What causes blood clots?

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symptoms of blood clot

What is a blood clot?

For the most part, “blood clots” are a good thing. For example, when you cut yourself, you need the blood to clot and thus stop the bleeding so you don’t lose too much blood.

But unfortunately, there are also dangerous blood clots that just put your life at risk. A blood clot inside the body can act as a traffic jam that prevents blood from flowing to the limbs and organs.

There is a list of warning signs that may indicate that you are affected by the bad kind of blood clot. It is important to know the symptoms for quick treatment. 

Symptoms of blood clot

1. Swelling

A swelled leg or swelled arm is one of the most common signs of a blood clot. 

The plug prevents blood flow to the leg or arm, leading to swelling. It is common to overlook this symptom because many get swollen limbs if they fly or sit still for an extended period of time.

You should pay attention if the swelling happens quickly. Especially if it also causes pain.

2. Pain in the arms or legs

Usually there are several symptoms when you get a blood clot, but symptoms alone may not be easily read as a risk signal.

Unfortunately, pain from a blood clot can easily be confused with muscle cramps or a stretch. It can cause the blood clot to not be diagnosed thus brings more risks.

If you have a blood clot in your leg, the pain often comes when you walk or flex your foot upwards. 

It may be a good idea to see your doctor to determine the size of the risk brought by the blood clot. Especially when the skin around the place is hot or discolored you should take it as a serious alarm.

3. Red streaks on the skin

Bruise is a type of blood clot, but not a type that is dangerous. You can’t see a real blood clot; there just may be some discoloration of the skin.

However, it will more often be reddish,blue or purple. A blood clot leads to long, red streaks along the veins. If it is in the leg or arm, it will also make you feel warm.

4. Chest pain

Having chest pain can make you think you are having a heart attack. However, it can also be a blood clot.

Both a blood clot in the heart and a heart attack can have concurrent symptoms. But a blood clot will feel more like a sharp, stinging pain. It feels worse when you take a deep breath.

Pain in a heart attack more often radiates into the upper part of the body around the shoulders, neck and jaw. The pain of a blood clot in the heart gets worse and worse every time you breathe. In that case, you should immediately go to the emergency room or call an ambulance.

5. Shortness of breath or palpitations

A blood clot in the lung affects the absorption of oxygen in the body. When oxygen levels are low, the heart will try to overcompensate by pumping blood around faster. 

If you have trouble breathing at the same time, it is a sign that something is wrong. You may also feel dizzy or even faint.

6. Unexpected cough

If you can’t stop coughing and also have shortness of breath, palpitations and maybe chest pain, it’s worth worrying.

It will be a dry cough, but sometimes mucus and / or blood may be vomited. If in doubt, contact your doctor immediately or go directly to the emergency room.