what-does-it-feel-like-when-you-have-a-blood-clot-in-your-leg-dvt
18,22
What Does It Feel Like When You Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg (DVT)?

What Does It Feel Like When You Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg (DVT)?

Last Reviewed : 01/11/2021
What Does It Feel Like When You Have a Blood Clot in Your Leg (DVT)?

 

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in one or more of your deep veins.

  • Since DVT can be very serious or even fatal, if the blood clot gets loose and reaches your lung, early diagnosis of DVT and subsequent adequate treatment with anticoagulants is very important.

  • You may feel leg pain or cramps, swelling, tenderness, warmth, redness in your leg when you have a blood clot. These signs and symptoms occur in the affected leg when the clot obstructs blood flow and causes inflammation. However, some DVT episodes produce no or just a few symptoms, making early diagnosis clinically challenging.

 

      What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of blood clots in one or more of your body's deep veins, most commonly in one of your leg veins. It can occur when there is stasis of blood or when blood coagulation is altered or when the wall of your vein is injured causing a sluggish blood circulation and the formation of a blood clot. A blood clot is a clump of blood that obstructs the blood flow in your vein either partially or completely, and in severe cases, it can lead to pulmonary embolism, if parts of the blood clot get detached, circulates through venous blood into your heart, and then into your lungs, which can be life-threatening.

 

What increases the risk of developing DVT?

Several factors can increase your risk of developing DVT. These factors can be either acquired or genetic. DVT is more prevalent in the elderly above 60 years of age; although it can occur at any age. It is also more prevalent in men than women and in African Americans and Caucasians than Asians and White Americans.

      Acquired risk factors include:

  • Experiencing recent major trauma.

  • Having a heart disease.

  • Having cancer.

  • Major surgery.

  • Obesity.

  • Oral contraceptive pills or hormonal therapy.

  • Pregnancy.

  • A prolonged period of bed rest or paralysis.

  • Prolonged periods of sitting.

  • Smoking. 

Genetic risk factors: Thrombophilia is an inherited blood clotting disorder, which is caused by one or more genetic risk factors or mutations that make a person susceptible to DVT and Pulmonary Embolism (PE). These factors include deficiencies in anticoagulation factors such as protein C, protein S, and anti-thrombin. They also include other mutations such as Factor V Leiden and prothrombin gene mutations.  About one-third of the patients experiencing DVT have at least one of these genetic mutations.

 

What are the warning signs that you might be experiencing DVT?

The first symptom of DVT is leg pain that is throbbing in nature and unilateral since it's very rare to experience DVT in both limbs. However, leg pain can be caused by many other causes. But if you are experiencing DVT then as the pain gets more intense, you will notice that the surrounding skin starts to turn red or even brown and become swollen. Shortly after that, the whole area becomes warm and tender to touch.

If you experience any of these symptoms or signs, you should seek medical care as soon as possible, to avoid the development of complications.

The most serious complication is pulmonary embolism; it happens when part of the blood clot becomes loose and moves with the bloodstream reaching the lungs. If this happens, you will probably experience one or more of these symptoms: chest pain, racing of your heartbeat, shortness of breath, and sudden coughing. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

 

Conclusion:

Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT is a condition, which occurs when a thrombus or blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins. These clots typically form in the thigh or lower leg, but can also develop in other areas of the body. There is a possibility for the blood clots to travel through the bloodstream and lodge in the lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism), this can be lifethreatening and needs immediate medical attention. If you have any of the above mentioned symptoms and signs, seek advice of a medical professional as soon as possible.

 

References:

1. Office of the Surgeon General (US); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (US). The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism. Rockville (MD): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2008. INTRODUCTION: Definitions of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism.

Abdulrahman Abas Osman et al; Deep venous thrombosis: a literature review. Int J Clin Exp Med 2018;11(3):1551-1561

Office of the Surgeon General (US); National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (US). The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism. Rockville (MD): Office of the Surgeon General (US); 2008. SECTION I: Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism as Major Public Health Problems.

Stone, J., Hangge, P., Albadawi, H., Wallace, A., Shamoun, F., Knuttien, M. G., Naidu, S., &Oklu, R. (2017). Deep vein thrombosis: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and medical management. Cardiovascular diagnosis and therapy7(Suppl 3), S276–S284. https://doi.org/10.21037/cdt.2017.09.01

 

Please leave your comments:



Related Articles