Blood clotting is an essential process that helps avoid further injury, say when you have a cut or wound. But as lifesaving as it can be, clotting can also wreak havoc on your health—and even endanger your life—if it happens internally. Here are four facts that you should know about the effects of clotting inside the body:
Blood clots in the artery are a medical emergency
It’s essential to prevent blood from leaking out when your blood vessels are damaged because of trauma or disease. It is, however, downright dangerous if that clot does not dissolve and starts to move around. It can travel to any part of your circulatory system and get stuck in your organs like your heart or lungs. The clump can also cause blockage in your blood vessels. This is a medical emergency that can very well be fatal.
Arterial blood clots can be caused by heart conditions or disease, smoking, high blood pressure/cholesterol, diabetes, or injuries. Symptoms are instantaneous and severe, such as pain and paralysis. This type of clot can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Blood clots in the veins don’t show signs right away, but they can still be dangerous.
Venous clots, or blood clots that occur in a vein, build up over time but can be just as bad for the health. It can occur in most parts of the body, but it happens more commonly in the legs. The clot prevents blood from circulating back to the heart, causing pain, swelling, and redness, explains Veniti.
These symptoms may be vague, and it can be a challenge if the person experiences discomfort due to other factors such as overworked muscles, surgery, or prolonged bed rest. Deep vein thrombosis, however, can be diagnosed via a specialized blood test called the D-dimer test to see if any clots are present in the veins.
There are preventive measures to avoid these kinds of blood clots.
There are a lot of factors that go into play when it comes to being at risk of having arterial or venous blood clots—genetics, pregnancy, immobility, surgeries, hormones, and even your lifestyle. But there are ways to minimize the likelihood of developing either one, with proper guidance from your trusted doctor:
- Consider using other contraceptive methods aside from birth control pills;
- Check your family’s medical history for genetic clotting issues;
- Stay fit and lose excess weight; and
- Stay mobile.