Blood Clot Symptoms: How Do You Know if You Have One?

Written by Resurchify | Updated on: February 20, 2023

Blood Clot Symptoms: How Do You Know if You Have One?

A blood clot is a collection of blood that has undergone a state shift, going from liquid to semisolid or gel-like. Clotting is an essential procedure that might stop you from losing too much blood, for instance, after getting a cut. There are times when a blood clot in one of your veins won't go away on its own. This circumstance has the potential to be extremely hazardous and perhaps fatal.

Although a blood clot that is immobile usually won't hurt you, there is a potential that it could move and become harmful. A blood clot can become caught and stop blood flow if it escapes and travels through your veins to your heart and lungs. A medical emergency has occurred.

Blood coagulation abnormalities, which make your blood clot more frequently than usual, can be quite dangerous. Depending on which part of your body the blood clot has damaged, you could feel various symptoms. In order to determine whether you have a blood clotting condition, your doctor will interview you about your symptoms and do tests.

Blood clots can be brought on by a variety of factors, and the cause will typically depend on the type of clot. Blood clots in your arteries are typically brought on by fragments of plaque, which are composed of fat or mineral deposits and break off to obstruct blood flow. Vein clots can develop for a larger range of reasons, including:

  • Immobility or lack of movement
  • Sickness or injury to the region where the clot originates
  • A shattered bone
  • Obesity
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Hereditary or genetic conditions that alter how your blood clots
  • Certain drugs, such as birth control or hormone therapy

Your risk of developing a blood clot is increased by a number of risk factors. Your risk of a blood clot is increased by previous hospital stays, especially if they were lengthy or connected to major surgery. The following common causes can put you at a moderate risk for a blood clot:

  • Age, especially if you are over 65
  • Long travel, such as any travels that required you to sit for longer than 4 hours
  • Bed rest or being sedentary for an extended amount of time
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Blood clots in the family
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Specific birth control medications are some risk factors.

Whether a blood clot is in an artery or a vein, and depending on its size, different signs and symptoms will be present. In addition to chest pain, shortness of breath, and dizziness, they might also involve swelling, skin tenderness and warmth. Symptom severity varies according to the aetiology as well.

A blood clot might exist in some persons without any obvious symptoms. But if you do experience symptoms, they may vary depending on whether the blood clot is in your arm or leg, lungs, heart, or brain.

Arms and Legs

It may be something known as a deep vein thrombosis when a blood clot develops in one of the deep veins in your arm or leg, far below the surface of your skin (DVT). The risk there is that the clot will move to your heart or lungs.

If you haven't moved around much for a while, such as following surgery or during a protracted flight, you're more likely to get a DVT. If any of these symptoms appear, get immediate medical attention:

  • Swelling. The entire leg or arm may swell up, or it may just happen where the blood clot forms.
  • The colour varies. A red or blue tint or an itching sensation on your arm or leg may be apparent.
  • Pain. You may hurt or feel sore as the clot worsens. The sensation might be anything from a slight ache to excruciating pain. Your arm, belly, or even leg could throb with discomfort.
  • Skin that is warm. The skin around sore areas or in the arm or leg with the DVT may feel warmer than adjacent skin.
  • Breathing difficulties. If this occurs, it may indicate that the clot has travelled from your arm or leg to your lungs. Additionally, you can get a severe cough and perhaps cough up blood. You can feel lightheaded or get chest pain. To receive immediate medical assistance, call the ambulance.
  • Lower-leg pain It may feel like you have a cramp or charley horse if the clot is in your calf or lower leg.
  • Prickly swelling. Edema, or a buildup of fluid, can result from DVT in the arms or legs. In the case of DVT, it frequently occurs swiftly. A dimple or "pit" (pitting) that lasts for a short while can be produced when you press on the swollen area.
  • Veins with swelling and discomfort. Being touched could make the agony worse.


Your heart attack could be brought on by a blood clot that develops in or near your ticker. Keep an eye out for signs like these:

  • Chest pain or discomfort: The left or centre of the chest typically experiences discomfort during a heart attack. Usually, the discomfort persists for a long time or disappears just to return. It may feel like discomfort, squeezing, pressure, or fullness. Additionally, it may feel like indigestion or heartburn.
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper body: This might include the back, shoulders, neck, jaw, one or both arms, or the upper section of the stomach.
  • Shortness of breath: This symptom may be the only one you experience, or it may come before or concurrently with tightness in the chest. It might happen when you are sleeping or engaging in a brief physical exercise.
  • Feeling a cold sweat coming on
  • Feeling excessively exhausted without cause, sometimes for days (especially women)
  • Lightheadedness or a sudden feeling of dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting


A blood clot that goes to your lung usually originates in a deep vein in your arm or leg before breaking off and making its way there. You develop what is known as a pulmonary embolism, which is a very severe condition, when this occurs. If you experience any of the following, seek immediate medical attention:

  • Experience any breathing pain
  • Cough
  • Sweat
  • Feel dizzy
  • Sudden onset chest pain
  • Sudden onset strong back pain crossing to chest
  • Unprovoked shoulder pain
  • Sudden neck pain
  • Blood in your coughing fit
  • Sudden dwindling of energy
  • Suddenly feeling like fainting
  • Feeling lightheaded when sitting up
  • Having a racing heart
  • Having low blood pressure
  • Having a slight fever
  • Actually fainting
  • Experiencing abrupt shortness of breath
  • Running out of breath while exercising
  • Breathing quickly
  • Falling down

Any sort of chest pain can be a warning sign of pulmonary embolism if it develops suddenly. Pulmonary embolism chest pain is typically sharp, although any type of chest pain can be. You can see that the majority of the symptoms of a pulmonary embolism occur suddenly when you review the list of symptoms and signs. A lot depends on this. The symptoms of a blood clot in the lung begin suddenly. You experience that symptom right away if a clot restricts blood flow in a blood vessel in your lung. Consider a pulmonary embolism as a possibility if you experience any of the symptoms on the list that appear suddenly.


Fatty buildup in the walls of the blood vessels that carry blood to your brain may be the cause of blood clots in this area. Or, on occasion, they could develop as a result of a head injury that causes a concussion. In some instances, a blood clot that originates in a different area of your body, such as your neck or chest, may enter your bloodstream and go to your brain, where it can result in a stroke.

Blood clot signs that might portend a stroke include:

  • Sudden loss, blurring, or dimming of vision
  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body
  • Slurred speech or inability to speak
  • An intense headache that comes on suddenly
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, falling, or a loss of coordination
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially if any of the aforementioned symptoms are present
  • Paralysis
  • Difficulty comprehending others
  • Difficulty walking
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Sudden behavioural changes, especially increased agitation
  • Vision issues such as trouble seeing in one or both eyes with vision blackened or blurred, or double vision
  • Sudden behavioural changes, especially increased agitation


In addition to the affected foot becoming numb, blood clots in the feet might also result in foot redness or swelling. A blood clot may have developed in the foot if a foot ache that is throbbing and does not go away with rest appears to be present. The presence of a blood clot may also be indicated by a sharp, shooting pain when you flex your foot. The veins on the surface of the foot may also enlarge.

  • Discoloration in the vicinity of the blood clot and the area below it is frequently seen when a blood clot is present. If a clot is seen in its early stages, the discoloration appears red when contrasted to the identical region on the other foot. The discolouration could take on a pale or dark appearance in the later stages of a clot.
  • Another typical symptom of a blood clot is swelling, or edoema, within the foot. Lower leg swelling can be a regular occurrence in many people. Elevating the foot to a level above the heart is one technique to rule out the possibility that it is caused by other, more typical causes of ankle or foot swelling. An existing blood clot may be present if the swelling does not go down following simple elevation.
  • An area with a blood clot typically feels warm. Always check the leg that is injured from the thigh to the toes.
  • The presence of a blood clot in the foot may cause an uncomfortable ankle swelling that may extend to the calf area.
  • A common indicator of a blood clot in the foot when a visit to the doctor may be necessary is the appearance of red skin patches on the affected foot.
  • A blood clot may be present if there are instances of loss of sensation or feeling in the affected foot.
  • A abrupt rise in the temperature of the affected area is another symptom of a blood clot in the foot (warm when touched).
  • Fatigue, which frequently shows up in the later stages, is another symptom that patients who formed a blood clot in their foot are likely to encounter. This occurs as a result of the body's defensive mechanisms working excessively hard to remove the blood clot.


Veins that drain blood from your intestines may develop blood clots. Infections like diverticulitis or liver illness, as well as birth control drugs, may be the culprits. How are you going to know if this is happening? Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following issues:

  • Nausea or diarrhoea
  • Severe abdominal discomfort, which may get worse after eating
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • A sense of being bloated
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • On-and-off abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • A buildup of abdominal fluid, known as ascites.


Your kidneys may be unable to eliminate waste from your body if they have a blood clot in them. It might potentially result in renal failure or excessive blood pressure. Watch out for these signs because this is risky:

  • Achy legs, thighs, or the side of your stomach
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Sudden, severe limb swelling
  • Trouble breathing
  • Blood in your urine
  • A fever
  • Nausea, and/or vomiting.

A person with renal vein thrombosis may feel pain in their upper back, have less urine produced, or have blood in their urine. If the clot has reached the lungs, symptoms such as chest pains and shortness of breath may appear. Other signs include elevated blood pressure, fever, a strong pain down one side of the body, or an enlarged kidney. Some persons who acquire renal vein thrombosis do so without ever exhibiting any symptoms.


Symptoms differ from person to person because blood clots that form in the belly might target a number of organs. There is a chance that some people won't ever have any symptoms at all. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which blood clots form in the abdomen. DVT can result in the following symptoms:

  • Sporadic stomach discomfort
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stools
  • Bloating or enlargement in the abdomen
  • Abdominal fluid buildup, or ascites

Even while these signs of a clot are possible, they might also appear due to other diseases. A doctor may want to rule out alternative explanations, such as food poisoning or a stomach virus, before determining that you have an abdominal blood clot.

The most typical signs of a blood clot are:

The location of the clot in your body will determine the symptoms you experience. Some individuals might not have any symptoms at all. Blood clots can develop in:

  • Abdomen: Blood clots in the abdomen can hurt or make you feel sick to your stomach.
  • Arms or legs: Touching a blood clot in the arm or leg may cause pain or tenderness. Other typical symptoms of blood clots include swelling, redness, and warmth.
  • Brain: Depending on which section of the brain is affected, blood clots in the brain (strokes) can result in a variety of symptoms. These clots may result in speech or vision issues, difficulty moving or feeling one side of your body, and even seizures.
  • Heart or lungs: A blood clot in the heart can produce heart attack symptoms such as severe chest pain, perspiration, pain that radiates down the left arm, and/or shortness of breath. Chest pain, breathing problems, and even blood coughing are all signs that a blood clot in the lungs may be present.

Types of Blood Clot

Blood is transported throughout your body by veins and arteries, which are part of your circulatory system. Veins or arteries may become home to blood clots. There are mainly two types of blood clots that are mentioned below-

Arterial Clot

An arterial embolism is a blood clot that develops in an artery. This kind of clot manifests symptoms right away and necessitates urgent care. Aside from pain and a pale colour in the arm or leg, other signs of an arterial clot include a cold sensation in the affected area, a diminished or absent pulse, paralysis or lack of movement in the affected area, blisters on the skin surrounding the affected artery, shedding of the skin, skin erosions or ulcers, and discoloration or damage (necrosis) of the surrounding skin.

Venous Clot

A venous embolism is a blood clot that develops in a vein. Though they may form more gradually over time, these blood clots can still be fatal. Swelling is one of the signs of a venous blood clot; tenderness or pain; a rise in body temperature; cramping or aching; and red or discoloured skin, these are other symptoms of venous clot.

DVT is the most harmful variety of venous clot. In DVT, a clot develops in a significant vein deep within the body. The most typical place for this to occur is in one of your legs, although other places include arms; pelvis; lungs; brain.

DVT and pulmonary embolism, a venous clot that affects the lungs, are both thought to afflict up to 900,000 Americans annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Every year, almost 100,000 Americans perish from these blood clots.


The signs of a blood clot can look like those of other illnesses. Several tests are used by doctors to find blood clots and/or rule out alternative causes.

  • Blood tests might occasionally be done to rule out a blood clot if your doctor has a suspicion that one exists.
  • A clear view of your veins and blood flow is provided by ultrasound.
  • A chest, abdominal, or head CT scan can be done to confirm whether you have a blood clot. This imaging examination can aid in eliminating other possible reasons of your symptoms.
  • Similar to a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) is an imaging procedure. An MRA focuses on the blood vessels specifically.
  • V/Q scans examine the flow of blood and air through the lungs.


Preventing the blood clot from growing or rupturing free is the aim of treatment for blood clots, particularly DVTs. Treatment can lower your risk of getting further blood clots in the future.

The best course of action will depend on where the blood clot is and how dangerous it is to you. Your physician might advise:

  • Medication: Blood thinners and anticoagulants work together to stop blood clots from developing. Drugs referred to as thrombolytics can dissolve blood clots that have already developed in cases of life-threatening blood clots.
  • Compression stockings: These form-fitting, tightly cuffed stockings provide pressure to the legs to help minimise leg edoema or stop blood clots from developing.
  • Surgical: In a catheter-directed thrombolysis technique, experts route a catheter (a long tube) to the blood clot. For the purpose of aiding clot dissolution, the catheter administers medication right to the clot. Doctors gently remove a blood clot during thrombectomy surgery using specialised equipment.
  • Stents: Medical professionals can decide whether a stent is required to keep a blood vessel open.
  • Vena cava filters: In situations where a person is unable to take blood thinners, a filter is inserted into the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body, to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs.

The body naturally clots blood as a defence mechanism. Since it reduces excessive blood loss during injuries, it is quite helpful. However, blood clots that do not break up naturally can be extremely dangerous to your health. Blood clot risk can be raised by a variety of variables, including hypertension, smoking, inflammatory conditions, and more. Your doctor could recommend treatment to lessen your risk of developing a blood clot if you have risk factors.

The symptoms of a blood clot differ depending on where it has formed. Blood clot symptoms in the leg should not be disregarded, even though blood clots in the brain, heart, and lungs can be fatal. The heart and lungs can become the destination of a blood clot that forms in a deep vein of the arm or leg. Deep vein thrombosis is the name of the condition, which can be lethal. The diagnosis and treatment of blood clots must therefore be carefully considered.



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