Blood clots are semi-solid clumps of blood that form in the veins or arteries.
They can be stationary (known as thrombus) and block the flow of blood, or they can break free (known as embolism) and travel through the body.
This is a risk that can develop in hundreds of people. Generally, the effects that increase the risk of developing blood clots are: taking oral contraceptives, long immobility, being obese, smoking, being over 60 years old, pregnancy, family history with blood clots, some cancers, trauma, chronic inflammatory diseases and diabetes.
Deep vein thrombosis, which usually occurs in a major vein in the leg, does not have any symptoms, but you may notice heat at the site of the clot, tenderness or pain in the leg, swelling, or red or purple skin.
A pulmonary embolism is a clot that travels through the veins and ends up in the lungs. It can be fatal. Some of its most common symptoms are severe chest pain, mainly when breathing, coughing up blood, fever, dizziness, rapid pulse, shortness of breath and unexplained sweating.
Arterial clots usually produce rapid symptoms because they begin to cut off oxygen to the organs. They can cause a variety of symptoms and complications, including heart attack, stroke, severe pain and paralysis.
Although not all blood clots can be prevented, there are some steps that can be taken to avoid them:
- Raise your legs above your heart several times when you are in bed.
- Stay active and follow an exercise regimen.
- Reduce salt in your diet.
- Change your position frequently when standing.
- Avoid sitting or standing for more than one hour.
- Avoid placing pillows under your knees.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Try to avoid hitting or injuring your legs.
It is always advisable to go to the doctor in case you have any symptoms and follow the instructions correctly.