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Blood thinners are medicines that are used to thin or improve blood flow throughout the body. In addition, blood thinners can also prevent the formation of blood clots which are the culprits for the emergence of various serious diseases, such as stroke and coronary heart disease
Blood thinners are generally needed by people with certain medical conditions, such as coronary heart disease, blood vessel disease, heart rhythm disorders such as atrial fibrillation, heart valve replacement, congenital heart defects (congenital), deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and people who are at risk of developing blood clots after surgery.
Types of Blood Thinners You Need to Know
Blood thinners are generally divided into two groups of drugs, namely antiplatelet and anticoagulant. Check out the detailed explanation below:
Antiplatelet is a blood thinning group that functions to prevent blood platelets (platelets) from sticking together, so blood clots don't form. Some types of antiplatelet blood thinning drugs are:
Anticoagulants are blood thinners that block the action of blood clotting factors, thereby slowing down the process of forming blood clots in your body. Some types of anticoagulant blood thinning drugs are:
Risk of Side Effects of Blood Thinners
Blood-thinning medications can cause side effects in some people. Bleeding is the most common side effect and can occur in various forms, such as nosebleeds (epistaxis), bleeding gums, bloody urine, bloody stools, excessive bleeding during menstruation or injury, or even hemorrhagic stroke.
Some of the side effects of taking other blood thinners include:
- stomach pain
- Muscle weakening
- Hair loss
- Red rash on skin
To reduce the risk of bleeding after taking blood thinners, doctors will usually limit activities that are prone to impact, such as soccer. However, you can still do safe sports such as walking, jogging, or swimming.
In addition to being in the form of medicine, several types of food also have a function as a blood thinner, such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and food sources of vitamin E. However, you need to remember that the effect of natural blood thinners still needs further research and is not recommended to be taken with blood thinners.
Blood-thinning medications can interact with natural blood thinners in food or with certain vitamins and medications, increasing the risk of side effects.
Therefore, if you are taking blood thinners, make sure you regularly check according to schedule and follow the doctor's recommendations regarding the rules for using it. If you experience symptoms of side effects appearing, visit your doctor immediately because it is possible that the dose or the rules for using your medication need to be lowered.