Tuesday, 15 July 2014

10 Signs You May Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg

By: Anna Fleet

They might not sound very life threatening, but a blood clot that develops in the deep veins of your leg, if left untreated and unable to dissolve of its own volition, may detach and travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (or PE).
In most cases, a leg blood clot will form due to lengthy periods of travel, for example if you remain immobile in cramped spaces—such as an airplane or bus—with few opportunities to stretch your legs or get up and walk around.
Here are ten signs that you may have a dangerous blood clot in your leg…

1. Redness

A slight discoloration of the skin in the area of the clot is often one of the first signs of the formation of a thrombus (or clot) deep in a vein.

2. Swelling

Likewise, painful swelling may occur at the site of the clot—particular if it develops in the leg, ankle, or calf area.

3. Warm Skin

Blood clotting will often cause a temperature change—in leg clots it the skin near the area may increase in temperature and become warm.

4. Fainting

Fainting and dizzy spells may occur if the body is unable to dissolve the blood clot naturally, on its own or if it detaches and travels towards the lungs. In this case, breathing may become labored.

5. Increased Heart Rate

As the leg clot grows in size, the body will attempt to eradicate it and the vital organs, like the heart, will work and pump harder resulting in an accelerated heartbeat.
 

6. Fatigue

Any illness, such as a blood clot, will have the body’s defense systems working overtime, which may result in fatigue or exhaustion for no apparent reason (i.e., physical exertion).

7. Fever

A blood clot, particularly if it detaches and enters the blood stream, may cause a mild or low grade fever.

8. Tenderness

Oftentimes the skin surrounding the clot, even though it’s deep within the leg, may become quite tender to the touch with no evidence of bruising on the skin surface.

9. No Symptoms

Approximately half of those experiencing a blood clot in the leg (or deep vein thrombosis) have little or no symptoms at all.

10. Distended Veins

Sometimes, a particularly stubborn blood clot will show itself via distention or in surface veins in or around the area of the leg where it’s developing.