Can Blood Clots Dissolve on their own?

Blood clotting processes in the body are natural. The body manufactures a number of components involved in the development of blood clots to begin the clotting process. This is essential to stop bleeding when a blood vessel is injured through blunt force trauma, a cut, or other types of injuries.

The clotting process also initiates repair and healing of such injury.

Blood clots, depending on the severity of the injury, can dissolve on their own. How does this work?

Blood clots formation and dissolving

Blood clots develop from a process that involves a number of blood components including proteins and platelets. This process forms a clot over a blood vessel injury. The same process in reverse has the capability of breaking the clot down.

In scenarios where blood clot is formed, it can dissolve on its own when a protein known as plasmin (a component of the clot itself) is activated by another substance in the body known as an activator. This triggers a process similar to a “self-destruct” button that breaks up the net-like structure of the clot.

Some clotting processes are visible and take place on the outside of the body, such as a cut, scratch, or more specifically, during the formation and dissolving of a scab.

A blood clot that forms inside the blood vessel, and is not necessarily caused by an injury but sluggish blood flow, narrowed arteries, or other factors often associated with poor lifestyle habits, may require man-made interventions such as anticoagulation therapy or drugs known as clot busters.

Blood thinners or anticoagulants are a common resource when it comes to dealing with deep vein thrombosis or DVT, otherwise known as blood clots that develop in the large veins, most commonly the leg. The danger with a DVT is the potential of the blood clot to dislodge from the wall of the artery and travel through the bloodstream until it reaches the lung, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE) that cuts off blood supply in the lung. This prevents the lung from oxygenating blood returning to the heart. This scenario is potentially life-threatening.

Drugs known as blood thinners don’t dissolve clots per se, but prevent them from growing larger and also prevent the formation of new blood clots. This allows the body the time to naturally break up the clot on its own.

Clot-busting drugs designed specifically to treat pulmonary embolisms are capable of breaking down the blood clot by instigating the release of plasmid, which like with natural blood clot dissolving scenarios, gives the body a head start in also destroying the pulmonary embolism.

Regaining health

Some blood clots are relatively harmless, while others can be life-threatening. DVTs and pulmonary embolisms are not to be underestimated. It can take weeks for such clots to dissolve and for an individual to recover. With proper medical care however, these blood clots will eventually dissolve, but individuals who have experienced such clots must be aware that they have a potential to return when lifestyle habits such as poor diet, smoking, or immobility are involved.

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  • Jennifer Oswaldo
    commented 2021-05-02 17:49:03 -0400
    I broke my ankle in feb 2021 and had surgery with two screws March 5,2021. March 18th I got a blood clot and was given 2x shot a day for 5 days of Lovenox. Then 2x day till 6 mos of Pradaxa. I was just released to start walking and hv been having pain. Doc says normal since didnt walk for 7 weeks. I though am so scared and traumatized that i will get another blood clot or mine will break off a cause a PE. Anyone experience this or have any knowledge to help me?
  • Jj Tucson
    commented 2021-02-03 10:18:00 -0500
    Dolce… my pleasure… an update: I used the Boluoke brand of Lumbrokinase… 2 caps twice/day… and 120,000spu SerraRX brand serrapeptase 1X/day… no Eliquis or Warfarin… and after3 months or so, my vascular surgeon told me that my DVT had been reduced, stabalized and was “organized”… and that there was no more threat of a PE… and that I did not need any more treatment for it, of any kind… what a relief!
    However… in retrospect, I would have taken more anticoagulants, like baby aspirin, ginger, etc at first, the danger of a PE is highest the first few weeks… I did add baby aspirin, etc after 6 weeks or so, but should have done that sooner… Some might prefer to go onto Eliquis, but to me, that is only necessary in the first month or so, IF lumbrokinase is taken until the clot is dissolved or stabilized… my DVT did end up going above the knee, which is more dangerous… but that was not growth after starting Boluoke, that was just the 2nd ultrasound finding the clot grew a little prior to me starting enzyme treatment.
    I think it is appalling that MD’s put patients on Eliquis, but ignore clot-dissolver enzymes like Lumbrokinase or nattokinase… that would be such a GREAT co-therapy and end the DVT threat so much faster.
    SO… my bottom line is that enzymatic therapy worked great for me, but I recommend some strong anticoagulants too, natural or Big Pharma, at least in the first few weeks after diagnosis… if the DVT is high up in the leg, or higher, Eliquis might be, unfortunately, required, as they are so much more dangerous.
    I wish you well! JJ
  • Dolce Dills
    commented 2021-02-03 10:03:32 -0500
    JJ Tucson thanks for your info on enzyme therapy for DVTs. My reaction to finding out I had one was that I wanted these things out of my body ASAP and then to find out that the treatment was usually Eliquis which doesnt break down or eliminate the clots at all was confusing. It makes more sense to me to GET RID of the clot.
  • Jj Tucson
    commented 2020-09-04 21:58:25 -0400
    Hello. This week I was diagnosed (doppler) with a DVT… in my lower right leg, below the knee… Both my PCP and Cardiologist pushed Eliquis HARD… They agree that this DVT was probably “provoked” from 7 weeks on testosterone replacement therapy… , and possibly over intake of vitamin K via supplementation and diet. Yes, vitamin K supposedly does not increase clotting risk… but why then is it seriously contraindicated in NOACs and Warfarin?)
    Also, COVID made me much less active, before that I was a regular at the gym, both weights and cardio. 64 yrs old. not overweight, non-smoker for 10 years… considered myself to be in very good condition…
    My brother died of a hemorrhagic stroke on Eliquis, so I have some serious reservations… but more to the point…
    I have seen nothing that shows that Eliquis prevents an existing clot from “breaking off”… leading to a PE. Yes, I know it can PREVENT DVT’s and other clots… and prevent the GROWTH of existing DVT’s… but couldn’t any good anti-coagulation protocol accomplish that?

    I am considering instead of any NOAC or Warfarin… using Nattokinase, Serrapeptase, Lumbrokinase. I believe that Nattokinase may be slightly weaker than the Big Pharma options (not a ton of info available)… but it is pretty much proven to DISSOLVE clots! Ditto Lumbrokinase.nattokinase is 4X more effective in vitro than the body’s natural clot buster Plasmin, and works WITH it… So would it eliminate clots 4X faster than Eliquis? Very likely, IMO
    Eliquis and Warfarin have NO action of dissolving clots. Serrapeptase does a lot of great things too… a nice compliment to the other two. IF you do not know much about these enzymes… I urge you to look into them… here is an old article, not referenced, sadly, that you might find interesting:

    I am thinking that with a below the knee DVT, do I really want to get on something as risky/dangerous as Eliquis or Warfarin when enzymatic therapy may do as well… or given the dangers or traditional anticoagulants… far better?
  • Patricia Bristow
    commented 2019-11-04 14:45:52 -0500
    I was just released from the hospital after being diagnosed with two DVTs and bilateral PEs. I am nervous and anxious and just looking for someone who had gone through this to talk to