Blood clots are not truly something to be scared of because they are not life-threatening. However, if left untreated, the deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can move up to your lungs, which can eventually lead to pulmonary embolism (PE). Whether you have DVT or PE, you should know the symptoms of clotting. These signs can vary though depending on some factors, but mainly:
- The part of the body where the affected blood vessel is located
- Whether the blood vessel is partially or totally blocked by the blood clot
Signs of DVT
In the case of DVT, blood clotting if it is in the leg can give you pain and discomfort. Some people don’t notice that they have blood clot because there are no symptoms whatsoever. However, the classic signs are usually the following:
- Firm Swelling
- Increased warmth in the affected area
- Tenderness or pain
- Dull tightness, usually accompanied by pain in the calf when walking
- Widening or dilation of the leg’s surface veins
If your leg hurts when you stand, particularly if it happens with just one leg, you may need to visit your doctor to check for DVT.
Signs of PE
PE happens after the deep vein thrombosis clot breaks off, which will then travel to the lungs through the blood stream. A blood vessel is then blocked, causing pulmonary embolism. How do you know if you have PE? Here are the signs:
- Rapid heart rate
- Chest pain that usually happens all of a sudden and gets worse with every deep breath you make
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Feeling faint
- Sweating at night
- Anxiety and/or apprehension
- Mysterious cough that sometimes have bloody mucus
Some people, just like those with DVT, don’t experience symptoms with PE.
Are You At Risk?
Some people are at risk for arterial clotting, but it doesn’t mean that you are at risk for blood clotting as well. There are actually risk factors that contribute to unnatural clotting, including:
- Immobility, such as prolonged inactivity (e.g. sitting in a car for several hours during a trip)
- certain cancers
- oral contraceptives
- age (60 and above)
- chronic inflammatory diseases
- history in the family with blood clots
- certain surgeries
There are a number of blood conditions around and blood clots are among the easiest to prevent. You can decrease your risk of developing a clot through simple changes, such as controlling some of the risk factors mentioned above. For instance, if you are obese, you may want to start losing weight. Meanwhile, if the cause of clotting may be due to genetic factors, you should talk to your doctor immediately.