March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

march is blood clot awareness month

Blood clots don’t discriminate. They can affect the young, the old, the obese, the athlete, and the couch potato equally.

Athletes-whether hockey players, football players, triathletes, tennis players  cyclists, or runners need to be aware that they are a high risk candidate for a blood clot.

Why?

Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure results in blood flowing more slowly though the body

Dehydration-a factor in your blood viscosity. More dehydration leads to thicker blood.

Trauma? Falls, bruises? Did you fall during your run that you forgot about after you crossed the finish line? That cut on your leg has coagulated. A clot is forming on that spot in the cell wall. This is your body functioning normally. This is usually not a problem. It becomes a problem when the clot breaks off. It can travel to other locations in your body, like the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism and can be a life threatening emergency.

Risk Factor of Travel

 After the race is over, we get into our car or onto an airplane and travel for hours. We spend hours in a cramped position.

The thickened blood is pooling. The body is dehydrated. The body is forced into the worst position to get the blood pumping throughout the body. These factors can lead to the start of a clot-a thrombosis. The danger occurs when/if the clot breaks off and travels through the body. If it lodges in the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism.  Clots can also travel to your brain or heart.

Signs you should be Aware of, from Stop The Clot:

 Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)

Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse

Reddish or bluish skin discoloration

Leg (or arm) warm to touch

These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charlie horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.

Contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away.

Pulmonary Embolism Signs and Symptoms

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.  The signs and symptoms of a PE include:

Sudden shortness of breath

Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath

Rapid heart rate

Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus

Be careful and be aware of these symptoms. Rehydrate after your run/race. Get up and move in the airplane or make more than one rest stop in the car after your ultra. DVT’s can happen to athletes!!

Please feel free to share this post with your running groups and friends, March is Blood Clot Awareness month!

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3 thoughts on “March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

  1. Haralee

    Great tips! My husband had a PE 10 years ago. It seemed out of the blue but looking back there were signs that we did not recognize. He is on blood thinner for life and we have adjusted his drug to our diet rather the our diet to the drug. It works. The only food he eats that can put his blood ‘out of range’ are cranberries. Not a big deal in life to eliminate cranberries!

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