Warning signs for blood clots: 4 Blood Clot Symptoms Not To Ignore
17 signs of a blood clot that are easy to miss
Blood clotting is a normal and important process in the body. It often occurs to repair injured blood vessels. According to the American Society of Hematology, the human body naturally dissolves blood clots after the internal injury has healed.
However, when clots don’t dissolve naturally, they may restrict normal blood flow to the heart, turning into a serious medical condition.
Common types of blood clots
The two major types of dangerous blood clots are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. Though they share many similarities, they occur differently: A DVT develops in a blood vessel and reduces blood flow through the vessel, while embolism occurs when a piece of a blood clot becomes stuck in a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood.
Moreover, one can (and usually does) lead to another. In many cases, an embolism develops when a DVT in the leg veins travels to the lung and lodges itself there. This can happen suddenly or slowly over time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that as many as 100,000 Americans die each year from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism, which is why it’s so important to know the warning signs.
Though symptoms can be sneaky, many people are able to identify them and seek medical attention to treat the clot.
Subtle signs you’re dealing with a dangerous clot
“Developing a DVT is considered a tip-off that a pulmonary embolism could follow,” Alan Ackermann, DO, founder and medical director of Aventura Institute for Cardiovascular Wellness in Aventura, Florida told Everyday Health.
DVT signs to look for include:
- Warmth to the touch
- Worsening leg pain when bending the foot
- Leg cramps
- Discoloration of skin
The most common signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Unexplained cough
- Rapid heart rate
Symptoms of smaller pulmonary embolisms may not be as obvious. These may include:
- Anxiety or dread
- Passing out
- Rapid breathing
- An irregular or rapid heartbeat
Catching a clot early
There is, however, no need to live in fear of blood clotting. Keep in mind that, according to the American Society of Hematology, blood clots are among the most preventable types of blood conditions.
Staying active, taking all medicines your doctor prescribes, and maintaining a balanced diet are some of the most effective ways to prevent dangerous clotting.
How to Spot the Warning Signs of a Pulmonary Embolism |
A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blood clot that blocks an artery in your lungs, preventing the blood from following its normal path. If you or a loved one has had a pulmonary embolism, you understand the severity of the medical condition ― PE can cause lung damage and reduce oxygen levels in the body. Usually, this type of clot starts in a vein deep in the legs when a person does move around for a short time ― as demonstrated on long flights or during assigned medical bed rests. When these blood clots form, doctors refer to the condition as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, it is then referred to as a PE.
Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism
Symptoms of a PE vary based on the size and location of the clot. Here is what to look out for:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Abnormal sweating
- Nails or lips turning blue
- Severe pain in the chest and/or back
- Loss of consciousness
The best way to prevent a PE may be to watch for the signs of deep vein thrombosis. Those include:
- Swelling in the arms and legs, especially if the extremity becomes warmer than usual
- Veins in the arms and legs that appear larger than usual
- Pain in your legs when you stand or walk
- Redness or discoloration in the arms or legs
Diagnosing a Pulmonary Embolism
If your vein doctor suspects a PE, he or she will start with a physical examination, looking for swelling, discoloration, or unusual warmth to the touch. A variety of diagnostic tests may be used as well, including ultrasounds, x-rays, and blood tests. If a clot has been present but has since broken down, a blood test can pick up a protein called D dimer. Other common steps in the examination may include:
- The use of computed tomographic angiography (CTPA). This is a type of x-ray that involves injecting a contrast dye into the veins to show the blood vessels in the lungs.
- A ventilation/perfusion scan (V/Q). If a CTPA is not available or not medically appropriate for the patient, a V/Q scan uses a radioactive material to show how air and blood are flowing through the lungs. If air is moving normally, but blood flow is low to a particular area, a clot may be the cause.
- The use of pulmonary angiography, which is the most accurate test to determine if a PE is present. If previous tests are inconclusive, a pulmonary angiography may be the next step. The procedure involves inserting a catheter into the groin and up into the arteries in the lungs. Dye is injected into the catheter to illuminate the vessels in the lungs.
- An MRI if the patient is pregnant or cannot tolerate the contrast dye used in other procedures.
- An echocardiogram which presents an image of the heart via ultrasound. While it can’t tell your doctor whether you have a PE, it can show whether the heart is under strain.
Treating a Pulmonary Embolism
Blood thinners, also known as anticoagulants, are the most common treatment for a pulmonary embolism. Warfarin and heparin are the two most common. Warfarin is taken orally in pill form to treat and prevent blood clots, whereas heparin is given intravenously or by injection, keeping future clots from developing.
Anticoagulants do not dissolve any clots already present; typically, the body does that on its own over time. Anticoagulants do serve two important purposes, however, they keep the embolism from getting any larger and prevent any new clots from forming. These treatments are given in the hospital, and how long you have to stay depends on the severity of your condition.
Meet With a Pulmonary Embolism Expert at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic
A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency, so if you experience any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Northern Illinois Vein Clinic aims to ensure individuals know what to look for, providing better help for themselves or someone else developing this problem.
Know the Warning Signs: Blood Clots Are a Silent Threat
Stay-at-home orders during this pandemic, have led to many long hours sitting in front of a computer at an unfamiliar desk or your kitchen table as you work from home or homeschool your kids. Then, you retreat to the couch to hide from the news only to binge-watch an entire Netflix series without getting up from your seat. A sedentary lifestyle isn’t healthy, and it could put you at increased risk for developing a blood clot such as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
What is a DVT?
A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Clotting is a necessary process that can prevent you from losing too much blood in certain instances, such as when you’re injured or cut. When a clot forms inside one of your veins, it won’t always dissolve on its own. This can be a very dangerous and even life-threatening situation.
A blood clot in a large vein, usually in your leg, is called a deep vein thrombosis. A DVT can partly or completely block the flow of blood through the vein (causing swelling of the area below) and can move or break off and travel to the lungs. When the clot moves to the lungs it’s known as a pulmonary embolism and can cause death. A pulmonary embolism requires immediate medical attention.
When you sit for a long period of time, the blood flow to your legs slows down, and when your legs are still and hanging down, blood tends to pool in the muscular beds of the calf. These factors can make it easier for a clot to form and increase your risk for DVT.
Symptoms of a Blood Clot
Many people that form a DVT never notice any symptoms. Symptoms include:
- Swelling of your leg or arm
- Pain or tenderness not caused by an injury
- Skin that is warm to the touch, with swelling or pain
- Redness of the skin, with swelling or pain
As mentioned, individuals with a DVT are at an increased risk for a pulmonary embolism. If you have difficulty breathing, chest pain that worsens with a deep breath, cough blood, or a faster than normal or irregular heartbeat, seek immediate attention.
Preventing Blood Clots
The good news is that blood clots can be prevented and treated if you understand your risk factors and get treatment quickly. Risk factors include:
- Advanced age
- Birth control methods that contain estrogen or hormone therapy
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Chronic diseases such as heart and lung conditions, or diabetes
- Family history of blood clots
- Hospitalization for illness or surgery
- Severe trauma, such as a car accident
- Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed or confined to bed/wheelchair
Your physician will decide what treatment is best for you based on factors such as age, overall health, medical history, extent of the condition and symptoms. Treatment may include any of the following:
- Medications such as blood thinners or clot-dissolving medications
- Vena cava filter inserted to catch clots, usually only recommended for patients unable to take medication and blood thinners
Simple lifestyle modifications can help reduce your risk. Some simple tips to keep your blood flowing include:
- Take short walk breaks as often as you can. – Try taking a phone call on the go or using a headset so you can move freely around the home.
- Try chair exercises. – Simple leg raises, ankle flexing, and calf raises are low-impact ways to keep blood circulating.
- Make time for play. – When your work is done, include time to get active. Go for bike ride, walk with your family, or even play hide-and-seek with your kids in the yard – it’s all about movement.
It’s important that you understand how your lifestyle plays a role in your health. Talk with your doctor about your risk for blood clots and what you can do to prevent them.
Learn more about the Heart & Vascular Institute at UPMC.
8 Signs of a Blood Clot
Christoph BurgstedtGetty Images
Most of the time, blood clots are a good thing. When you get injured, you need your blood to solidify and clump together at the site to help stop the bleeding. But sometimes clots crop up when they’re not needed, and that can spell trouble—especially if they form in the deep veins near your muscles.
“When blood clots form in this deeper system, they can be painful and very dangerous,” says Luis Navarro, M.D., founder of the Vein Treatment Center in New York City. This kind of clot is called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. They’re like roadblocks on your blood highway, causing traffic jams in your circulation and prevent the blood flow that keeps your system up and running.
Things can get even more serious if a DVT breaks away from its original spot and travels to your lungs. Then it becomes a pulmonary embolism, a clot that prevents these vital organs from getting the oxygen and blood they need. That can damage your lungs and other organs and may even be fatal.
Some people are more prone to a DVT than others, so it’s worth staying on top of any risk factors. What’s more, “it’s important to recognize symptoms of a blood clot because they can often be minimal or overlooked,” and getting prompt treatment is key, says Dr. Navarro. Here are the warning signs of a blood clot to watch for, so you can act quickly if one strikes.
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Swelling in one limb
A swollen leg or arm is one of the most common signs of a DVT. “Blood clots can block the healthy flow of blood in the legs, and blood can pool behind the clot causing swelling,” says Dr. Navarro.
It’s normal to overlook leg swelling as a symptom of a DVT if you always get large or stiff legs when you fly or during periods of immobility. But be suspicious if your bloated limb comes on quickly, especially if it shows up with a side of pain.
Leg or arm pain
Usually, DVT pain comes as a combo with other symptoms like swelling or redness, but sometimes it can stand alone.
“Unfortunately, pain from a blood clot can easily be mistaken for a muscle cramp or strain, which is why the issue often goes undiagnosed and is specifically dangerous,” says Dr. Navarro.
DVT pain tends to strike when you’re walking or when you flex your foot upward. If you have a charley horse you can’t seem to shake—especially if the skin near it is warm or discolored—have your doctor take a look.
Redness on your skin
While it’s true that a bruise is a type of blood clot, it’s not the kind you have to worry about. You can’t see a DVT. You might see some bruise-like discoloration, but you’re more likely to see red. A DVT causes redness in the affected limb and makes your arm or leg feel warm to the touch.
Related: Why Do I Bruise So Easily?
A pain in your chest may make you think heart attack, but it could be a pulmonary embolism. “Both a PE and a heart attack share similar symptoms,” says Dr. Navarro. However, PE pain tends to be sharp and stabbing, and feels worst when you take a deep breath.
Heart attack pain often radiates from upper areas of your body like your shoulders, jaw, or neck. The biggest clue is in your breathing—PE pain gets steadily worse with every breath you take. Either way, you need help immediately, so call 911.
Shortness of breath
A blood clot in your lung slows your oxygen flow, and that can leave you feeling winded. “You often won’t have the stamina or breath to make it up stairs. You feel lousy,” says George P. Teitelbaum, M.D., interventional neuroradiologist and director of the Stroke & Aneurysm Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. Get help quickly, especially if this comes on suddenly.
Can’t stop hacking? If you’re also having shortness of breath, fast heart rate, or chest pain, it could be a PE. “The cough will be dry, but sometimes people can cough up mucus and/or blood,” says Dr. Navarro. When in doubt, phone your doc or go straight to the ER.
Related: How to Get Rid of a Lingering Cough
A racing heart
When oxygen is low, your heart rate goes high to try to make up for the shortage. Feeling a flutter in your chest and having trouble with deep breaths could be your body sending out an SOS that you’ve got a PE lurking in your lungs, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
“For a small blood clot, the heart rate rises in part due to chest pain, shortness of breath, and the related anxiety that these cause,” says Lewis Nelson, M.D., chair of the department of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. There is also a release of chemicals from lung tissues that leads to a rise in heart rate.
If the clot is larger, it can cause a reduction in blood oxygen content “and even changes in blood flow that lead to a compensatory rise in heart rate,” Dr. Nelson says.
“The lightheadedness is due in part to the chemical released from the lungs, changes in oxygenation of the blood, and in the blood pressure and heart rate,” Dr. Nelson says. “The brain is sensitive to changes in oxygen and to changes in blood flow.”
While it’s not an overly common symptom of a blood clot, it happens enough. One study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that pulmonary embolisms were responsible for about 17% of hospitalizations for fainting in the 560 older people who were studied.
What to do if you think you have a blood clot
“It depends on how sick you feel,” Dr. Teitelbaum says. If you’re having shortness of breath and no energy and this is unusual for you, call 911 immediately. “You need to go to the emergency room and be evaluated,” he says. But if you have leg tenderness or swelling and you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s okay to call your doctor about next steps.
Treatment usually includes blood-thinning medications, per the American Heart Association (AHA). Those can generally be broken down into anticoagulants, which are tablets or injectables that help prevent blood clots, and thrombolytic therapy, which involves taking medication to dissolve clots. These can be given through an arm vein or by inserting catheters into the clot in the vein or lung. In more severe cases, you may need surgery.
Just know that treatment doesn’t end once the blood clot is gone. “If you have a blood clot, you may need to continue to take anti-coagulants for a few months afterward,” Dr. Teitelbaum says.
Additional reporting by Korin Miller
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9 Warning Signs Your Body Gives You Before a Blood Clot Forms
Wouldn’t it be great to know if you’re going to get sick ahead of time so you can do something before it hits you? While it doesn’t always work like that with the flu or a cold, there are some signs that your body will give off when a blood cot begins to form.
What is a blood clot?
A blood clot is pretty much what it sounds like: a clump of blood. But it’s when the texture of the blood changes from liquid to a more gel-like state—essentially what happens when you get a cut: you bleed for it a bit, but it eventually stops because the blood coagulates into a more solid state, which stops the blood flow.
However, there are times when blood cots are more serious—like when one forms inside of your major veins. This is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
If the blood clot stays where it is in your body, it’s usually not harmful, but if left untreated, it can travel through your veins to your heart and lungs. A blood clot in the lungs is called pulmonary embolism (PE). This can be fatal and requires medical attention.
About 900,000 Americans a year are affected by DVT with PE, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). About 100,000 Americans die from these types of blood clots each year.
While signs of a blood clot depend on the type of blood clot you’re experiencing, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs before they get worse.
Here are 9 of the signs you want to look out for:
A blood clot in your lungs may be limiting the flow of oxygen in your lungs and a speedy heart rate may occur. In simple terms, the heart is trying to compensate for the shortage and may start beating rapidly.
Many people having a pulmonary embolism believe it’s actually a heart attack because the pain is similar. However, the hallmark sign it could be a blood clot if the pain is sharp or stabbing, and feels worse when you take a deep breath. The pain might get worse with every breath you take.
Shortness of breath.
Speaking of breath, a blood clot in your lung might make it difficult to breathe due to the slowing of oxygen flow. You might even suddenly feel faint, like you’re about to pass out.
People usually associated a cough with a cold or strep throat, but if you have a dry cough with no logical explanation that seems to have come out of no where, it could be the sign of a pulmonary embolism. If you cough up mucus or blood, call for medical help immediately.
If you have deep vein thrombosis, it may cause a patch or steak of redness on our arm or leg. It might also feel warm and tender when you touch it.
If you notice one ankle or shin suddenly becomes swollen, this could be a sign of a deep vein thrombosis. This might happen if the flow of blood in the legs is being blocked, causing blood to pool behind the clot and puff up.
Arm or leg pain.
This might simply feel like muscle cramping, but pay attention if pain is worse when you’re walking or when you flex your foot upward. The skin around the pain may be red, swollen, or warm as well.
. If you have mesenteric ischemia (a fancy way of saying a blood clot in your abdomen), it could cause you to become nauseous and throw up. This usually goes along with bad pain in the abdomen area.
Can’t see well out of one of your eyes? It could be a sign of central retinal artery occlusion, especially if loss of vision is coupled with vertigo and balance problems.
If you even think you might have a blood clot, don’t hesitate to call your health care professional to get evaluated.
10 Warning Signs of a Blood Clot That Can’t Be Ignored
Blood clots are clumps of blood that have changed from a liquid state to a gel-like one. They usually don’t do any harm to your health as they protect your body from bleeding when you cut yourself. However, when blood clots appear in your deep veins, they can be extremely dangerous.
The dangerous kind of clot is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and it can cause “traffic jams” in your blood circulation. There can also be very serious consequences if a blood clot breaks away from the place of its appearance and reaches your lungs or heart.
We at Bright Side gathered the most prominent signs you should pay attention to in order to recognize the symptoms of DVT as soon as possible.
10. A racing heart
If you have a blood clot in your lung, you may feel a flutter in your chest. In this case, tachycardia can be caused by a low level of oxygen in your lungs. Consequently, your heart tries to make up for the shortage and starts to go faster and faster.
9. Shortness of breath
If you’ve suddenly realized that it’s become very difficult for you to take deep breaths, it may be a symptom of a blood clot in your lung, which is called a pulmonary embolism.
8. Coughing without any reason
If you sometimes have unexpected attacks of dry coughing as well as shortness of breath, an increased heart rate, and chest pain, it could be a PE. You might also cough up mucus and even blood.
7. Chest pain
If you feel chest pain when you breathe in deeply, it could be one of the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism.
The pain in your chest is usually sharp and stabbing, and you can easily think that you are having a heart attack. The main difference between them is that a PE always gets worse with breathing. In any case, you should call 911 immediately as the consequences may turn fatal.
6. Red or dark discoloration on a leg
Red or dark spots on your skin that appear without a reason could be a symptom of a blood clot in your leg. You may also feel tenderness and warmth in this area and even pain while stretching your toes upward.
5. Arm or leg pain
4. Swelling in a limb
If you’ve suddenly noticed that one of your ankles has become bloated, it could be an alerting symptom of DVT. This condition is considered an emergency case as a clot may break free at any minute and reach one of your organs.
3. Red streaks on your skin
Vomiting could be a sign of having a blood clot in your abdomen. This condition is called mesenteric ischemia, and it is usually coupled with severe pain in the abdominal area. If your intestines don’t get enough blood supply, you may also experience nausea and even have blood in your stool.
1. Partial or complete blindness in an eye
Painless loss of vision in one of your eyes is usually a sign of central retinal artery occlusion. It is considered a serious medical emergency, especially if you have such additional symptoms as vertigo and problems with keeping your balance.
If you notice one of these signs, visit a doctor as soon as possible. Remember that a blood clot can be lethal if you don’t treat it properly and immediately.
Illustrated by Natalia Kulakova for Bright Side
Top Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis: Dr. White’s Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC: Vein Specialists
Have you been a couch potato while being on bed rest for a risky pregnancy? Perhaps you’ve been ill and haven’t been able to go about your normal routine for a while. It may surprise you to know that remaining still for too long can endanger your health by producing a blood clot. Clots can become a serious health issue.
What is deep vein thrombosis?
You have surface veins, which you can easily see as bluish lines running just under your skin’s surface. You also have veins deep within your body.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the veins deep within your body. A clot is a mass of platelets, which are red blood cells that promote clotting, and fibrin, a blood protein. The clot’s purpose is to try to heal the damage to an artery or vein. But clots can also damage your health if you develop deep vein thrombosis.
Vascular surgeon Carol White, MD, with Dr. White’s Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC in Morgantown, West Virginia, diagnoses and treats patients with deep vein thrombosis so that the condition doesn’t become a life threatening complication.
Why is deep vein thrombosis a serious condition?
Many blood clots disappear; your body’s natural healing processes absorb the clot over a period of time. However, a clot can become a serious condition. It can break free from its position, move upward along your bloodstream, and land in your lungs, where it can impede blood flow. When this occurs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be a fatal condition if not treated promptly. DVT that causes a pulmonary embolism is responsible for about 100,000 deaths a year in the United States.
What are the warning signs of deep vein thrombosis?
If you have a small blood clot, you may not have any symptoms. If you do have any of the following symptoms that can signal a clot, call Dr. White’s office right away and the staff will get you in to be examined.
- Pain in your leg
- Swelling in your leg
- Bulging, rope-like veins
- Your leg feels warm
- Redness in your leg
- Cramps in your leg
- Skin discoloration
What causes deep vein thrombosis?
If you’ve recently had a hip or knee replacement, you’re at increased risk of a blood clot. Even though you’re encouraged to walk around, your legs may remain still for a good part of the day. Likewise, if you’ve been bedridden for a time from an at-risk pregnancy or an illness, you’re at higher risk of a clot in your leg. Even traveling on long plane rides can engender a clot. The calf muscles haven’t been working to keep your blood moving, which can precipitate a clot.
Sometimes genetics play a part. Factor V Leiden is a mutation of a clotting factor that causes a clotting disorder. It increases your risk of a blood clot in the legs and/or lungs. Being over 65 years old, being obese, and smoking are also conditions that increase your risk of DVT.
Call our office or request an appointment online with Dr. White’s Vein Center and Morgantown SculpSure & Clear Ink, PLLC, if you have any sign of deep vein thrombosis and for all of your vascular health needs.
Hemostasis: blood coagulation system | ICRZ.RF
Synthesized in the liver, destroyed in the lungs. Norm: 2-4 g / l
It is synthesized in the liver, decreases with a deficiency of vit. K. Norm: 0.1 g / l
Thermostable lipoprotein, found in many organs. It exists as a precursor, prothromblastin.
Participate in all phases of coagulation. Norm: 0.09-0.1 g / l
Synthesized in the liver, does not depend on vitamin K. Norm: 0.01 g / l
Serum AC-globulin. Active form of factor V.
Synthesized in the liver with the participation of vitamin K.Norm: 0.005 g / l
Antihemophilic Globulin A
Synthesized in the liver. Participates in the formation of prothrombinase. Norm: 0.01-0.02 g / l
Synthesized in the liver. Participates in the formation of prothrombinase. Norm: 0.003 g / l
Synthesized in the liver. Participates in the formation of prothrombinase.Norm: 0.01 g / l
Synthesized in the liver, is a precursor of thromboplastin. Norm: 0.005 g / l
Contact factor, synthesized in the liver in an inactive state. Norm: 0.03 g / l
Fibrin stabilizing factor
Fibrinase, plasma transglutaminase. Takes part in the formation of a dense clot.The rate of fibrin-stabilizing factor is 0.01-0.02 g / l
Blood clots – signs and symptoms to look for
Blood clots can form in either the arms or legs / Journal.spotonline
Blood clots or clots are very dangerous and must be treated as soon as possible. The clot can block blood vessels, making it difficult for blood to flow through the body. But it can be difficult to determine if you are at risk for the disease.
Blood clots are relatively common and are caused by the clumping of proteins and platelets in blood vessels.
They usually develop in the legs or arms, but can form almost anywhere, including around the heart, brain, or lungs.
Read also Thrombus in the brain: how to recognize a fatal condition in time
If untreated, a clot can enter the lungs, which can be very serious. This is known as pulmonary embolism.
It is therefore absolutely essential to see your doctor if you think you have a blood clot.
Blood clots are most likely to form in the arms or legs, far below the surface of the skin.
These are known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and can still invade the heart or lungs.
Most people develop DVT after sitting for a long time, such as on a long flight.
While most people may not have clear signs of a blood clot in their legs, there are some key symptoms to watch out for.
“When blood clots do not disintegrate, they can be dangerous and lead to serious illness,” says the WebMD medical site.
They can enter blood vessels in almost any part of your body. They will most likely affect the leg, especially if you sit for a long time. If you recognize the warning signs, you are more likely to receive prompt medical attention, which can go a long way towards keeping you out of the danger zone.
But it is important to know that in some cases, clots can occur with little or no symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of a blood clot is edema.
You may find that your entire left side begins to swell and may feel warm to the touch.
The leg may start to become more itchy and the skin will turn red or blue.
As a blood clot develops, the leg may become painful, like a dull pain.
If a clot is in your lower leg, you may develop persistent spasms.
Some patients also have difficulty breathing, which is usually a sign that a clot has moved from the leg to the lungs.
Difficulty breathing may be accompanied by severe cough, chest pain and dizziness. In case of such a condition, you need to call an ambulance as soon as possible.
Blood clot that could have killed me
Last summer I woke up with pain in my right bicep and shoulder. I didn’t think anything about it. On the weekend before going out, I was running, canoeing, and working on a large garden project. Of course I was going to get sick.
Muscle cramps, rashes, overexertion and a slight sunburn are just symptoms of the love of summer, right?
Well, they can also be symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which certain types of hormonal contraception increase the risk.I’ve read the warnings about the risk of blood clots associated with birth control pills and have heard them rattling in countless commercials. But I had no idea that my birth control pills and my love of outdoor activities could ignite the perfect storm.
For several days, my body said something was wrong
This continued until my arm was swollen – to the point where I could barely move it – and finally, reluctantly, I dropped in to the nearest clinic to check it out.The nurse at the counter sent me straight to the emergency room. Triage staff quickly assessed the risk of a blood clot.
First on the list of reasons? My method of birth control.
All combined hormonal birth control pills (containing both estrogen and progesterone) carry a slight increased risk of blood clots, but some pills are more risky than others. I took Safiral, which the FDA includes on its list of birth control pills that contain drospirenone.
According to a study published in The British Medical Journal (BMJ), some tablets on the market contain synthetic progesterone, drospirenone or desogestrel. These hormones appear to put women at greater risk of DVT than pills that use another type of synthetic progesterone, levonorgestrel. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that contraceptive patches and rings may also increase the risk of blood clots.
Clots are serious business and a birth control risk we cannot ignore
The ER performed an ultrasound scan on my arm and neck to confirm DVT.They immediately treated me with blood thinners and pain relievers and sent me to the hospital for observation. By then, my hand was huge, throbbing and almost motionless. The doctor told me that it was good that I came when I came.
The clot can cause disability or even death.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that blood clots kill between 60,000 and 100,000 people in the United States each year.The most serious problem with DVT is pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a blockage that occurs when a clot or any part of a DVT clot ruptures in a main vein and travels to the lungs. The results can damage the lungs or be fatal, affecting the oxygen supply to the heart and body, resulting in sudden death.
My friends – who also took birth control pills and read or heard the same warnings – and I didn’t believe in my DVT.I naively thought that these warnings only apply to smokers; I have never smoked a single day in my life.
But honestly, if I paid more attention to the warnings, I don’t think I would also stop taking the contraceptive pill. Women take birth control pills for many reasons. Not everyone is related to family planning.
Should we stop taking birth control pills?
As a teenager, I started taking hormonal contraceptives to regulate my heavy, miserable periods and relieve some of the pain, bleeding, and other symptoms of my endometriosis.For me, the benefits of taking the pills certainly outweighed the overall risks. The birth control pill has improved my quality of life.
My only regret is not knowing more about blood clots and what to look for. I knew, for example, to get up often on a long flight after a run out of town, but I never thought to pay attention to other parts of my body. Although blood clots are most commonly found in the leg, they can also occur in the arm, as in my case, or in the pelvic area.
According to the FDA, the risk of developing DVT from combination birth control pills is quite low: 3 to 9 out of every 10,000 women per year. This is compared to 1-5 women out of every 10,000 per year who are not under birth control, are not pregnant, and who will still develop DVT. However, both pregnancy and the first three months after birth carry a higher risk of DVT, significantly higher than with combined birth control pills.
After I was discharged from the hospital, I checked with a hematologist who followed me while I was on a 90-day blood thinning course.After about eight weeks, my body finally absorbed the clot. During this time, the pain subsided and I slowly regained full mobility in my arm.
Pay attention to your body and trust your intuition
My hematologist and I decided to find out if my contraception was the most likely cause of my clot. We took a series of tests and ruled out factor V (a gene mutation that causes blood to clot) and thoracic outlet syndrome (TOC), a compression of the nerves or blood vessels that lie just below the collarbone.We talked about Paget-Schreetter Syndrome, also called Effervescent Deep Vein Thrombosis of the upper limb, which is DVT caused by intense and repetitive upper body activity.
Was my adventurous weekend to blame for my DVT? Maybe. My hematologist agreed that a combination of birth control pills and upper body exercise could create the right conditions for a blood clot to form in my arm.
Chain reaction of events for the next six months
But the effects of this DVT did not stop after the clot disappeared.I had to stop taking the contraceptive pill immediately and can no longer use any of the methods that use combined hormones. Since I relied on the pill to help with endometriosis, I suffered without it. Blood thinners led to increased menstrual bleeding, resulting in pain, wasting, and iron deficiency.
In the end, my obstetrician-gynecologist and I decided that a hysterectomy was the best option. I had this operation last winter.
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I finally got over to the other side of this situation and returned to my active lifestyle, but I think about how the terrible turn took place last summer. My goal now is to educate other women about how to pay attention to their body.
Don’t ignore symptoms or warning signs because you are too busy or afraid of being accused of overreaction. You are the first and only person who knows when something is wrong with your body.
Got unexplained pain, swelling, warmth, redness, or bluish discoloration? This could be DVT, especially if it continues to swell for several days. Over time, the veins in my arm and chest have become more visible. See your doctor right away if you have any of the symptoms of PE, such as unexplained shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain, coughing, or coughing up blood. You should also check any family history of blood clotting and share this information with your doctor.
When considering birth control options, read the side effects carefully. Too often, we review the information, warnings and contraindications included in our medications. Be aware of factors that increase your risk of a blood clot. For example, smoking or obesity increases the risk of blood clots. If you are having surgery, tell your surgeon about using oral contraceptives.
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Jennifer Chesak is a freelance book editor and instructor based in Nashville.She is also an adventure, fitness and health writer for several national publications. She earned her Master of Science in Journalism from Medill Northwestern and is working on her first science fiction novel, set in her home state of North Dakota.
90,000 Blood clots in runners – Health-Injury
A few weeks ago, Canadian Running Magazine had an article about a serious health threat to Kelly Wiebe, one of the world’s best distance runners. The article is worth reading, but the short version is that he had an undiagnosed blood clot in his leg, possibly caused by slight muscle damage during training, which then became infected and nearly killed him.Wiebe isn’t the only top runner to get hit with a blood clot – others like Lee Troop and Lynn Jennings have faced similar issues as well. While vibe problems have arisen from infection, the more serious danger from certain types of blood clots is that a piece breaks off and ends up in your lungs, causing a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
After the article about Vibe appeared, I received an email from a reader asking if athletes are at greater risk of blood clots.On the surface, the obvious answer is no, because some of the key risk factors are obesity, heart disease, and a sedentary lifestyle. But it turns out that there are also some factors that work in the opposite direction and increase the risk for athletes. So I decided to study it for my column this week in Globe and Mail.Key Point:
Risk factors for blood clots and pulmonary embolism can be divided into three categories: how prone your blood is to clotting; how smooth or damaged the walls of your blood vessels are; and how vigorously your blood flows.As it turns out, endurance athletes are susceptible to all three risk factors, explains Dr. Claire Hull, a medical researcher at Swansea University in Wales.
- Dehydration and inflammation make your blood more prone to clotting;
- Physical injury, such as muscle tension, can damage the walls of blood vessels;
- Low blood pressure and low resting heart rate allow blood to accumulate during periods of immobility, and flow is further impaired when athletes take long flights to and from competition.
This means that athletes are not immune from blood clots, but this does not necessarily mean that they are at a higher risk of than the general population (despite some claims you will find on the Internet). According to Dr. Hull, at the moment there is simply no reliable data on the prevalence of blood clots, so it is impossible to make comparisons with other groups. However, it is clear that we must be aware of the risks, take our familiar advice to get up and move on long flights and car trips seriously, and be aware of the warning signs that signal that you should go to the hospital for a check-up. …
Dr. Hull and her colleague Julia Harris published an excellent newsletter in the magazine about athletes and blood clots circulation. It’s worth checking out last year.
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