Although blood needs to stream non-stop and without any interruptions in the body, blood clots are normal and necessary as they can stop excessive bleeding due to injuries and physical traumas. However, they become an issue when they arise without there being a need, which can lead to severe health complications such as heart attack and stroke.
Clotting occurs when blood interacts with certain thrombogenic substances. Clotting is typically a symptom of an underlying condition, and certain conditions can result in the formation of blood clots in vital organs like the brain and lungs, resulting in poor blood circulation and even blood pooling in the heart. When a blood clot breaks loose from an artery, it can have a severe effect on blood flow and can damage the brain or the heart.
Blood Clot Symptoms
Having a blood clot with no visible symptoms is common, and when people with do experience symptoms, these are often the symptoms of a blood-clotting disorder. Here are some blood clot symptoms to look out for in different parts of the body.
One of the most common body parts to form blood clots in the body are the legs. Blood clots in the legs may cause pain, swelling, and tenderness. One of the most common complications associated with blood clots is deep vein thrombosis, which is when blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, typically in the lower limbs such as the legs, pelvis, but also in the lungs and brain.
The severity of symptoms usually varies depending on clot sizes. Persistent and severe stomach pain and swelling can be a sign of a blood clot in the abdomen as blood clots most typically form in the lower part of the body. While rare, a blood clot can also form in the heart, causing symptoms of chest pain, breathlessness, and dizziness.
When a blood clot in the body breaks loose and makes its way to the lungs, this can result in a condition known as pulmonary embolism. The symptoms of pulmonary embolism include breathlessness, chest pain, and coughing (sometimes blood). Clotting in the brain, on the other hand, can also occur and exhibit itself with excruciating headaches.
Are You At Risk of Blood Clots?
Some risk factors that put one at a greater risk of forming blood clots are:
– Being over 60
– Prolonged inactivity, e.g., a long flight
– Extended bed rest due to surgery or injury
– Being Overweight
– Pregnancy & Birth Control Pills
– Cancer & Some Cancer Treatments
Discuss your personal risk factors, medical history, family history of blood-clotting disorders with your doctor can go a long way in taking preventative measures to keep blood clots at bay.
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