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9 Common Signs Of Blood Clots You Should Watch Out For

Blood clots can lead to serious problems.


Blood clots shouldn’t be taken lightly. If they don’t dissolve on their own or aren’t given proper medical attention, they can lead to life-threatening situations. Blood clots can cause stroke, heart attack, and pulmonary embolism. Certain factors also contribute to the possibility of developing blood clots: obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, injury, surgery, smoking, pregnancy, old age, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, among others.

Two types of blood clots are deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and arterial thrombosis. The former happens when a blood clot forms within a vein. This can cause pulmonary embolism, which happens when the clot breaks up and travels to the lungs. The latter occurs when there is a buildup of plaque in the artery walls that block or restrict blood flow. If one breaks loose, it can cause a heart attack, stroke, or organ damage.

Blood clots exhibit certain symptoms, so be sure to look out for these signs:

1. Discoloration

Source: Jem Yoshioka

Red or blue discoloration in the arm or leg can be a sign of DVT. On the other hand, pale skin could be a symptom of an arterial embolism (an arterial clot that travels to the arm or the leg).

2. Swelling

Swelling in the arm or the leg is a sign of DVT, so watch for any swelling, usually on just one side of the body.

3. Dizziness or fainting

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Dizziness or fainting can be a sign that the blood clot has broken free. This can cause a person to have low blood pressure, feel nauseated, or pass out.

4. Chest pain

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Pulmonary embolism, caused by DVT, can cause sharp chest pains. Be wary of a cough that is accompanied by chest pain, difficulty breathing, and bloody discharge. Chest pain is also a common sign of an arterial clot.

5. Fatigue

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Weakness and fatigue can mean DVT. If you find yourself becoming very tired faster than the usual, it would be best to see your doctor. Blood clots in the lungs, for example, can cause someone to get winded easily.

6. Shortness of breath

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When a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, a person will often experience shortness of breath. Sometimes, it can be accompanied by a cough. A blood clot that is in or travels to the heart (caused by an arterial clot) can cause difficulty breathing, too.

7. Skin temperature changes

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DVT can cause the affected part of the body to be warmer than normal. For arterial clots, the lack of oxygen flowing through the body can cause a person to experience coolness in the arm or leg.

8. Pain

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Blood clots can cause pain the affected areas of the body, for example in the leg, arm, abdomen, or head. Muscles cramps and spasms are also signs to watch for.

9. Fever

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A blood clot that breaks and enters the bloodstream can cause the body temperature to rise, so be wary of a sudden onset of fever.

Don’t take your health for granted. If these symptoms are bothering you, and you fear you might be at risk of complications due to blood clots, see your doctor right away.


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