Lifestyle and home remediesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Take extra care to reduce your risk of developing blood clots if you have essential thrombocythemia. Healthy lifestyle habits can lower your risk of developing conditions that may contribute to blood clotting. These conditions include diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Take steps to:
- Eat healthy foods. Choose a varied diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits and low in saturated fats. Try to avoid trans fats. Learn about portion control to maintain a normal weight.
- Increase your physical activity. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps. If you can't fit in a long workout, break it up into smaller sessions spread throughout the day.
- Achieve or maintain normal weight. Being overweight or obese increases the pressure in the veins in your pelvis and legs and is a risk factor for conditions such as high blood pressure, which increases your risk of blood clotting.
- Stop smoking. Smoking affects blood clotting and circulation.
If your essential thrombocythemia increases your tendency to bleed, take extra precautions to keep from injuring yourself. Follow these suggestions:
- Avoid playing contact sports or doing other activities that could be dangerous or could cause you to fall.
- Use a softer toothbrush and waxed floss.
- Avoid shaving cuts. Shave with an electric razor.
- Be cautious with household tasks involving knives, scissors and other sharp tools.
- Thrombocythemia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/hematology_and_oncology/myeloproliferative_disorders/essential_thrombocythemia.html. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Tefferi A. Diagnosis and clinical manifestations of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- What are thrombocythemia and thrombocytosis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/thrm. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Essential thrombocythemia. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/myeloproliferative/HealthProfessional/page5. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Tefferi A. Prognosis and treatment of essential thrombocythemia. http://www.uptodate.com/index.html. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Myeloproliferative disorders. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/conditions/myelopro-disorders/start/2. Accessed Aug. 8, 2012.
- Valera MC, et al. Essential thrombocythemia and pregnancy. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 2011;158:141.