- What Is It?
- Risks & Complications
- Frist Signs & Symptoms
- 7 Treatment Options
- How to Prevent
What is a blood clot?
Blood clots are clumps of blood formed when the blood changes from a fluid to a semisolid form. Whenever you get a cut in your skin, your blood normally clots to prevent further blood loss from your body. However, when the blood clots inside your blood vessels (arteries and veins), it may lead to many medical conditions.
What are risk factors for getting a blood clot in the leg?
Risk factors for blood clots in the leg include:
- Prolonged hospitalization
- Confinement to the bed or a wheelchair
- Contraceptives or birth-control medications containing estrogen
- Age, especially 65 years and older
- Overweight or obese individuals
- Inactive or sedentary lifestyle
- Estrogen-containing hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Family history of DVT or blood clots
- Severe injury, especially if it involves a vein
- Chronic diseases, such as heart and lung conditions and diabetes
What happens if you have a deep vein blood clot in your leg?
- A blot clot in your leg can hamper the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area.
- An untreated DVT may cause the clot to grow bigger and break in small pieces that can travel to other organs, such as the heart and lungs, causing serious consequences.
- The sluggish flow or stasis of blood in the affected area makes it more prone to infection.
- If the infection and the clot are not treated, they can cause the death of the tissues.
What are the first signs of a blood clot in the leg?
If you have a blood clot in your leg, you will have these signs and symptoms:
- Swelling of the affected leg
- Reddish or bluish color of the skin
- The affected area is warm to touch
- Difficulty in walking
- If there is associated infection, there may be other symptoms such as fever and shivering
- If the clot has broken and traveled to other organs, there might be symptoms related to the target organ, such as chest pain, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, confusion, fainting, and/or headache
What is the treatment of blood clots in the leg?
7 Treatment options for a blood clot in the leg include:
- Anticoagulation medicines (blood thinners): These slow the process of formation of new clots and prevent the already formed ones from getting bigger. Blood thinners include:
- Thrombolytic therapy to dissolve the existing clots.
- Compression stockings.
- Vena cava filters to prevent the spread of the clots to other body parts.
- Implantable devices.
- Management of risk factors, such as cessation of smoking, weight control and regular exercises.
How can you prevent having a blood clot in your leg?
- Adopt an active lifestyle with regular exercise.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Discuss with your doctor if you have any risk factors for blood clots.
- Quit smoking.
- Start a healthy diet.
- Before any surgery, talk with your doctor about blood clots.
- Recognize your symptoms and contact your doctor if you develop symptoms.
- Take a break to stand up and move around every two hours when traveling on a plane, train, or car.
Latest Health and Living News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Signs and symptoms of blood clots
Understanding Blood Clots
How to Spot and Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
Top If You Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg Related Articles
Aspirin vs. Plavix (clopidogrel)Aspirin is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and Plavix (clopidogreal) is an antiplatelet drug. Both aspirin and Plavix are used to prevent blood clots, which reduces the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and future strokes and heart attacks in people who have already had one. Aspirin and Plavix can be taken at the same time, but it increases the risk of GI (gastrointestinal) bleeding.
Blood Clots (in the Leg)Blood clots can occur in the venous and arterial vascular system. Blood clots can form in the heart, legs, arteries, veins, bladder, urinary tract and uterus. Risk factors for causes of blood clots include high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and family history. Symptoms of a blood clot depend on the location of the clot. Some blood clots are a medical emergency. Blood clots are treated depending upon the cause of the clot. Blood clots can be prevented by lowering the risk factors for developing blood clots.
Blood Clots: 4 Signs You Could Have OneBlood clots can be deadly medical emergencies that can form in different parts of your body. Learn the warning signs that you might have one.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT, Blood Clot in the Legs)Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the deep veins, and can be caused by broken bones, trauma to a limb, immobility, medications, smoking, cancer, genetic predisposition, and cancer. Symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis in a leg are swelling, tenderness, redness, warmth, and pain. Treatments for DVT include medications and surgery.
DVT QuizTake the Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism Quiz to learn causes, symptoms, and treatments for these two dangerous conditions.
Healthy Eating: Foods That Help Increase Blood Flow CirculationGood blood flow circulation occurs when you eat the right foods. Choose cayenne pepper, beets, berries, fatty fish, pomegranate, garlic, walnuts, grapes, turmeric, spinach, and citrus fruit to keep blood flowing.
DVT SlideshowDeep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a dangerous and sometimes fatal blood clot that occurs deep within the lower leg or thigh. Understand the symptoms, treatment and prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
What Is the Difference Between a Thrombus and a Blood Clot?What makes a thrombus different from a blood clot? Learn about the differences between a thrombus and a blood clot, and how these conditions are treated.
What Is the Difference Between Thrombus and Embolism?What is the difference between thrombus and embolism?
DVT and Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that has traveled deep into the veins of the arm, pelvis, or lower extremities. Oral contraceptives or birth control pills can slightly increase a woman's risk for developing blood clots, including DVT. DVT symptoms and signs in the leg include leg or calf pain, redness, swelling, warmth, or leg cramps, and skin discoloration. If a blood clot in the leg is not treated, it can travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) or post-thrombotic syndrome, both of which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Increased risk factors for DVT and birth control pills include over 40 years of age, family history, smoking, and obesity. Other medical problems that increase the risks of blood clots, for example, lung or heart disease, or inflammatory bowel disease or IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). Other options for preventing pregnancy include IUDs, birth control shots, condoms, diaphragms, and progestin-only oral contraceptives.
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) During Pregnancy
Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a condition in which a blood clot becomes embedded in one of the deep veins of the arms, thighs, pelvis, or lower legs. Warning signs and symptoms of DVT include pain, warmth, redness, swelling, leg cramps, and worsening leg pain in the affected extremity.
Many conditions and other factors can cause DVTs, for example, during pregnancy including postpartum (6-8 weeks after delivery of the baby), obesity, heart attacks or heart failure, cancer, birth control pills (oral contraceptives), recent surgery, high altitudes, and advanced age.
Treatment guidelines for DVT diagnosed during pregnancy is anticoagulation (anti-clotting) drugs, usually, low-molecular-weight heparins. DVT treatment may need to be continued postpartum. Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven) should not be used to treat DVT during pregnancy because it can harm the developing fetus.
What Are the 3 Rarest Blood Types?The red blood cells or RBCs present in the blood carry certain molecules, called antigens, on their surface that determine what blood group you have. The antigens depend on the genes you inherit from your parents. These antigens may be grouped in various categories to form a system for blood typing called the ABO system.
When Are Elbow and Above-Elbow Amputations Performed?The surgical removal of an elbow or the arm above the elbow joint is called elbow amputation. Elbow and above-elbow amputations may be performed for the following reasons: peripheral vascular disease (PVD), risk factors include diabetes and blood clots, osteomyelitis (an infection in the bones), severe injury or accidents, surgery to remove tumors or infected area from bones and muscles. The complications are generally prevented or successfully managed.
Yosprala (aspirin and omeprazole)Yosprala is a prescription medicine used in people who have had heart problems or strokes caused by blood clots, to help reduce their risk of further heart problems or strokes, and who are at risk of developing stomach ulcers with aspirin. Yosprala can cause serious side effects, including stomach and intestine problems, kidney failure, liver problems, low vitamin B-12 levels, low magnesium levels, and stomach growths (fundic gland polyps).