(HealthyResearch.com) – Our blood’s ability to clot is important and necessary. For example, when we cut ourselves, the clotting factors in our blood stop the cut from continuing to bleed. It’s a bodily function we can’t live without. But sometimes blood clots form in places they shouldn’t be, and that can spell real trouble.
According to the CDC, nearly 900,000 people are affected by blood clots every year. How do you know if you have one? Check out these seven signs and symptoms that could indicate a blood clot.
If a blood clot develops in an arm or a leg, swelling can be one of the first warning signs. The swelling might occur just where the clot is, or it might affect the entire arm or leg. This happens most often when someone is immobile for a long time, such as on a long plane ride or if they’ve had surgery. It can result in a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which can cause a blood clot to travel to the heart or lungs and may result in death.
A blood clot may cause the area around it to feel warmer than the rest of the arm or leg where the clot is located. This isn’t usually a symptom that appears right away, but as the clot worsens the warmth can develop. There are usually other symptoms developing along with a warmer feeling, such as pain or a change in the color of the skin in the area.
3. Redness or Changes in Color
Color changes can also be a blood clot symptom to watch out for. Typically, the area of the skin around the clot will take on a reddish or bluish hue. The entire limb could start to take on a blue color if the clot is blocking circulation, and the color change may also come along with warmth or an itchy feeling. Any change in color in a limb, especially when accompanied by other symptoms, could indicate a possible blood clot.
Pain is a common symptom of blood clots because the clot is stopping circulation from flowing properly. It also puts pressure on the walls of the vein where it’s located and can disrupt the surrounding tissue, as well. The pain related to a blood clot may feel intense, or it might be a dull ache. Many people who experience a blood clot think that they’ve pulled a muscle, but the pain from a clot generally becomes worse over time — and other symptoms may develop along with it.
5. Difficulty Breathing
If a clot moves from an arm or a leg to the lungs, it can cause shortness of breath, with or without a cough. Feeling dizzy and experiencing chest pain can also be common with this occurrence. A blood clot in the lungs is a serious and life-threatening condition called a pulmonary embolism, and immediate medical attention is important. Depending on where the clot lodges, it’s possible that it might cause a pulmonary infarction, which can be incredibly painful.
Calling 911 is the best choice for anyone experiencing shortness of breath or chest pain. A clot that forms in or around the heart may cause trouble breathing, too, along with sweating and severe chest pain.
6. Nausea or Vomiting
When a person gets a blood clot in their abdomen, it can occur in the veins in and around the intestines. Birth control pills, diverticulitis, and liver disease are common causes of clots in this area. Nausea and/or vomiting is a symptom of a blood clot in the belly. Other symptoms of this condition may include pain, bloating, diarrhea, and bloody stools.
7. Vision or Speech Problems
Although fatty deposits in the brain’s blood vessels might cause a clot, it’s more common for a clot to form elsewhere and travel to the brain. That may cause a stroke, which could lead to problems with speech or vision. Other symptoms that can occur with this type of clot include feeling weak or having a seizure. Anyone noticing symptoms of a stroke or blood clot in the brain should call 911 and seek medical attention right away.
While blood needs to be able to clot efficiently to protect the body, sometimes clots occur when and where they aren’t needed or wanted. No matter where in the body a blood clot forms, it can be dangerous. If you have symptoms of a clot or suspect you have one, getting immediate medical attention is important. Don’t wait. Reaching out for help could save your life.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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