Blood Clot: What is it, Symptoms, Causes

At times blood clots are formed in an improper way, withing blood vessels, which can cause complications

Blood clots are a natural reaction of the body when we get physically hurt. In order for the body to not lose too much blood, the blood clots at the site of the wound. At times, these clots don’t dissolve and this can, at times, cause complications. Some of these complications can be life threatening too.

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot forms as a natural response to blood vessel injuries, where platelets and fibrin collaborate to control bleeding. At times these clots may be formed within the blood vessels and then they can become problematic. Understanding that blood clotting is a crucial part of the body’s healing mechanism helps emphasize the importance of balance in this process, Internal Medicine specialist Dr Suchismitha Rajamanya tells Health Shots.

What are the symptoms of a blood clot?

Some of the symptoms of blood clots include

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Redness

If you experience these symptoms particularly in the extremities, you must seek swift medical attention. “These signs serve as early warnings, enabling timely intervention to prevent potential complications associated with blood clot formation,” says Dr Rajanmanya.

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A woman holding her head
Headache is a common symptom of a blood clot in the brain. Image courtesy: Freepik

Symptoms of a blood clot in the abdomen

In the abdominal region, blood clot symptoms can present as

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools

Recognizing and acting upon these signs promptly is essential, as abdominal blood clots can lead to severe complications if left untreated.

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Symptoms of a blood clot in the brain

Symptoms indicating a potential blood clot in the brain, include:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vision problems

These highlight the urgency of seeking immediate medical attention. This emphasizes the critical nature of early intervention to minimize the risk of lasting neurological damage associated with strokes.

What causes of blood clots?

1. Venous Stasis

Immobility or specific health conditions causing sluggish blood flow contribute to the increased risk of clot formation. Recognizing these factors emphasizes the importance of staying active to maintain healthy circulation.

2. Hypercoagulability

Abnormalities in clotting factors or certain medical conditions elevate the likelihood of blood clots. This insight underscores the need for a comprehensive understanding of individual health profiles to mitigate clotting risks effectively.

3. Endothelial Damage

Injury to blood vessel linings, whether post-surgery or trauma, becomes a trigger for blood clot formation. Acknowledging this cause underscores the importance of careful post-operative care and trauma management.

Also Read: Covid-19 increases the risk of blood clots in pregnant women: Study

How to prevent blood clots?

Blood clots can be maintain inculcating some healthy habits in your lifestyle.

  • Maintaining an active lifestyle
  • Managing a healthy weight
  • Staying well-hydrated
  • Avoiding smoking
A woman vomiting.
Nausea and vomiting are symptoms of a blood clot in the abdomen. Image courtesy: Freepik

When to call the doctor?

Recognizing the urgency of seeking medical attention in situations involving sudden and severe pain or swelling in one limb, difficulty breathing, chest pain, or symptoms indicative of a stroke, underscores the need for immediate action, explains Dr Rajamanya. Timely medical intervention becomes crucial in preventing potentially severe outcomes associated with blood clot-related complications.

Complications of a blood clot

1. Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

The potential fatality associated with a blood clot reaching the lungs underscores the gravity of this complication. Emphasizing the need for vigilant monitoring and prevention strategies is crucial to reducing the risk of pulmonary embolism.

2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Understanding the serious complications arising from blood clot formation in deep veins, particularly in the legs, highlights the importance of early detection and intervention to mitigate the risks associated with DVT.

3. Stroke

The lasting neurological damage resulting from a blood clot impeding blood flow to the brain underscores the critical nature of swift medical response in suspected stroke cases. Recognizing the potential severity of stroke-related complications emphasizes the need for immediate intervention.

4. Organ Damage

The understanding that blood clots restricting blood supply can harm vital organs reinforces the importance of comprehensive medical care to prevent lasting damage. Recognizing and addressing this potential complication underscores the need for ongoing monitoring and management in clot-related cases.

5. Post-thrombotic Syndrome

Acknowledging the need for ongoing management in cases of persistent pain and swelling following DVT emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach to care. Recognizing the potential long-term impact of post-thrombotic syndrome underscores the need for continued medical attention and support.