Blood clot symptoms can be so confusing. They are mostly disguised as normal feelings such as light headedness and getting a little winded. It’s so hard to know when we’re just feeling off and when it’s something more serious. But when you feel these symptoms consistently, and multiple symptoms at once, you may want to get them checked by your doctor.
With varicose veins, you are more susceptible of developing blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis. This is because your vein walls have weakened and blood is pooling instead of circulating back toward your heart. This is why it’s super important to monitor all potential clot symptoms if you suffer from varicose veins, or chronic venous insufficiency.
Celebrities With Blood Clots
With blood clots, early detection is key, as some could lead to a stroke, no matter your age or health. Take superstar Hailey Beiber for instance. The seemingly healthy 25 year old actually had a mini stroke recently while eating breakfast. A blood clot had escaped her heart and went toward her brain, and thankfully she and her husband, Justin, noticed the symptoms immediately and got help in time.
YouTube star iJustine also had a recent scare because of a blood clot. She noticed her arms were a little swollen during dinner one night but thought nothing of it and went to bed. Of course her symptoms worsened overnight and she needed emergency clot-busting care at the emergency room. Again, she noticed symptoms and sought care, which very well may have saved her life.
Even tennis superstar Serena Williams, who seems like the epitome of health, had a serious blood clot scare. She had difficulty breathing and found out she had multiple blood clots in both of her lungs. Serena said if she had waited even a couple more days to seek treatment, it could have been career-ending.
While these are extreme scenarios, they both likely started with mild symptoms, which is why it’s so important we recognize them as early as possible.
Common Blood Clot Symptoms Experienced by Women
Here are five common blood clot symptoms experienced by women:
Shortness of Breath
This is a tricky one, as so many things can make us short of breath. But shortness of breath is a very common symptom of a blood clot. Just like in Serena Williams’ case, it could indicate a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lungs. While getting winded after a workout is normal, having difficulty breathing while being inactive isn’t.
Leg Pain, Swelling, and Redness
Again, varicose veins can lead to blood clots, which is why it’s so important to consistently monitor your legs if you have vein disease. If a clot is forming in your leg, you may feel redness, swelling, and a throbbing pain. The burning is caused by venous reflux, which is a key indicator that there are circulation issues in your legs, and the swelling is from blood pooling in your veins. If you have persistent burning, itching, swelling, or pain in your legs, it’s best to get them checked out as soon as possible.
Arm Swelling and Pain
If you notice pain, swelling and warmth in only one of your arms, you should probably contact your doctor. This is a tell-tale sign of a blood clot that could potentially lead to a stroke. This is what iJustine experienced, and luckily she received care in time.
Panic Attack and Dizziness
If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or perhaps like you’re having a panic attack, take note of your other symptoms. While heightened stress can cause these symptoms as well, they should never be overlooked. This could be a sign of a blood clot cutting off blood flow to your brain. Again, if you are experiencing other symptoms as well, it’s important to reach out to your doctor as soon as you can.
Sharp Pain in Your Chest
With a pulmonary embolism, you will feel a sharp pain in your chest. This is different from heart attack pain, which is more dull. The pain will likely get worse if you try taking a deep breath or cough. While most people confuse chest pain with heart attacks, heart attack pain is generally more dull. If you have chest pain from a blood clot, it will be sharp and will come quickly.
Tips to Prevent Blood Clots
The good news is that we can adapt our lifestyles in ways to prevent blood clots from happening. If you have varicose veins, getting your veins checked with a sonogram will show if there are any clots and bleeding, and there are many treatment options. You can also elevate your feet to improve circulation of blood back to your heart.
It’s also important to get moving — standing or sitting still for too long can possibly cause clotting. If you are traveling, especially on a road trip, take frequent breaks to walk around. Wearing compression stockings during flights will also help.
A healthy diet will also help keep your blood and circulation working optimally. Focus on superfoods like pineapple and greens. and vein-loving supplements like vitamins B, C, and E, horse chestnut, and cayenne.
If you have varicose veins and want to seek treatment, we are happy to set you up with one of our expert providers for a free consultation.
In summary — pay attention to any and all symptoms, and never assume it is “nothing.”