Recently on the blog, we spent some time explaining the science of blood clots: what they are, why they form and what they can do to your health. Today, we’re going to provide some more helpful information: this is how you can tell if you’re developing a blood clot!
How Can I tell if I have a Blood Clot?
The scary answer to this question is: you can’t always tell when you’re developing a blood clot. Sometimes, blood clots form without any obvious symptoms. But sometimes blood clots form and cause a range of other impacts on your body. Many of those symptoms will depend on the location of your blood clot.
DVT (deep vein thrombosis, a clot in the deep veins of your legs) symptoms include:
· Redness at the site of the clot
· Warm skin
· Pain, without any obvious injury
Pulmonary embolism (a clot that has broken free and travelled to your lungs), symptoms include:
· Shortness of breath for no apparent reason
· An unexplained cough
· Chest pain
· Increased heart rate
If you’re at increased risk for a blood clot (you’ve just taken a long plane trip, you’re pregnant, or have compromised cardiovascular health) see your doctor for any of these symptoms. A blood clot can quickly become a medical emergency.
How Will You Treat My Blood Clot?
Even if it means a trip to the emergency room, see a doctor at the first sign of a clot. If you do have a clot, you’ll need one of two treatments: medication or interventions involving medical devices.
Oral or intravenous (IV) blood thinners can help manage a blood clot. Alternatively, your doctor may insert a wire or catheter to try and open up your blood vessels. Finally, in certain situations, your healthcare provider may surgically remove the blood clot (thromectomy.)
The good news is: blood clot treatments are fairly effective, especially if they are administered quickly. But in order to benefit from these treatments, you must be seen before the clot grows or causes additional damage like a heart attack or stroke. For that reason, we can’t emphasize this enough: seek medical attention at the first sign of a suspected blood clot!
Sources: Us News & World Report