Blood clots are good things a lot of the time, especially when you get injured and there’s a need for your blood to solidify and clump together at the site to help stop bleeding.
Unfortunately however, blood clots sometimes occur in areas where they’re not needed and this can be disastrous, especially when they occur in deep veins that are close to muscles.
The formation of blood clots in deep veins are not only painful but dangerous and the clot is known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
DVTs block blood from circulating properly and prevents blood flow that keeps your system up and running. It can become more dangerous if the a DVT breaks away from the area where it was originally formed and travels down the lungs where it prevents the lungs from getting the oxygen and blood they need.
This condition is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE), and it can damage your lungs and other organs, and in extreme cases, cause death.
The fact is some people are more prone to deep vein thrombosis than others and it is best to know the risk factors and the warning signs to help prevent them, act quickly and get the necessary treatment promptly.
Here are some signs and symptoms you should be on the lookout for.
Inflammation In One Of Your Limbs
Having a swollen arm or leg is one of the common signs of deep vein thrombosis. This is because blood clots can block the healthy flow of blood in the legs or arms causing blood to pool behind the clot, which causes the swelling.
If a swelling in your arm or leg is accompanied with pain, see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have persistent cough that is accompanied with shortness of breath, high heart rate, or chest pain, it could be a pulmonary embolism.
Furthermore, if your cough is dry and you cough out mucus or blood, try to see a doctor to help determine if you’d about to have a PE or not.
Redness On The Skin
Bruises are a type of blood clots but they’re not the type you should be worried about. DVT can’t be seen but can only be observed as some bruise-like discoloration that appears red. DVTs cause redness in the affected limb, and make your arm or leg feel warm to the touch.
Pain In The Chest
Most people mistake a sudden pain in their chest to mean an impending heart attack but it just could be a pulmonary embolism. Both heart attacks and pulmonary embolism share similar symptoms, but are different in the fact that pain from PE tends to be sharp and stabbing, and feels worst when you take a deep breath while pain of Heart attacks often radiates from upper areas of your body like your shoulders, jaw, or neck.
More so, pain from PE becomes worse with every breath you take and if you feel this way, call for help immediately.
Shortness Of Breath
The presence of a blood clot in your lungs slows down oxygen flow and reduces oxygen carried to the heart, which makes your heart rate increase as it tries to compensate for the oxygen shortage. A blood clot in your lung slows your oxygen flow.
If you have trouble with deep breaths or you feel a flutter in your chest, your body maybe signalling you of a PE in your lungs. You may also feel faint and eventually pass out, especially if the symptoms come on suddenly and unexpectedly. Get help immediately.
Pain In The Leg Or Arm
DVT pain usually presents with a combination of swelling and redness, even though they can also stand alone. The unfortunate thing however is that pain from blood clots are usually mistaken for strains or muscle cramps which oftentimes makes the situation goes undiagnosed.
Deep vein thrombosis pain usually strikes when you flex your foot upwards or when you’re walking. If you have a pain you can’t shake off around your limbs and some sort of warmth and discolouration around the area, have a medical practitioner check you out.