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How Can Excessive Blood Clotting Be Prevented?

You can't prevent genetic causes of excessive blood clotting. However, you can take steps to control or avoid some acquired risk factors.

  • Treat conditions that can lead to excessive blood clotting, such as diabetes or heart and vascular diseases.
  • Make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or losing weight, if needed.
  • Avoid medicines that contain the female hormone estrogen if you have risk factors for excessive blood clotting. Ask your doctor about other, safer options.
  • Stay active if you can. Move your legs, flex, and stretch during long trips. This helps keep blood flowing in your calves.
  • Talk with your doctor about ways to lower your homocysteine level if it's high. You may need more vitamin B6, vitamin B12, or folate.

Your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants, or "blood thinners," before, during, and/or after surgery or medical procedures to prevent excessive blood clotting.

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August 1, 2010