Blood Clots: Know the Causes, Risks, Symptoms and Treatment

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Blood Clots: Know the Causes, Risks, Symptoms and Treatment

Your body goes through several changes, and a few of them can be a potential risk to your life. You may experience something unusual in your body, and you find out you have a blood clot in a certain area of your body. Blood clotting is one of the health conditions one may suffer from due to underlying diseases or normal bodily functions. Blood clots could either be benign or malignant in nature, depending upon the cause. Knowing its causes, risks, symptoms, and treatment could keep you informed beforehand so you can get the proper treatment to avoid aggravating it. Read on to get an overview of how blood coagulation happens and how to prevent it.

What is Clotting of Blood?

Blood clotting is a normal process that is also called the coagulation of blood. When a cut or an injury occurs, the body processes platelets (blood cells) that help clots to stop bleeding. Blood clots are gel-like lumps of blood that work as a clotting agent in your veins or arteries. Clotting is a process that saves you from over bleeding when you get an injury. They form in certain body areas and do not break down independently. Blood clots are essential in stopping continuous bleeding but can also result in life-threatening conditions such as stroke, heart attack and other major medical conditions.

A single blood clot is called a thrombus, and multiple blood clots are called thrombi. The clots either stay in one place or travel to the entire body, which is more dangerous than static clots. Arterial and vein clots are common blood clots in the human body.

Blood Clots that Pose the Health Risks

Blood clots are named by their origin or the parts of the body that they affect. Below mentioned are the types of blood clots that pose health risks- 

Thromboembolism: This blood clot breaks loose and gets stuck in a different blood vessel or other body parts, such as the legs or lungs.

Pulmonary Embolus: A blood clot that occurs elsewhere but travels and gets stuck in the lungs, potentially becoming life-threatening.

Deep Vein Thrombosis: A blood clot in legs, arms (limbs) or other deep veins.

Venous Thromboembolism: Venous thromboembolism occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein. It includes both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Cancer patients are usually at a greater risk of developing venous thromboembolism.

Blood Clot in Cancer Patients

Blood clots are prevalent among cancer patients due to the treatment and medications they have to take. However, certain kinds of cancer, such as lung or pancreatic cancer, pose a higher risk of developing blood clots. Also, cancer like metastatic cancer that spreads from its origin to other parts of the body increases the risk of blood clots. People with other medical conditions are at risk of having blood clots and having cancer multiplies the risk further. In some rare cases, there is a misdiagnosis of cancer when a person only has a blood clot.

>> Also Read: Health Insurance for Cancer Patients

Blood Clots Due to Medications or Treatments

Some medications may put you at risk for blood clots or have side effects that may lead to blood clots. Also, some vitamins, minerals, and other supplements might increase the risk of blood clotting. It is imperative to see your doctor and consult about the medications and the threat they pose. 

Major Risk Factors of Blood Clots

More factors also put you at risk of blood clots besides cancer and other health conditions. Major risk factors of blood clots are-

  • Old age
  • Pregnancy 
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle and lethargy
  • Hormone therapies or birth control pills
  • Obesity
  • Surgeries such as orthopaedic, abdominal or pelvis surgery
  • Hereditary 
  • Blood transfusions or red blood-cell-stimulating agents 
  • Infections

Symptoms of Blood Clots

Blood clots do not usually have symptoms, but consult your doctor immediately if you feel anything concerning. Here are a few common signs that you may experience-

  • Sudden pain in the chest 
  • Sudden pain and swelling in limbs
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Constant sweating or fever
  • Blood while coughing

Prevention of Blood Clot

Your doctor may prescribe medications to prevent your blood from clotting. Blood clots can be prevented by below mentioned tips-

  • Know your family history
  • Ask your doctor about preventive measures if you are bedridden or confined to a bed in a hospital due to illness or paralysis
  • Make a habit of moving from your place from time to time. Get up and move if you’ve been sitting for a long time or travelling for a long time. Stand up, stretch your legs and walk around in intervals.
  • Avoid gaining extra weight
  • Quit the consumption of alcohol and smoking 

Blood Clot Treatment

While treating blood clots, doctors always target to prevent the clot from breaking loose and growing in size. The right kind of treatment can lower the risk of developing more clots in the future. Your doctor recommends you the treatment according to the placement of the clot and whether it could cause harm. The kind of treatments are-

  • Medication: Blood thinners, such as anticoagulants, prevent blood clots from developing. Drugs, namely thrombolytics, are used to dissolve life-threatening blood clots in the body.
  • Compression and Support Stockings: Tight-fitting stockings help give pressure to reduce swelling or prevent blood clots in the legs from forming.
  • Surgery: In this procedure, doctors move a catheter (a long tube) to the blood clot. It delivers medicines directly to the clot to help it subside and dissolve eventually.
  • Stents: Looking at the patient’s condition, doctors may recommend a stent to keep your blood vessel open.
  • Filters: The patient might be unable to take blood thinners due to existing health conditions. In that case, the doctor filters the inferior vena cava to catch blood clots before they travel to the lungs by inserting a filter.

Will You be Covered Against Blood Clots by Your Health Insurance Plan?

Health insurance providers like Care Health Insurance ensure you don’t have to go through anything as devastating as being unable to arrange the money for the treatment. Thus, the plan Critical Illness Insurance is your absolute rescue if you are in such a situation. This plan provides a safety cushion to help you pay your hospital bills while recovering. So, wait no more and get the healthcare plan that protects you against catastrophes like blood clotting and many other severe health conditions.

Disclaimer: The above-mentioned information is for reference purposes only. Also, kindly consult a professional medical expert to verify the details of health concerns.

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