Pulmonary embolism – causes, side effects and treatments at NaturalPedia.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by

Pulmonary embolism is a common condition where emboli block the pulmonary arteries, usually due to a blood clot which can be life-threatening. Among the patients suffering from this condition, less than 10 percent of those who die were pre-diagnosed since it is very hard to detect. Death rate caused by pulmonary embolism is high since treatment is not always successful.

Around 600,000 Americans suffer from this condition every year. Pulmonary embolism causes 25,000 people in the U.S. to be admitted to hospitals, and about 60,000 die from it annually.

Blood clots, which originated from the legs or pelvic veins, are most often the cause of pulmonary embolism – about 90 percent of the condition’s cases. While this condition can be treated, once an embolus blocks the main pulmonary artery, the situation becomes fatal.

Known risk factors, symptoms of pulmonary embolism

Not moving around is a common cause for a blood clot to form – for instance, it happens during a long flight or car ride. Those who have had an embolus or were previously diagnosed with pulmonary embolism are more likely to develop it again.

Blood vessels that were damaged as well as a person’s age also increase the chance of developing pulmonary embolism. Other risk factors include certain cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, pacemakers, catheters in the veins, pregnancy, estrogen supplements, a family history of blood clots, and smoking.

The following are the known symptoms of pulmonary embolism:

  • Chest pain
  • Irregularity in breathing
  • Coughing with blood
  • Faster than normal heartbeat
  • Dizziness

Body systems affected by pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism may cause the following complications:

  • Due to the blockage, proper circulation in the body is hindered. This can cause the heart to stop beating or cardiac arrest which can be deadly.
  • Pulmonary embolism may leave strains on the heart which may lead to heart failure.
  • There’s a high chance of blood clot recurring.
  • Undergoing anti-clotting treatment may lead to some side effects like bleeding in another body part.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent or relieve pulmonary embolism

It’s important to observe a healthy diet to avoid suffering from obesity and atherosclerosis. Both conditions are known to increase the risk of developing pulmonary embolism.

The following list of natural remedies may help prevent or relieve pulmonary embolism.

  • Water – Drink lots of water as dehydration can cause the blood to thicken, which may lead to blood clot formation.
  • Grape juice or red wine – A substance found in purple grapes called flavonoids prevent blood clots by producing platelets.
  • Garlic – Garlic is a natural blood thinner which makes it an effective food to combat pulmonary embolism.
  • Virgin olive oil – Olive oil is found to contain phenols that can help prevent blood clots.
  • Kiwi – By reducing platelet activity, this fruit also reduces the risk of an embolism.

It is best to stay away from fatty foods to prevent pulmonary embolism as they may increase inflammation.

Treatments, management options for pulmonary embolism

Treatment usually involves the fast-acting anticoagulant heparin. This helps stop existing blood clots from growing bigger and prevent new clots from forming. Most of the time, heparin is taken with another anticoagulant called warfarin.

Once the blood clot disappears, it is often advised to continue taking the blood-thinning medications to help prevent blood clots from forming again since previous patients are more at risk of developing them again.

Pulmonary embolism can be prevented by avoiding being immobile for a long period of time. Formation of blood clots often happens during long flights or long car rides. To prevent this, walk on the airplane aisle if you’ll be on air for a couple of hours. Additionally, stop for breaks during a long drive and stretch your legs before hitting the road again.

Hypertension is another known risk factor for pulmonary embolism. Manage hypertension with the following lifestyle and dietary habits:

  • Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Maintain optimal weight through diet and exercise
  • Relax through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques
  • Quit smoking

Where to learn more

Summary

Pulmonary embolism is the blockage of the pulmonary arteries by blood clots which usually originate from the legs or pelvic area. Although it can be treated, fatality rate caused by this condition is still high since it’s hard to be diagnosed.

Common symptoms of an embolism are chest pain, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, coughing with blood, and irregular heartbeat. Age is also a known risk factor of said illness.

If not treated immediately, patients with pulmonary embolism may also suffer from cardiac arrest or heart failure.

Sources include:

MedicalDictionary.TheFreeDictionary.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

Patient.info

LiveStrong.com

EverydayHealth.com

DrWeil.com

eMedicineHealth.com



Comments

comments powered by Disqus