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What does thickening of blood mean?

Q: I have undergone a full body check up in the last week. On going through the reports my doctor told me that the blood is getting thick and prescribed a special diet and asked me to get a full checkup again after a month. Further, till date I have no problems like diabetes or low/high blood pressure. I will be highly obliged if you could please tell me what thickening of blood means and how serious a condition it is?

A:Strictly speaking, there is no such term as blood thickening. There are a few disease states where the blood becomes more viscous than normal due to tumour cells producing proteins (as in Waldenstroms macroglobulinaemia & multiple myeloma syndromes). In any condition where there is loss of fluid from the body (hypovolemia) like protracted diarrhoea, vomiting, burns, haemorrhage etc, there is a shift of fluid and the blood becomes apparently thick. Also, in a condition called thrombocytosis (an increase in a type of blood cells called platelets), there is a tendency of blood to form clots within blood vessels (thrombosis). You need to discuss with your doctor and find out exactly what the problem is.

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