A blood clot may form also in your heart, however, it happens less commonly. When a blood clot forms in your heart, you will feel pain in your chest, you will be short of breath, and feel lightheaded. A blood clot in your heart may lead to a heart attack too.
Swelling of the abdomen and strong pain in this area may be the signs of a blood clot in your abdomen. Do not panic, though, as these might be the symptoms of food poisoning or a stomach virus too. A blood clot may also develop in brain, which is more commonly known as a stroke. It is a life-threatening state, which requires emergency medical care. A stroke will cause strong headache accompanied by other symptoms, for example, sudden speaking or seeing difficulties.
A blood clot can also develop in your lungs and it is known as a pulmonary embolism then. It causes quite clear symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate or palpitations. You may also have problems with breathing or cough up blood.
Who Is at The Risk of Developing a Blood Clot
Before you find out what the common causes of a blood clot are, have a look who is at the greatest risk of developing a blood clot. Generally, it can be stated that prolonged immobility is the main factor which leads to blood clots. Therefore, people who have stayed at a hospital and have been immobile due to their health condition are at a higher risk of developing a blood clot.
Age also matters as people who are over sixty-five develop a blood clot more often than younger individuals. Leading a sedentary lifestyle, frequent travelling in one position for many hours put you in the risk group too. Sometimes genetics matters as if there is a history of blood clots in your family, it is more probable that you develop the condition too.
Other factors which put you at the risk of getting a blood clot include pregnancy, obesity, smoking cigarettes, dealing with cancer, and taking some of the birth control pills.
The Most Common Causes of Blood Clot in Arm
Blood clots develop as the consequence of damage which happens to your blood vessel. The wall tissue of your damaged vessel produces substances which go into your blood to attract platelets to deal with the initial damage site. When a blood clot forms in your arm, it may indicate that waxy cholesterol built up in your arteries.
Generally, blood clots which develop in your arm may be either primary or secondary ones, depending on the cause of the blood clot. A primary blood clot happens rarely and is usually the result of so called effort thrombosis, also known as Paget-Schroetter syndrome. If this is the cause, you develop a blood clot due to a strenuous physical activity, such as weightlifting, wrestling, baseball pitching, or rowing. A primary blood clot may also be idiopathic, which means that one clear cause or trigger cannot be identified.
Secondary blood clots are much more common as they make up around eighty percent of all the cases. They occur when some factor disturbs the vein or artery, causing a blood clot. The most common triggers for a secondary blood clot include pacemakers, central venous catheters, and tumors.
Moreover, as it has already been mentioned in the previous section, the most common cause of a blood clot is prolonged immobility. Therefore, if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, for example due to the type of your work, you may develop a blood clot more easily. If you are obese, pregnant, or you are an elderly person, you are at a greater risk of developing a blood clot too.
How Is a Blood Clot in Arm Diagnosed
The problem with a blood clot is that it often does not cause any worrying symptoms until it gets dangerous and may be life-threatening. Therefore, if you are in the risk group, for example when you are immobile at a hospital after some surgery, your doctor will carefully watch you for any symptoms of a blood clot.
If you notice any alarming symptoms on your own, either at home or at a hospital, do not hesitate to consult your doctor on this matter. A physical examination and a medical interview are the first things your doctor will do. He will ask you detailed questions about your symptoms and about your medical history.
Then, he will probably order you to do an imaging test to look for a blood clot in your arm. The fastest and easiest test to check if a blood clot developed in your arm is an ultrasound. During the test, your veins and skin are penetrated thanks to sound waves. The method is inexpensive, quick, and it gives reliable results.