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Signs and Symptoms You Have a Blood Clot and Might Not Even Know It

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Blood clots are dangerous and can be deadly, but they are also preventable. Knowing what they actually are and how to spot them is key and in many cases can mean the difference between life and death. When blood clots it coagulates and starts to stick together to form a thick mass, which we call a blood clot. When you get cut or injured, clotting is what stops you from bleeding excessively and is a good thing. However, when blood clots up internally while it is still in our veins, it’s a very bad thing.
Blood clots are extremely dangerous and can lead to heart attacks or stroke. Of particular concern is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is when a clot develops in one of the deep veins in your body, usually the legs. Deep veins are simply buried deeper and are not as close to the surface of skin as other more superficial veins are. DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE), a medical condition where an artery in the lung becomes blocked by a blood clot. This is because PEs are often caused by clots that originally form in other areas of the body, most commonly in the legs (DVT), which then travels to the lungs.
Even though blood clots are extremely common, not many people know how to spot them. Clot Connect, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of clotting disorders and prevention, notes on its website that with every minute that passes, one person in America is diagnosed with DVT. In addition, every year between 60,000-100,000 Americans die from DVT and PE according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These numbers are eye opening and show just how common and widespread blood clots actually are.
The following are the most common signs and symptoms associated with having a blood clot. If you ever notice these in either yourself or somebody else, don’t ignore them and seek professional medical help as soon as possible. Knowledge is key and this information could save a life one day:
1) Change in Color- When a vein is blocked by a blood clot it causes poor circulation and this can lead to not enough blood reaching certain areas of your body. If you notice that your arm or leg is pale or appears bluish and is accompanied by a warm or itchy sensation, it’s a major blood clot warning signal.
2) Swelling- When blood circulation is low due to a clot, not enough oxygen is able to reach vital organs and this ends up causing swollen limbs. Oftentimes the swelling is located right where the blood clot has formed, such as in an arm or leg, and it will be noticeably inflated or puffed up looking.
3) Chest Pain- Any pains in the chest area should be taken seriously especially if accompanied by shortness of breath, trouble breathing, or lightheadedness. Chest pains that really hurt or feel heavy could mean a blood clot in the heart.
4) Trouble Breathing- Sudden breathing issues like shortness of breath that is accompanied by dizziness, chest pains, a fluttering sensation in the chest, and a rapid heart rate or palpitations are all signs of a PE in the lungs. In addition, some people cough up blood, which is never normal and should alarm you.
5) Red Streaks Along Veins- Red streaks that appear on your skin and feel warm to the touch are of serious concern. The red marks will seem to run along veins and they indicate that the situation is severe and life-threatening.
6) Trouble Seeing or Speaking- Any difficulty associated with your speech or vision could mean there is a blood clot in your brain. If it’s accompanied by the onset of a sudden and horribly severe headache, seek medical attention immediately.
One last thing that must be mentioned is that in many cases, up to 50% by some estimates, there are no symptoms. It’s already nearly impossible to accurately diagnose a blood clot based on the above symptoms alone, and so if you even suspect that you could have a clot, don’t wait to find out. Your doctor can perform further tests and determine the best course of action.
Watch the video below for more information:
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