What Is A Blood Clot or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) 2018
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I'm Dr. Frita. What do NeNe Leeks, Tamar Braxton, and Kim Zolciak all have in common? They have all had blood clots in the past. What is a blood clot? Can you die from a blood clot? Keep watching.
When I asked what NeNe Leakes and Kim Zolciak have in common, if you've been watching this season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, you're probably thinking not much, but both of these ladies have had blood clots in the past. NeNe in 2013, and Kim in 2015 while she was on Dancing with the Stars. Both Kim and NeNe are young, active, healthy-looking women, and we know at least one of them is very rich, so why would they have blood clots? What is a blood clot?
Blood clots cause more than 60 thousand deaths in the U.S. each year, yet most people know very little about them. Today I'm going to help change all that, because over the next several minutes I'm going to give a general overview on blood clots.
A blood clot, or venous thrombosis, occurs when the blood clumps together and forms a clot in the vein. Because this clots usually blocks the flow of blood in the vein, it can cause a backup of blood, kind of like a traffic jam, and then this can cause pain and swelling in the extremity, or the leg, or wherever the blood clot is. Most blood clots occur in the larger, deeper veins in the legs. They're called DVTs. Deep venous thrombosis. Now, the thing about these blood clots is that they can break off, and they can travel to the lungs, and to the heart. If a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lung it is called a pulmonary embolism. This is what NeNe and Tamar Braxton had.
What puts you at risk for blood clots? The risk factors are immobility, or being sedentary, so if you're a person who travels a lot, for example, and you're sitting in the airplane for prolonged periods of time, or sitting in a car for a long car trip, at that time your legs are immobile or sedentary, and this puts you at risk for a blood clot. Other risk factors include pregnancy, obesity, smoking. Also, if you're taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy you're at risk for a blood clot. Cancer puts you at risk. If you've had a blood clot in the past you are at risk for a blood clot. Other risk factors are heart failure, recent surgery, and some genetic diseases will predispose you to blood clots.
How do you know if you have a blood clot? Some symptoms include pain in the area of the clot, swelling. Now, for the swelling you can have swelling in both legs for example, but usually a blood clot will occur in one leg at a time, so if you're looking down at your legs, and one leg is swollen more than the other, you could have a blood clot. Also, redness, and warmth in the area of the blood clot are symptoms, and some people even get fevers with a blood clot. If this blood clot does travel to your lung, if you have a pulmonary embolism, or pulmonary emboli, then you can also become short of breath, dizzy, lightheaded, fatigued, and you can get a very rapid beating of your heart.
How do you diagnose a blood clot? If you're having any of the symptoms I described then you need to contact your doctor immediately, or just go to the emergency room right away. When you get to the doctor they can diagnose your blood clot by doing either compression ultrasonography, or doing a Doppler to see if you have a blood clot. There are other tests as well that they can do, like CAT Scans or MRIs, or even more invasive testing. If your doctor is suspicious of you having a blood clot in your lungs then they can start off with a chest x-ray, but more specifically they can do a VQ Scan or a specialized CT Scan with IV contrast to see if you have a blood clot.
This ends my brief overview of blood clots. Please comment down below. Like my video, share my video, subscribe to my page, and tell me what else you'd like for me to discuss. Now you know what NeNe, Kim and Tamar Braxton all have in common. As for you, I want you to prioritize yourselves. Go to your doctor. Find out if you're at risk for blood clots. Pay attention to yourself, and your health. Do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life. I'll see you next time. I'm Dr. Frita.