How to know if you have a blood clot

Updated at: Feb 03, 2017
How to know if you have a blood clot

Blood clots are lifesavers when they function as a barrier to stop the bleeding, but if a clot forms for any other reason, it can be life threatening. Here is how to figure out if you have a blood clot.

Meenakshi Chaudhary
Blood DiseasesWritten by: Meenakshi ChaudharyPublished at: Feb 03, 2017

A blood clot is essentially coagulated blood. Whenever you injure your body and blood starts flowing out of one of your arteries, your body wastes no time and immediately start building a mesh of clot over the wound. In this case the clotted blood saves lives, and is a part of the marvelous protective mechanism of human body.


Causes of blood clot

However, if these clots form where they are not needed, they can become a source of concern. Blood clots can be harmless if they remain in their place and may dissolve by themselves over time, but if a blood clot breaks free and starts moving around in the body, it becomes very dangerous.

Many times, a blood clot has no apparent symptoms and might show itself as symptoms of other diseases. The symptoms appear depending on the place in the body where the blood clot is present.


Blood clot in legs

The most common place that you might find a blood clot in is the legs. Most people who have blood clots usually have them in the lower part of the legs. A blood clot in legs can present various symptoms such as swelling, pain and tenderness, it might also create a blue patch or discoloration.

The symptoms might depend upon the size of the blood clot. If the blood clot is small and is not causing any obstruction to the normal blood flow in your limbs, then you might just have mild pain. However, if a clot is too large, it might cause your leg to swell up and end in extreme pain.

Blood clot in the lungs

If a blood clot travels to your lungs, it is called pulmonary embolism.A pulmonary embolism can be dangerous and might need immediate medical attention. A blood clot in the lungs can present itself in the following ways-

The patient might have breathing difficulties, even while in resting position

  • Pain in chest
  • Tachycardia
  • Blood in sputum

A large clot can also cause severe breathing problems and chest pain, if you suffer from any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance.


Blood clot in the brain

Blood clots in brain can be very dangerous as they might restrict or hinder proper blood flow into the brain. If an artery is blocked because of a clot and the blood flow is restricted to certain parts of brain, a person might have the following symptoms.

  • Dizziness
  • Slurred Speech
  • Affected vision
  • Difficulty in co-ordination


Blood clot in the abdominal area

A blood clot in the abdominal area can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.It might also cause severe pain in your stomach or the affected organ or part of the body.


Blood clot in the heart

Your heart also needs oxygen supply in order to function normally. It gets the oxygen from the blood vessels which carry oxygenated blood into the heart. If a clot travels to the heart and blocks these vessels, it can cause severe damage to the heart.

Although clots in heart are usually uncommon, in some rare cases it might happen. Symptoms of a blood clot in the heart are –

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe shooting pain in the arm and chest area


Image source : Getty

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