A blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is a potentially serious health. It can cause heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism if a clot breaks loose and enters the bloodstream. Especially if you spend a lot of time sitting down, blood clots in the legs may be a very real risk for you. If you’re pregnant, work in an office job, or spend extended hours driving, it’s especially important to learn and watch for the warning signs of blood clots in the legs.
Common warning signs
The symptoms you experience will depend on the size and location of the blood clot. It may simply be a spot that’s red and tender to the touch. You may experience minor swelling, and some discomfort for a small clot. It may barely seem worthy of notice.
More serious clots can be excruciatingly painful, and cause prominent swelling and redness. You may notice that parts of your leg, especially your feet and toes, may appear white or pale blue due to the lack of blood flow.
Any pain that you feel in association with a blood clot will probably be minimal to start. Over time, it will become more pronounced and noticeable. Exactly how bad it gets will depend on how much blood flow it restricts or stops. In many cases, you may simply experience what feels like muscle cramps.
Frequency of blood clot symptoms
While the symptoms of blood clot in the legs may seem relatively easy to notice and diagnose, it’s not always that simple. Anywhere from 30% to 50% of people who suffer from blood clots in their legs do not have any symptoms. This may be simply because the blood clot is too small to seriously restrict flow. Bear in mind, this does not mean that it’s not dangerous.
Blood clots that are caught somewhere in your legs might be dangerous where they are, but minimally so. It’s when they become dislodged that they can be deadly. A blood clot in the heart, brain or lungs can cause severe damage, often resulting in death or permanent impairment.
Warning signs of a loose blood clot
As bad as the symptoms of blood clots in your legs may be, it’s a definite danger sign if they suddenly diminish or disappear. This may mean that the clot has broken loose, and can become lodged somewhere else in your circulatory system. Treat this as a medical emergency, and have someone drive you to the emergency room immediately.
The symptoms of stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism vary greatly, but they are important to be familiar with if you have a clot or fall in a high-risk category for clots. Sudden pains, dizziness, shortness of breath or changes in your sight are among the most dangerous warning signs. Those most at risk are people with circulatory issues, those with a sedentary lifestyle, or people with problems such as diabetes or congestive heart disease.