Blood clots: energy drinks may increase the risk

Blood clots are not inherently bad. In fact, they are beneficial when they form in response to an injury or cut, as they stop bleeding. However, when blood clots form in your veins for no good reason, they can be a sign of serious complications. Poor dietary decisions can promote the formation of the latter type.

Worryingly, the consumption of energy drinks can trigger the mechanisms that lead to the formation of blood clots.

Consumption of energy drinks in the United States has more than doubled over the past decade, according to researchers in a study published in the Surgical Research Journal.

They noted that drinking the popular drink has been implicated in a host of cardiovascular complications, such as cardiac arrhythmias, myocardial infarction and even “sudden cardiac death”.

In light of this, the researchers hypothesized that consumption of energy drinks may increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events by increasing platelet aggregation, thereby leading to an increased risk of thrombosis (blood clot in a vein).

READ MORE: Blood clots: The country’s favorite drink could make your blood sticky, increasing the risk

They concluded: “Although larger clinical studies are needed to better address the safety and health concerns of these drinks, the increased platelet response may provide a mechanism by which energy drinks increase the risk of adverse cardiovascular events. “

General tips to reduce your risk

Living a heart-healthy lifestyle provides the best buffer against heart complications.

One of the most robust preventative measures is to stay active – the NHS says to take regular walks.

“Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration – you are more likely to get a clot if you are dehydrated,” advises the charity.

You should also:

  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight
  • Wear flight stockings or flight socks to improve your blood circulation on long flights – a pharmacist can advise on this
  • Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol.

Symptoms to look out for

Symptoms of a blood clot include:

  • Shooting or cramping pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in a leg or arm
  • Sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain (may be worse when inhaling) and coughing or coughing up blood.

Blood clots can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

“111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one,” the NHS adds.

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