3. Serious Illness
While hospital stays from various injuries can lead to blood clots, even illnesses that don’t leave you bedridden can result in increased risk. For example, certain types of cancer fall into this category. Other illnesses include inflammatory bowel diseases, HIV, or even diabetes. In addition to their other symptoms, these diseases may cause blood clotting, so it may be wise to get tested for clots for those who have such maladies. Serious physical injuries may also result in blood clots in unusual spots; do not be afraid to bring such things up with a medical professional.
Generally, once a serious illness comes into play, regular contact with a doctor is advised. This can make keeping an eye on potential blood clots relatively easy. Blood tests can help to determine the presence of clots, and allow for a solution before any serious harm has occurred. Of course, if you have recently been injured or are suffering from a long-term illness, keeping track of any changes in your body, like pain, redness, or swelling, isn’t just good for your illness, but could alert you to the presence of a dangerous clot.
2. Family History
If there is a history in your family of blood clots, it stands to reason that you will have an increased risk of developing them yourself. Genetics are powerful, and unlike a number of other factors, we simply do not have any means to change what we inherit. Generally, blood clots occur in situations where the blood is thicker. With that knowledge in mind, if there is a family history of blood clots in your family, it is worth the time to discover if a disorder is the culprit behind thicker blood, and therefore an increased likelihood of clotting.
While we cannot do much about our genetics, one thing we can do is know the risks. Being aware of any clot experiences in our family, particularly those that did not come from a particular injury or one of the aforementioned illnesses, can at least paint a more clear picture of the potential risks. If it is determined that one has a blood disorder or some other factor that makes clots more likely, it is even more important to receive regular checkups and make the proper lifestyle choices mentioned in the other sections to decrease the risk of a serious clot.
1. Personal History
This one should come as a no-brainer, but unfortunately, if you have a personal history of blood clots, then it’s possible that you will have them again. This is especially the case if the clots do not result from a particular injury, as many of the other risks for blood clots (Weight, serious illnesses, genetics) are lifelong, or at least chronic conditions. However, it’s not just the presence of risk factors that can lead to recurrent clots. The clots themselves can cause serious damage to the veins, which then leads to situations where blood clots are more likely to form.
For those who have already experienced a blood clot, unfortunately, there is about a 33 percent chance that another blood clot will occur within ten years. Even so, all hope is not lost. Avoiding other factors that contribute to blood clots, as well as receiving regular checkups, can help you to manage your health in such a way that decreases the chance of recurrent blood clots. All in all, this reinforces the importance of a healthy lifestyle, which may help to keep the incident of a blood clot as a one-time thing, rather than something of a chronic illness.
All in all, blood clots can cause serious, life-threatening problems. There are many risk factors that increase the likelihood of experiencing a dangerous blood clot, and unfortunately, some of them cannot be avoided. However, for the inevitable factors like genetics, or a personal history of clots, being informed can help prevent future clots. Furthermore, quitting smoking can help circulatory system health. Likewise, eating healthy and getting regular exercising, both to get to a healthy weight, but also to remain active and avoid being sedentary in general, can decrease the likelihood of DVT or other instances of blood clots.