Did you know these facts
Blood clots can occur in both the veins and the arteries. A clot formed in a vein could restrict the return of blood to the heart, causing pain and swelling as blood gathers behind the clot. Clotting in the arteries typically happens when they harden, and a deposit of plaque narrows the inside of the arteries. As the passage narrows, the heart needs to force blood through the opening, and that strong pressure can rupture the plaque. The body then overcompensates by forming an unnecessary clot in the artery, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Smoking is one of the most prominent risk factors for developing blood clots, as well as other heart problems and some chronic diseases. Stop the habit by using nicotine patches and gums, prescription medications, and support groups. Other risk factors for blood clots include obesity, pregnancy, immobility, certain cancers, trauma, age, and family history of blood clots.
Actually, doctors recommend exercise to prevent blood clots. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, which can be swimming, walking, dancing, and biking, among others.
Symptoms can be experienced in five places.
1. Heart—chest pain, shortness of breath, chest heaviness.
2. Brain—weakness of the face, difficulty speaking, vision problems, severe headache, dizziness.
3. Arm or leg—swelling, tenderness and warmth on limb, sudden or gradual pain.
4. Lung—racing heart, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up blood.
5. Abdomen—severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea.
DVT most often forms deep in the blood vessels in your leg. This can partially or completely block flow of blood to the heart and damage one-way valves in your veins. About 350,000 Americans are diagnosed with DVT each year, and many more don’t know they have it.
Even healthy, young individuals can develop DVT. As you age, your risk becomes slightly higher, but many patients with it are in their twenties and thirties. Pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing DVT until around six weeks after they give birth.
If you are diagnosed with a blood clot in your vein, your doctor may refer you to a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in blood diseases. If you have a blood clot in your artery, you may have several different doctors involved in your care, such as a cardiologist, neurologist, and hematologist.
Your doctor may prescribe anticoagulants, which prevent clots from forming, and thrombolytic, which dissolve blood clots. You also may undergo catheter-directed thrombolysis, a procedure in which a catheter is inserted into the body and guided to the blood clot, delivering clot-dissolving medication inside of it. You may also have a thrombectomy in which your blood clot is surgically removed.
In reality, blood clots are often preventable. To reduce your risk, live a healthy lifestyle, check your blood pressure at least once a year, and talk to your doctor if you have a family history of blood clots.