Blood Clotting Disorder

Blood Clotting Disorder Image

Blood clotting occurs in healthy people when they are injured, to prevent blood from leaking out of vessels and to clog any holes in vessels. However, in some cases, blood clots can occur when they are not necessary.

While normal blood clotting blocks vessel leakages, most clotting disorders block veins instead. Blockages in the veins are most common:

  • in men over age 55
  • in the legs
  • in women over age 60.

Blood clotting disorder symptoms should be taken seriously and check out by a medical professional, who can accurately diagnose a blood clotting disorder.

Blood clotting disorder symptoms include:

  • discoloration of the skin
  • itchy skin
  • pain and swelling
  • swelling of the abdomen or the face.

How Blood Clots Occur

Blood clots occur when platelets, cell fragments of the blood, turn sticky and change from round to spiny in order to stick to broken blood vessels and to each other. Platelets also release proteins and other substances that promote clotting.

Blood clotting disorder symptoms can vary depending on the location of the blood clot. Blood clotting can lead to more serious symptoms, including:

  • bleeding gums
  • bruising easily
  • gangrene
  • jaundice
  • shortness of breath
  • ulcers.

Getting a diagnosis on blood clotting is necessary to avoid these symptoms and complications. Treatments can be recommended to lessen symptoms and prevent complications and further problems.

To diagnose a blood clotting disorder and determine the causes of the disorder, doctors will perform:

  • blood tests
  • imaging tests
  • magnetic resonance imagery (MRI)
  • ultrasonography
  • venography
  • X-rays.

Other tests may also be used depending on the location of blood clots and suspected causes.

Our articles cover all aspects of blood clotting disorder symptoms, diagnosis, coagulation and hypercoagulation and questions to ask your doctor about blood clotting disorders.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

As blood clots can occur in different areas of the body, symptoms can vary greatly. Skin changes and abnormalities are usually noticed, and pain and swelling at the clotting site is also a usual symptom.

If any unusual symptoms are noticed, speak to a doctor and have some tests run. Usually more tests will be needed to determine the cause of a clotting disorder.

Be sure not to ignore signs of a blood clotting disorder, and make a priority of your symptoms and getting a diagnosis.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Whether you think you have a blood clotting disorder or have been diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder, it’s important to get all of the necessary information from your doctor. If you’re having blood clotting symptoms, ask your doctor what they mean, what they indicate and what you can do about them.

If you are diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder, ask your doctor about long-term effects, treatment options and possible complications.

Sometimes people forget things they want to say when they’re visiting the doctor, so it’s a good idea to make a list of questions to ask your doctor.

Resources

Merck (2007). Clotting Disorders. Retrieved September 20, 2007, from the Merck Web site: http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_ha/sec3/ch49/ch49d.html.