Thick Blood - Causes And Treatment, What To Do?

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Thick Blood - Causes And Treatment, What To Do?
Thick Blood - Causes And Treatment, What To Do?

The causes of thick blood, what to do?

Causes of thick blood
Causes of thick blood

Most people, having learned that they have elevated hemoglobin levels, find this simple explanation. They believe that "thick blood" is the reason. However, blood thickening is not a variant of the norm, therefore, it is required to find out the causes of this condition, and also take certain measures aimed at eliminating it.

To begin with, you need to understand what includes the concept of "thick blood".

It combines the following states:

  • An increase in the level of red blood cells.
  • Hemoglobin growth.
  • An increase in hematocrit values, that is, the volume of red blood cells in blood.

When determining all these indicators, one should be guided by the person's age, since they have a direct relationship with this value. It is impossible to measure the blood counts of a child, an adult and an elderly person with the same standards.

If we refer to medical terminology, the concept of "viscous blood" will sound like "high viscosity blood syndrome", or "hyperviscous syndrome".


  • Blood viscosity and hematocrit values
  • Thick blood - what is the reason?
  • Increase in blood viscosity as an adaptation mechanism
  • Symptoms of thick blood
  • Complications and consequences
  • Conservative treatment
  • Treatment of high blood viscosity without taking medications

Blood viscosity and hematocrit values

Blood viscosity and hematocrit values
Blood viscosity and hematocrit values

To study the problem of blood viscosity, one should navigate in the indicators of the norm.

  • 1048-1066 are normal values that determine blood density. This indicator should not go beyond these limits. It determines the level of salts, protein components and blood cells.
  • 1092-1095 are indicators of the rate of specific gravity of red blood cells.
  • 1024-1050 are indicators of the plasma density norm.
  • 40-54% is the normal hematocrit level for men.
  • 37-47% is the normal hematocrit for women.
  • 4.0-5.5 is the normal blood viscosity level.

The more erythrocytes in the blood, the higher the blood viscosity. The fewer red blood cells, the lower the viscosity of the blood will be.

If a person drinks too much, or the fluid in his body is retained due to kidney disease, then the blood viscosity will be below the permissible normal range. A similar situation develops against the background of bearing a child, with anemia, while undergoing therapy with certain drugs (Aspirin, Heparin). The lower the density of the blood, the faster its flow through the vessels. The higher the blood density, the slower the blood flow rate. This can lead to the development of many pathologies of the heart and blood vessels.

Diagnosis of various blood readings is carried out in different ways:

  • The viscosity of the blood is determined with a viscometer.
  • The method of immunoelectrophoresis determines which proteins are present in the blood.
  • Immunochemical methods make it possible to calculate the amount of these proteins.

Thick blood - what is the reason?

Thick blood - what is the reason
Thick blood - what is the reason

A healthy person will not have thick blood.

Various pathological processes in the body lead to a change in its viscosity, among which are:

  • Food poisoning and other diseases that are accompanied by severe diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Body hypoxia.
  • Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.
  • Polycythemia vera, accompanied by an accumulation of red blood cells in the blood.
  • Leukemia is a specific form of the disease.
  • Bone marrow tumor (Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia).
  • Diabetes mellitus and non-konemic coma.
  • Disorders in the adrenal glands.
  • All diseases that are accompanied by the production of pathological immunoglobulins or B-lymphocytes in the body (altered in their structure, molecular weight and other indicators), for example, myeloma.
  • Paraproteinemic hemoblastosis (BTTS) and amyloid dystrophy.
  • Thrombophilia.
  • Serious disorders in the liver (cirrhosis and hepatitis).

  • Inflammation of the pancreas.
  • The period of bearing a child.
  • Varicose veins.
  • Burns.

The thicker the blood, the harder it will be for the heart to do its job.

Increase in blood viscosity as an adaptation mechanism

Pregnancy and thick blood

Pregnancy and thick blood
Pregnancy and thick blood

Sometimes the blood becomes thicker while carrying a baby. In some cases, the body thus tries to prevent the threat of miscarriage. Also, the blood becomes more viscous immediately before childbirth, because they are associated with blood loss. Nature has endowed a woman's body with the ability to thicken blood in order to prevent the development of profuse bleeding.

Therefore, all women are regularly drawn during pregnancy to monitor the level of hematocrit, hemoglobin and erythrocytes. To track changes in the amount of certain blood proteins, the expectant mother is sent for a coagulogram. It takes place at different stages of pregnancy.

If the blood viscosity rises significantly, then the doctor will prescribe therapy for the woman. Sometimes, in order to bring blood viscosity back to normal, it is enough just to adjust your menu, folk methods of treatment have a good effect, but before using them, you should consult a doctor.

Also, to thin the blood, the doctor may prescribe medications, the scheme is selected on an individual basis.

A significant increase in blood viscosity cannot be ignored, since during pregnancy this can lead to thrombosis, thrombophilia, leukemia or varicose veins. The defeat of the vascular bed is dangerous not only for the woman herself, but also for the child.

Thick blood in a newborn baby

A baby who has just been born has a dark color and increased viscosity. The blood counts of a newborn are significantly different from those of older children. So, in the first 24 hours after the baby is born, the level of erythrocytes is 5.5 * 10 12 / l, and the hemoglobin level reaches 200 g / l. You should not worry about this, it will take several days and these numbers will decline.

Thick blood in a newborn is not abnormal. It's just that the child grew and developed in a radically different environment, and now he is in a new world. It takes time for his body to adapt to changed environmental conditions, for example, to learn to breathe differently.

About 50% of hemoglobin decays in the first days after the birth of a child. By the way, it is this hemoglobin, which is called fetal, that causes the development of jaundice in newborns. By the first year of life, fetal hemoglobin in the child's blood will be no more than 1%. Other blood parameters, including viscosity and hemoglobin level, will be equal to those of an adult.

Symptoms of thick blood

Symptoms of thick blood
Symptoms of thick blood

Thick blood is not an independent disease. An increase in its viscosity only indicates the presence of this or that pathology in the body. Multiple circumstances can lead to blood clots. Therefore, it is so important to determine the true cause that led to the increase in blood viscosity. The symptoms of this condition will directly depend on them.

Sometimes a person does not even suspect that the blood in his body is too thick. Since the symptoms of this disorder develop only in severe cases: when problems appear with the normal flow of blood, blood clots form in the vessels, etc.

Blood thickening can be suspected only by such indirect signs as:

  • Frequent headaches.
  • Numbness of the limbs, tingling in various parts of the body.
  • Chronic tiredness and weakness.

If blood thickening occurs against the background of dehydration of the body or during hypoxia, then after the elimination of these conditions, the person's well-being will return to normal.

Complications and consequences

Complications and consequences
Complications and consequences

If the blood is highly viscous, it can lead to serious health problems.

Possible consequences include:

  • The formation of blood clots, which most often clog small-diameter vessels, disrupting the normal blood flow in them. Sometimes blood clots can form in the great vessels and even in the brain. In this case, the consequences for the body can be very dire, up to death due to a stroke or heart attack.
  • If a person's blood thickens against the background of a decrease in the level of platelets, which is accompanied by impaired blood circulation, then the consequence of this situation may be increased bleeding. Such disorders develop with leukemia, with myeloma, with Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia and not only. All of these diseases are very serious and often incurable.
  • Hyperosmolar coma, in which there is an increased viscosity of the blood, can lead to the development of intracerebral bleeding. The pathogenesis of coma is incredibly complex, but the viscosity of the blood will always increase. This condition is associated with the risk of death.

Thick blood can cause serious disturbances in the body. They will be the more severe, the more complex the underlying disease or pathological condition that led to thickening of the blood.

Conservative treatment

Conservative treatment
Conservative treatment

In atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, a person is prescribed acetylsalicylic acid and drugs based on it to thin the blood. This measure reduces the likelihood of developing myocardial infarction.

Depending on the cause that led to the thickening of the blood, the patient may be advised to undergo the following treatment:

  • Bring metabolic processes back to normal.
  • Take medications that prevent blood clots from forming in the body.
  • Undergo treatment aimed at eliminating bone marrow tumors.

The patient must understand that there is no single treatment regimen. Therapy depends on what kind of problem led to an increase in blood viscosity. To eliminate increased blood clotting, drugs such as Heparin, Fragmin, Warfarin, etc. will be prescribed.

In the presence of a high risk of bleeding, for example, with myeloma, anticoagulant therapy, on the contrary, is categorically contraindicated. In order to prevent the development of hemorrhagic syndrome, the patient is prescribed plasmapheresis, platelet mass is transfused or other treatment is prescribed, according to the existing symptoms.

Treatment of high blood viscosity without taking medications

High viscosity treatment
High viscosity treatment

To thin the blood without taking medications, you should consult your doctor. This is possible only if the blood thickens for a reason that is not associated with serious illness. So, the blood can become thicker due to age characteristics. As a rule, elderly patients are prescribed Aspirin to thin it. However, many of them refuse to take the drug and try to correct this indicator with changes in diet or other folk remedies.

There is a belief that red wine is very useful for blood. In fact, this is so, but only when taking a drink in a volume of no more than 50 ml per day. Wine must be made from grapes, not chemical components.

Diet is indicated for blood thinning. For this purpose, table number 10 is practiced. It is recommended for patients with atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, after a heart attack. If a person does not have such serious health problems, then he can slightly expand the menu of dietary table No. 10.

To thin the blood, it is useful to eat foods such as:

  • Berries: currants, cranberries, grapes, cherries, cherries, blueberries, strawberries.
  • Fruits: citrus fruits, apples and peaches.
  • Vegetables: tomatoes, cucumbers and beets.
  • Condiments and spices: ginger, chili, cinnamon.
  • Seafood: sea fish and seaweed.
  • Drinks: cocoa, coffee and chocolate.

You can also reduce the density of blood by using medicinal plants for this purpose. So, yellow sweet clover can be an alternative to Aspirin. For a plant to have maximum healing properties, it must be harvested during flowering. You can combine yellow sweet clover with other plants, including: meadow clover (flowers), elm-leaved tavorlga (grass), hawthorn (fruits), medicinal valerian (roots). You can supplement the fees with lemon balm and narrow-leaved fireweed. All components are taken in the amount of 2 teaspoons, which must be poured with 0.2 liters of boiling water. The mixture is infused in a water bath, cooled and its entire volume is drunk for 2 days.

To speed up the flow of blood through the veins, you can use willow bark. A tablespoon of bark is brewed with 0.5 liters of boiling water and 0.2 ml is taken 2 times a day.

Chestnut flowers also have a good effect in terms of blood thinning. To prepare the broth, take a teaspoon of flowers, pour it with a glass of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Drink the entire amount of the received funds before bedtime.


The author of the article: Shutov Maxim Evgenievich | Hematologist

Education: In 2013 he graduated from the Kursk State Medical University and received a diploma "General Medicine". After 2 years, completed residency in the specialty "Oncology". In 2016 completed postgraduate studies at the National Medical and Surgical Center named after N. I. Pirogov.

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