How do you know if you have a blood clot? Typically, blood clots in your arms or legs cause the following symptoms: new swelling in your arm or leg, skin redness, soreness or pain in your arm or leg, or a warm spot on your leg. Blood clots that form in your legs or arms can dislodge and move to other parts of your body, including your lungs. A blood clot in your lungs is called a pulmonary embolism which is very serious. Signs that a blood clot may have gone to your lungs include: hard time breathing, chest pain, a fast heartbeat, fainting spells, a mild fever, a cough with or without blood.
Blood clots are a serious medical condition. It is important to know the signs and get treated right away. A blood clot can result in loss of supply of blood and oxygen to an organ resulting in its damage or complete failure. Blood clots are the basic causes of heart attacks and strokes and cause tens of thousands of deaths each year.
Blood clots result from coagulation by the platelets in the blood. It occurs when an accumulation of blood cells that stick to each other when any blood vessel is damaged. Blood clotting is a fairly rare blood disorder and the existence of clotting cannot always be diagnosed.
Major causes of blood clots include: 1) some medications like estrogen and oral contraceptive pills; 2) prolonged bed rest and/or immobility for a long period can also cause blood clots as blood is pumped sufficiently only when there is muscle movement. Lack of muscle movement can cause blood to be stagnant and thus increase the risk of blood clotting; 3) Heart surgeries; 4) High cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes can eventually lead to blood clot problems. 5) In some cases pregnancy may also cause blood clot as blood flow is slowed down by the growing uterus inside the mother body resulting in the formation of a blood clot; 6) Damage to the inner linings of the blood vessels (such as from high cholesterol levels) can also cause blood clots as, paradoxically, clots form to prevent damage; 7) Bone marrow disorders can also lead to blood clot if bone marrow produces too many platelets resulting in extensive clotting of the blood; 8) Extensive smoking and hereditary factors can also contribute to blood clot disorders.
The most common tests for blood clot are MRI, CAT scan, venography and ultrasounds.
The best way to prevent blood clots is to maintain a healthy lifestyle including exercising daily, maintaining cholesterol levels and having a healthy diet. Other important things you can do to prevent blood clots are: wear loose-fitting clothes, socks, or stockings; raise your legs 6 inches above your heart from time to time; change your position often, especially during a long trip; do not stand or sit for more than 1 hour at a time.