Blood clotting, or coagulation, is usually a normal and necessary process, which stops the bleeding in case of injuries or cuts, as Mayo Clinic explains. In fact, we have all experienced and seen blood clots, particularly in the form of bruises. Nevertheless, blood clotting may also occur without any good reason and cause major health issues, such as heart attacks and strokes, among others.

That is why you should learn to recognize the most common symptoms of a dangerous blood clot in order to act on time and prevent any further complications.

The following are some of the symptoms of a serious blood clot you should watch out for:

  1. Swelling in one limb

A common symptom of a type of blood clot that disrupts the normal blood flow in the circulatory system is the occurrence of a swelling in the limb. This type of blood clot is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and according to Prevention it poses great danger to one’s health as it inhibits the oxygen delivery to organs in the body.

An alarming fact is that more than 900,000 Americans suffer from DVT on a yearly basis, while up to 100,000 are victims to this health issue every year, as estimated by the American Society of Hematology. Considering these numbers, it is indispensable to learn the common symptoms and risk factors of blood clotting.

  1. Leg pain or tenderness

Another common symptom of DVT is pain or tenderness felt in the leg, as the National Blood Alliance informs. This symptom often resembles a Charley horse or a cramp.

  1. Red streaks on your skin

Bruises are a type of blood clot, as it was explained at the beginning of the article. However, if there are any red streaks along your veins, you should be alarmed. These are definitely not normal bruises and if you have them, you should consult a doctor immediately. In the case of red streaks, the limb is often warm to the touch.

  1. Chest pain with deep breathing

If you experience sharp pains in the chest while taking deep breaths, this might be a warning sign of a blood clot in the lungs, according to the National Blood Clot Alliance. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention, as this type of blood clot could be fatal.

  1. Shortness of breath

In the case of blood clot in the lungs, besides chest pain, shortness of breath might also be experienced. Other accompanying symptoms might include racing heart, fluttering in the chest, and dizziness. Provided that you experience any of these, you should seek medical attention right away.

  1. Unexplained cough

In the case of unexplained cough, you should pay attention to your breath, chest, and heart rate. Provided that your cough is accompanied by these symptoms, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

  1. Severe headache

A common symptom of blood clot in the brain is the occurrence of a sudden, severe headache, along with vision and speaking problems.

  1. Abdominal pain

You might have a blood clot in your abdomen if you experience severe pain and swelling in this area. Nevertheless, this can also be a sign of stomach virus or food poisoning.

What are the risk factors?

Certain factors may contribute to increased risk of having a blood clot. For example, a longer hospital stay, especially one due to a surgery, may increase the chances of experiencing one.

Additional Risk Factors:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Being over the age of 65
  • Cancer
  • Prolonged bed rest or sedentary lifestyle
  • Certain birth control pills