looks into key things to know about using warfarin reversal agents.
Long flights are a risk factor for developing a blood clot, and can also exacerbate leg swelling and pain. These tips aim to help you keep your blood moving & minimize swelling during a flight!
Even after being treated, a blood clot can sometime result in pain and/or swelling. Taking actions such as wearing compression stockings and being more active can minimize pain and swelling.
For patients who are at risk of having a blood clot & have high cholesterol, a statin can lower cholesterol levels AND reduce risk of clots. Ask your doctor about statins if you have questions.
There is a link between blood clots & other health conditions. If you have a blood clot related condition (such as cancer, afib, or heart disease), please be extra mindful of blood clot signs & symptoms, as you may be at a higher risk of developing a clot.
It’s perfectly alright to not feel “okay” after a blood clot diagnosis. Sometimes, taking actions such as joining a support group or a forum, speaking with your doctor about concerns, and celebrating small wins can help patients start to feel a little more “okay” again.
Exercise is an important part of healing after a blood clot, and many patients want to know if they are cleared to lift weights after a clot. While it’s a good idea to discuss any new routines with your doctor, generally if you did strength training before having your clot, it is safe to slowly start back up again.
Patients on a blood thinner should be mindful about the different interactions their medications may cause. Interactions can happen with common vitamins like Vitamin K, supplements like fish oil, and even foods like turmeric.
Wondering what type of doctor or specialist you should be seeing after a blood clot? Check out this guide!
We always encourage patients who experience clot symptoms to go to the emergency department (ED) – even if they are unsure if they really have a clot.
Patients who have had a bloodclot can benefit from PT, which can help patients regain strength and endurance, and get back on their feet after an injury
Tips for making a blood thinner more affordable when insurance doesn’t fully cover the cost.
After a blood clot like a DVT or PE, every twinge in your calf or chest may feel like another clot. These tips aim to help create coping strategies, and know when to reach out to your doctor.
A pulse oximeter measures how much oxygen is in your blood. Knowing how much oxygen is in your blood (or your “blood oxygen level”) can be helpful for finding out if you have a PE, since sometimes a PE can cause a low oxygen level.
Wondering what to do if you miss a dose of blood thinners?
– If the time is closer to your MISSED dose, take the dose
– If the time is closer to your NEXT dose, skip your missed dose.
If you are on a blood thinner, a medical bracelet (or other medical identification) can help people know you have a high bleeding risk in an emergency.
Tobacco and nicotine are risk factors for a blood clot – even if you are already on a blood thinner! If you smoke (or vape), please speak with your doctor about how to minimize your risk of having a clot.
Varicose veins are not usually dangerous, but patients who this condition may be more likely to have a blood clot.
If you have varicose veins, consider letting your doctor know so you can work together to monitor your risk of developing a clot.
Planning on donating blood? If you are currently on a blood thinner, please WAIT until talking with your doctor! If you have recently been on a blood thinner, please wait at least 7 days after stopping your blood thinner before donating blood.
After a DVT, it can feel like any muscle twinge or pain may be another blood clot. This is often very scary, and so this tip provides tips on how to decide if pain is a DVT or a muscle ache. As a reminder, if you read this and are still unsure if you have a DVT vs a muscle ache, please call your doctor!
Did you know: a history of blood clots is often NOT a barrier to a safe and healthy pregnancy! Talk to your doctor about how to best manage your risk of blood clots.
Planning a summer vacation & currently on blood thinners? Check out these tips on traveling with blood thinners!
Compression socks are often used to relieve pain or swelling from a DVT. These tips take a look at how to help your socks last longer, and insight on putting socks on.
Getting a blood clot diagnosis like a DVT or PE is often very stressful.
Learning how to recognize stress, breathe mindfully, and be patient with yourself are a few ways to try and address stress in your life.
Good support can help with blood clot recovery! Patients can find support from many resources, whether it be from websites, friends and family, or healthcare professionals.
After a blood clot, it can be hard (and sometimes even painful) to start exercise, but it’s important to try. Remember that the goal is progress – not perfection – and that exercise can help with healing.
New to blood thinners? Help manage your bleeding risk by taking medicine as directed, limiting alcohol use, and having open conversations with your doctor about other medication use & procedures.
Piercings and tattoos may initially seem out of the question for patients on a blood thinner, but with good communication with your doctor and best practices, getting piercings & tattoos can be safe.
Bruising easily is a common side effect of being on a blood thinner. Aim to prevent bruises by avoiding high-impact activities, and wearing protective gear. If you have a bruise, put ice on it and call your doctor if the bruise is abnormally big.
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