Blood Clots in Legs
Do you experience acute pain in your legs, it may be a signal of blood clot formation in deeper veins of legs. Blood clot, medically termed as thrombus is a severe medical condition that can cause discomfort, pain and sometimes it may even be life-threatening. If the thrombus forms in the deep veins of the lower legs, this medical condition is termed as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots are a major hindrance to the blood supply to and from the heart to other vital organs of the body.
Blood clot formation in the major veins of legs inhibit the supply of impure blood from the lower body to the heart for purification. DVT is a common disorder in the United States and around 2 million people are diagnosed with this disorder every year. This condition can lead to a medical emergency due to pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is characterized as blood clots formed in legs, breaking off and traveling to the lungs. If the arteries of the lungs are blocked, symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain may occur.
Causes for Thrombus Formation in Legs:
What causes blood clots in legs is not clear, but some of the usual reasons and risk factors are given below:
- Age is one of the major risk factors of DVT. With aging, lining of the blood vessels deteriorate and can be prone to easy breakage and formation of thrombus.
- Trauma and damage to deeper veins of leg can also cause blood clot. Trauma may result due to fracture of hip, or leg bone.
- Family history of DVT can be one of the risk factors. Also, Factor V Leiden mutation, or genetic hypercoagulability, wherein blood is more prone to clot, can cause DVT.
- Prolonged sitting ideally while in an air journey can also cause thrombus formation anywhere in the body, but most likely in the deeper veins of the legs.
- Other causes such as obesity, cancer, hormone therapy, certain respiratory disorders, and prolonged immobility can be responsible to trigger blood clot formation in legs.
Symptoms of Blood Clots in Legs:
- One of the classic symptoms of thrombus in the deep veins of legs can be tender and swollen calf. Affected vein usually feels as a firm and thick cord.
- A person may experience pain and discomfort in legs and pain may gradually onset and worsen especially after bending the affected foot.
- The affected leg feels warmer than the other leg
- Skin discoloration in the affected area. Skin may have redness or become bluish red in color.
- Breathlessness, heart palpations, chest pain may be symptoms associated with PE that follows DVT disorder. However, these symptoms indicate a medical emergency and clinical intervention is required to avoid further complications.
Blood clots can form anywhere in the body. Blood is the fluid that carries vitamins and minerals to the cells and organs of the body. There are two types of blood vessels namely veins and arteries. Veins are classified into two types superficial veins and deep veins. Blood clot in deep vein system of legs is common ailment and can cause severe medical consequences. Nevertheless, blood clots in superficial veins may not have any serious consequence. Immediate attention should be paid to any of the above symptoms related to thrombus formation in legs.
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