Clotting is a natural response to injury that the body needs to seal wounds, making it key to survival. Occasionally, however, clots form inside the veins and cause blockages. This usually happens when a vein incurs injury, or after a person has been sitting for long periods. But some nutritional deficiencies, too, are known to disrupt the blood clotting process.
Various types of blood clotting events exist, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute breaks down the conditions’ key characteristics.
“Venous thromboembolism, also known as blood clots, is a disorder that includes deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism,” explains the health body.
“A deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis.”
If a clot breaks free and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs, it is known as a pulmonary embolism, which is deadly.
According to WebMD, a lack of vitamin D may be one of the lesser-known causes of DVT.
The health body states: “Researchers in one small study found that the vitamin D levels of 82 people who had DVT with no known cause were less than the 85 people who had never had DVT.
“Adults need 600 to 800 IU of the vitamin per day. You can get it from salmon, tuna, cheese, and egg yolks. Or spent up to 30 minutes in the sun twice a week. You can have your vitamin D level checked with a blood test.”
One study to explore the link between low vitamin D and the development of deep vein thrombosis was published in 2018 in the journal of
The study, which consisted of a 30-year-follow-up period, found that decreased levels of vitamin D during the seasonal change from summer to winter led to an increase in the risk for VTE. Alongside vitamin D deficiency, other conditions known to disrupt the body’s clotting mechanisms are deficiencies in vitamin B12 and vitamin K.
The body needs vitamin K in order to produce the protein that is required for the clotting process.
When levels become suboptimal, the body can lose its ability to clot and put the body at risk of excessive bleeding.
Population research states that lack of vitamin B12, on the other hand, may be linked to an increased risk of blood clots in the veins.
VeryWellHealth explained: “[…] Oxidative damage, which injures the blood vessels, [makes] them more likely to catch sticky material and blood, leading to blood clots and predisposing to bleeding.
“Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency can be the culprit in a cascade of stroke inducing physiological events.”
Other causes of DVTDVT can result from virtually anything that slows the blood flow through the arms and legs.
“Things that make blood more likely to clot, such as genetic disorders and cancer, are other triggers for deep-vein thrombosis,” explains Harvard Health.
So long as they stay static, the majority of blood clots have the ability to dissolve on their own.
People with DVT usually experience pain or tenderness in the limbs that does not improve with time.
Sometimes the limbs take on a reddish or blue tinge, or start to appear swollen and can be warm to the touch.
When a clot departs from its point of origin and travels to the lungs, the real threat occurs.
Patients may experience difficulty breathing or may cough up blood, and must be treated swiftly with anticoagulants to survive.