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Thread: Blood thicker in winter

  1. #1
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    Question Blood thicker in winter

    Recently a cardio was interviewed on Canada AM about risks posed by shoveling snow. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels putting strain on the heart. He also mentioned that blood is "thicker" in cold weather placing strain on the heart and there is more fat (cholesterol) circulating in the blood stream.

    The discussion didn't mention anti-coagulants and was meant to be a "heads up" about cold weather activities and the effect on the heart (angina) and vascular system especially for older people.
    Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery, 1999
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    Interesting, Lance. But no mention of the counter effect caused by increased consumption of alcohol in wintertime.

    Jim


    BAV/0.8cm2AS/4.2cmAA - In the waiting room.

    "Don't worry about your heart, it will last you as long as you live." - W. C. Fields


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    These people have got to lose this "Thick/Thin" crap and call it what it really is. Blood is NOT OIL. It's viscosity never changes, but boy they sure do represent it that way. No wonder half the world is confused.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lance View Post
    Recently a cardio was interviewed on Canada AM about risks posed by shoveling snow. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels putting strain on the heart. He also mentioned that blood is "thicker" in cold weather placing strain on the heart and there is more fat (cholesterol) circulating in the blood stream.

    The discussion didn't mention anti-coagulants and was meant to be a "heads up" about cold weather activities and the effect on the heart (angina) and vascular system especially for older people.
    I don’t know about this (as with most things) …. It seems to me if your internal body temperature is constant that the temperature of the blood would be also …. I never have heard that cold weather “thickens” the blood.

    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic49 View Post
    Interesting, Lance. But no mention of the counter effect caused by increased consumption of alcohol in wintertime.

    Jim
    I do not know if alcohol causes blood to thin but I do know that it confuses equilibrium
    No shoes, no shirt, no problem
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    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a.../693235106.cms

    "cardiologist dr mn murthy adds, "even if you do not feel thirsty, drink lots of water. for, blood tends to become thicker in winter and an increase in viscosity could lead to higher blood pressure"

    http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-d...253911-66.html

    "Cold stress may also trigger processes that make blood thicker and increase its ability to clot, which can lead to cardiac events."

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m..._/ai_n14194324

    "udden exposure to cold, as when someone steps from a centrally heated house or office into the winter air, causes a reaction which thickens the blood, reducing circulation to the periphery of the body where heat is most readily lost. However, thicker blood increases the risk of blockages"

    http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/205/6/601/i

    "As they prepare for their long winter nap, they cool down and their blood thickens"

    http://www.ww.nowfoods.com/index.php.../item_id/43042

    "The cold makes blood thicker and stickier, which makes it more apt to clot."


    ????so no problem if you take blood thinners?????

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lance View Post
    Recently a cardio was interviewed on Canada AM about risks posed by shoveling snow. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels putting strain on the heart. He also mentioned that blood is "thicker" in cold weather placing strain on the heart and there is more fat (cholesterol) circulating in the blood stream.

    The discussion didn't mention anti-coagulants and was meant to be a "heads up" about cold weather activities and the effect on the heart (angina) and vascular system especially for older people.
    In a hot bath your blood vessels will naturally dialate and this causes your blood to flow more freely....hot skin turns very pink or red.
    In a cold situation your blood vessels will tend to constrict and this will, obviously, cause blood to flow less freely.....cold fingers and toes will turn white.
    It is very important to keep warm in winter and cool in summer.
    Our blood viscosity does not change, just the mechanics of our blood vessels.
    BP meds, such as Beta Blockers are designed to affect similar mechanics on the blood vessels causing dialation and ease of blood flow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChouDoufu View Post
    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/a.../693235106.cms

    "cardiologist dr mn murthy adds, "even if you do not feel thirsty, drink lots of water. for, blood tends to become thicker in winter and an increase in viscosity could lead to higher blood pressure"

    http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-d...253911-66.html

    "Cold stress may also trigger processes that make blood thicker and increase its ability to clot, which can lead to cardiac events."

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m..._/ai_n14194324

    "udden exposure to cold, as when someone steps from a centrally heated house or office into the winter air, causes a reaction which thickens the blood, reducing circulation to the periphery of the body where heat is most readily lost. However, thicker blood increases the risk of blockages"

    http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/205/6/601/i

    "As they prepare for their long winter nap, they cool down and their blood thickens"

    http://www.ww.nowfoods.com/index.php.../item_id/43042

    "The cold makes blood thicker and stickier, which makes it more apt to clot."


    ????so no problem if you take blood thinners?????

    See my post above. It's no wonder half the world is so confused.

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    Well then, give me 5W30 blood for winter and 20W50 for summer.

    Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear stress or extensional stress. In general terms it is the resistance of a liquid to flow, or its "thickness". Viscosity describes a fluid's internal resistance to flow and may be thought of as a measure of fluid friction. Thus, water is "thin", having a lower viscosity, while vegetable oil is "thick" having a higher viscosity. All real fluids (except superfluids) have some resistance to stress, but a fluid which has no resistance to shear stress is known as an ideal fluid or inviscid fluid. For example, a high viscosity magma will create a tall volcano, because it cannot spread fast enough; low viscosity lava will create a shield volcano, which is large and wide.[1] The study of viscosity is known as rheology.

    Viscosity index is a petroleum industry term. It is a lubricating oil quality indicator, an arbitrary measure for the change of kinematic viscosity with temperature. The viscosity of liquids decreases as temperature increases. The viscosity of a lubricant is closely related to its ability to reduce friction. Generally, you want the thinnest liquid/oil which still forces the two moving surfaces apart. If the lubricant is too thick, it will require a lot of energy to move the surfaces (such as in honey); if it is too thin, the surfaces will rub and friction will increase.

    As stated above, the Viscosity Index highlights how a lubricant's viscosity changes with variations in temperature. Many lubricant applications require the lubricant to perform across a wide range of conditions: for example, in an engine. Automotive lubricants must reduce friction between engine components when it is started from cold (relative to engine operating temperatures) as well as when it is running (up to 200 °C). The best oils (with the highest VI) will not vary much in viscosity over such a temperature range and therefore will perform well throughout.

    The VI scale was set up by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The temperatures chosen arbitrarily for reference are 100 °Fahrenheit (40 °C) and 210 °F (100 °C). The original scale only stretched between VI=0 (worst oil, naphthenic) and VI=100 (best oil, paraffinic) but since the conception of the scale better oils have also been produced, leading to VIs greater than 100 (see below).

    VI improver additives and higher quality base oils are widely used nowadays which increase the VIs attainable beyond the value of 100. The Viscosity Index of synthetic oils ranges from 80 to over 400.


    I guess it depends on what viscosity means to someone. Technically speaking, I really do think that wikpedia has it right when they say:

    This article may be too technical for a general audience. Please help improve this article by providing more context and better explanations of technical details, even for articles which are inherently technical.

  9. #9
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    When I learned it,back in cave-man days,you know the pre-cell phone
    era, Viscosity in medical terms is the measure of solute(wbc's,rbcs,etc)
    within a solution. And normally,unless one is dehydrated,or with certain
    illness this does not change.There is a test for blood viscosity sense hematocrit;
    it tests for the % of rbc's packed within blood,40% is the norm.
    In my lab-manual it says that the implications of abnormal % can be due to
    Anemia,polycythemia, or dehydration or overhydration. But nada regarding
    COLD weather Just to be fair...I did remember the hydration states
    but had to look up the anemia and polycythemia in my book(from late
    Triassic Period).
    Dina
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  10. #10
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    OK, so we concede that blood has viscosity...but in terms of ACT, we don't usually worry about our INR when we go into profound hypothermia - we don't do that very often...we're concerned about it in our every day lives when the temperatue of our blood is relatively stable.

    Jim


    BAV/0.8cm2AS/4.2cmAA - In the waiting room.

    "Don't worry about your heart, it will last you as long as you live." - W. C. Fields


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic49 View Post
    OK, so we concede that blood has viscosity...but in terms of ACT, we don't usually worry about our INR when we go into profound hypothermia - we don't do that very often...we're concerned about it in our every day lives when the temperatue of our blood is relatively stable.

    Jim
    Yeah...I don't now if platelettes are affected by hot/cold, but I know
    if I punch it in about 100 different things will come up in regards to it.
    Leaving me saying...huh?..really..?
    Tricuspid Valve Replacement(Bovine)2/4/08
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  12. #12
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    YES! There does seem to be an effect of cold on ACT. There were
    alot of articles,but most of them I couldn't access.
    It seems like I remember heat increases platelette coagulation,
    but could be wrong and really not sure if you throw coumadin in the mix.
    Tricuspid Valve Replacement(Bovine)2/4/08
    A.Flutter x 3,with 2 ablations & cardioversion 2007
    "A little learning is a dangerous thing..."-by Alexander Pope

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    Mr.Finbar how about telling us something about yourself? Any heart surgery? Heart problems? Physician? etc,.

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    Exclamation All the above cause me to wonder ..............

    because I'm uncomfortably cold in the winter (torso), never the extremities. IF the blood "changes" on its own from summer to winter then it seems to me that ACT prevents the body from doing something it naturally does for persons living in northern climes. Intolerance to cold and feeling cold are listed as side effects to warfarin.

    So I wonder how this affects Southerners and Inuit. I've seen Jamaican farmworkers wearing toques and coats in September and looking extremely uncomfortable.
    Last edited by lance; December 28th, 2008 at 07:57 AM. Reason: additional information
    Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery, 1999
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    It's the same for me year round. Don't know about you all, but if you cut yourself and bleed for any reason, it's the same flow amount regardless of the temperatures. That's why this is like splitting hairs over a term being used. Unless your using a microscope, your not going to notice any difference whatsoever.

  16. #16
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    Shoveling snow can be dangerous but it is not due to increased blood viscosity. A middle aged guy, a little fat, and out of shape along with a little plaque in his coronaries is a perfect setup for a heart attack. Shoveling snow is hard and dangerous for that type of man. That is why I always had my wife do it.
    Marty
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    Shoveling snow is hard and dangerous for that type of man. That is why I always had my wife do it.

    LOL!

    Jim


    BAV/0.8cm2AS/4.2cmAA - In the waiting room.

    "Don't worry about your heart, it will last you as long as you live." - W. C. Fields


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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    That is why I always had my wife do it.
    About time someone around this place gets it right!

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    Gee Marty , something tells me that we would not be
    well-suited romantically
    Tricuspid Valve Replacement(Bovine)2/4/08
    A.Flutter x 3,with 2 ablations & cardioversion 2007
    "A little learning is a dangerous thing..."-by Alexander Pope

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by lance View Post
    Recently a cardio was interviewed on Canada AM about risks posed by shoveling snow. The cold temperature constricts the blood vessels putting strain on the heart. He also mentioned that blood is "thicker" in cold weather placing strain on the heart and there is more fat (cholesterol) circulating in the blood stream.

    The discussion didn't mention anti-coagulants and was meant to be a "heads up" about cold weather activities and the effect on the heart (angina) and vascular system especially for older people.


    Sounds familiar Lance,in 2005 i lost my cousin in Edmonton

    He shovelled snow and then his wife came home from work and he

    had passed away in his bed ,autopsy showed heart attack,plugged

    coronary arteries he was 46 and was an active man,

    The cold didn't help and shovelling.His wife worked nite shifts and wasnot home.

    The hot or cold effects me even if it;s so hot outside i need a jacket

    on and people think i'm nuts,but i am always cold.the hospitals the

    worst place for me it's soooooooo cold in those places and i hate it

    i don't even think i sweat and jokes aside i'm 47,there should be some sweating(LOL) menopause or sweat........none heehee

    zipper2 (DEB)
    zipper2(DEB)



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  21. #21
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    This is confusing. We know that some people report feeling colder while taking Coumadin. Years ago, before my replacement, I knew someone who had already had VR and she said "I'm always colder because my blood is thinner due to Coumadin." We know that this is not true. While feelings of coldness may be a side-effect of warfarin, we know that it is not due to the blood being "thinner" because the drug does not change the thickness (viscosity) of the blood.

    So if we bought into the myth that "thin" blood makes someone cold, if their blood gets "thicker" in winter, wouldn't that mean that they would feel warmer?

    The problem with physical winter activities for those who aren't in shape is that the heart already works harder to keep the body warm when it's cold, so adding a strenuous physical exercise on top of that causes even more strain on the heart.

    I agree with Cooker - unless you're suffering from over exposure your internal temp is going to be pretty much normal, so the blood shouldn't flow any differently. It's the heart that has to work harder to pump the blood to keep the body warm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dina View Post
    Gee Marty , something tells me that we would not be
    well-suited romantically
    I really don't think Marty meant for it to be a joke, but you know us guys, we'll turn it into one.

  23. #23
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    i was told by path lab that the drugs dont thin the blood what they do do is stop it clotting so if that be the case then blood wouldnt thicken either just more likey to clot possibly

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    Quote Originally Posted by deano89 View Post
    i was told by path lab that the drugs dont thin the blood what they do do is stop it clotting so if that be the case then blood wouldnt thicken either just more likey to clot possibly
    That is why I said it's splitting hairs over the term "viscosity". The only way on earth anyone could see a difference is under a microscope, but as far as Coumadin goes, it means nothing.

  25. #25
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    Default Cardio not a total dingbat ...................

    I believe the body undergoes "changes" with weather conditions naturally/normally more to do with evolutionary factors than blood viscosity/thinner/thicker. Maybe it's the speed the blood flows through our bodies--faster in summer to cool us or slower in the winter to prevent heat loss. Warfarin prevents that change from occurring.

    Humanity began in the warm Mediterranean/African environment. As humanity evolved and moved to colder locations something took place naturally to help it cope with their changed environment. Survival of the fittest. Hair coat didn't respond, northerners are not hairier than Mediterraneans or Africans. So something took place along the evolutionary trail. They adapted and survived.
    Mitral Valve Replacement Surgery, 1999
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