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Offline annie123

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blood thickness queries
« on: 28/12/2010 00:36:43 »
How can the thickness of blood be tested? Do some people have thicker blood than others? If one has a condition which makes one prone to strokes because the blood can form clots  and blood thinners are required, how does the doctor know that the blood isn't thin enough anyway and a stroke isn't likely? And if the blood is 'thinned' does it make it less efficient as a transporter of oxygen, nutrients etc.?


 

Offline RD

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blood thickness queries
« Reply #1 on: 28/12/2010 01:02:12 »
How can the thickness of blood be tested? ... how does the doctor know that the blood isn't thin enough

Via an "INR" blood test ...

Quote
A high INR level such as INR=5 indicates that there is a high chance of bleeding, whereas if the INR=0.5 then there is a high chance of having a clot. Normal range for a healthy person is 0.91.3, and for people on warfarin therapy, 2.03.0, although the target INR may be higher in particular situations, such as for those with a mechanical heart valve
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Normalized_Ratio
« Last Edit: 28/12/2010 01:12:36 by RD »
 

SteveFish

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blood thickness queries
« Reply #2 on: 28/12/2010 01:24:14 »
Annie, I may be wrong, but just in case, you could be confused about what the term thin blood actually means. It doesn't have to do with concentration. Thick blood is not like sludge. What this refers to is clotting factors and some medicines ability to slightly alter the membrane of red blood cells so they are able to slip through capillaries that are almost the same diameter. The ability to carry oxygen is related to the numbers of red cells and the amount of active hemoglobin. Otherwise, carry on. Steve
 

Offline CliffordK

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blood thickness queries
« Reply #3 on: 28/12/2010 02:49:34 »
There are two different measurements.

The Hematocrit is related to the RBC count, and is a simple test done with a capilary tube and centrifuge.  One of my neighbors from St. Louis has Polycythemia vera, and regularly has to have blood removed to decrease his HCT to lower the risk of stroke.  A high RBC count (Hematocrit) will increase the blood-oxygen carrying capabilities.  And, one can legally do high elevation training to increase HCT for most sports, but one can not do various types of "blood doping".  Donating blood will temporarily lower your HCT.

The INR above measures your blood clotting ability.  It is naturally affected by the consumption of various green vegetables (Vitamin K) which increases the production of clotting factors, as well as aspirin and related NSAIDS that decrease clotting, as well as Heparin and Coumadin/Warfarin to decrease the clotting.  Cardiac arrhythmias (atrial fibrillation) are a risk factor for stroke, and is often treated with agents to decrease the blood clotting ability.  Lowering the blood clotting factors will increase the chance of bleeding including internal bleeding, but otherwise doesn't significantly affect the oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
 

Offline RD

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blood thickness queries
« Reply #4 on: 28/12/2010 12:36:00 »
There are two different measurements.

i.e. two different medical conditions: hypercoagulability and hyperviscosity.

When people refer to blood being "thinned" it is usually treatment for hypercoagulability they are talking about.

BTW hypercoagulability (aka thrombophilia) can be inherited ... http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/sec14/ch173/ch173g.html
 

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blood thickness queries
« Reply #4 on: 28/12/2010 12:36:00 »

 

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