The type of blood clot a person has will typically depend on where they affect a person’s body. Although they have different causes and symptoms, blood clots can have serious or fatal complications.
Blood clots help a person’s body prevent excessive bleeding, blood loss, and infections. A person’s body stops bleeding by forming a clot over injured blood vessels. The blood clot then normally dissolves naturally after the injury heals.
However, sometimes clots do not dissolve, or they can form without an injury. These blood clots can cause people to have dangerous complications, such as heart attacks or strokes. Different types of blood clots cause different symptoms. The most
Read on to learn more about the different types of blood clots and their symptoms.
A thrombus is a blood clot that
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): DVTs usually form in a person’s thighs, pelvis, lower legs, and
sometimesin their arms. DVTs can partly or completely blockblood flow through a vein, causing damage to the limbs.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE): If a person does not receive treatment for DVT, a clot can move into a person’s lungs, becoming a pulmonary embolism. People with PE need immediate medical attention, as it can have fatal complications.
- Arterial thrombosis (AT): A blood clot in an artery is arterial thrombosis. Arteries carry blood from a person’s heart to the rest of their body. This type of blood clot can stop blood from reaching important organs. This can cause a person to have serious or fatal health problems.
If a person has DVT, their symptoms can
- skin redness
If a person has PE, their symptoms can include:
- having difficulty breathing
- having very low blood pressure
- a faster-than-normal or irregular heartbeat
- chest pain that worsens with deep breathing or coughing
- coughing up blood
Other blood clot symptoms depend on where in a person’s body the clot is:
- abdominal pain
- arms or legs:
- sudden or gradual pain
- shortness of breath
- pain with deep breathing
- rapid breathing
- having an increased heart rate
- trouble speaking
- vision problems
- weakness on one side of a person’s body
- a sudden, severe headache
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- pain in a person’s left arm
A person’s body maintains normal blood flow using a balance of two different molecules. Procoagulant molecules help blood clots form, and anticoagulants prevent blood clots. Certain blood clotting disorders or risk factors can cause an imbalance between the different molecules and affect how blood clots form.
Risk factors that can cause blood clots
- having obesity
- being pregnant
- certain medications, such as oral contraceptives
- having a family history of blood clots
- not moving for long periods, such as during long trips or with bed rest
- certain health conditions
Some medical conditions can make a person
- infections, such as:
- SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19
- vitamin B6 or B12 deficiency
- chronic inflammatory diseases
- autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and antiphospholipid syndrome
- high blood pressure
- having high cholesterol
- disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), a rare condition usually
causedby inflammation from an infection, injury or illness
People with some genetic conditions are also
Those with factor V Leiden variations have an alteration in one of their blood clotting factors. It
People can help prevent blood clots by:
- wearing loose-fitting clothes and socks
- wearing compression stockings, if prescribed by a doctor
- exercising as recommended by a doctor
- moving every hour
- avoiding sitting or standing for longer than an hour at a time
- raising the bottom of their bed 4 to 6 inches
- not using pillows under their knees
- limiting the amount of salt and red meat in their diet
- eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
There are different types of blood clots. Two of the most common types are deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Both can cause different symptoms and serious complications.
Several risk factors can raise a person’s risk of blood clots. People inherit some from their parents but have others due to medical conditions, lifestyle, or other circumstances.
Doctors can prescribe medication to help treat blood clots. People can also take simple steps to make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk of developing blood clots.