A blood clot in the foot may sound like a common experience but at a given period, it can prove to be perilous to health. In some cases, when the condition remains unresolved for a long period of time or the blood clot becomes unable to dissolve completely in itself, it may disintegrate and move into other organs like the lungs. This may cause a complication known as Pulmonary Embolism (P.E).
Usually, the formation of a blood clot in foot is a result of long travelling hours, especially in cramped places. There are times when symptoms of blood clot in the foot is not evident. Some cases present instances where the symptoms only manifest after the clot detaches itself from the site to another body organ like the lungs. Read about causes of blood clot.
Any prolonged or unusual experience, such as when the blood clot in foot turns chronic or appears threatening, seek medical treatment. Read about blood clot treatment options.
Signs of a Blood Clot in Foot
A painful swelling in the ankle which may radiate towards the calf area may occur in the presence of a blood clot in foot. This happens because the area have bones and tissues that exists in higher densities which typically make it difficult for the body to clear the clots formed in such regions.
One distinguishable characteristic between a normal swell and a swell caused by a blood clot is when you apply cold or warm compressions on the affected area; a normal swell will constantly respond to the treatment. While, a swelling caused by a blood clot usually does not respond to the treatment.
At times, the swelling may even intensify. The swellings also occur even without any apparent external injury to the foot.
One of the first signs in a patient with a blood clot in foot is the foot and the ankle area to appear pale, compared to the unaffected foot. This happens because of a decreased blood flow, which also makes the foot to feel colder.
In other patients, a slight skin discoloration (which looks like dark patches) may manifest itself on the affected area. The discoloration is often due to the collection of blood underneath the skin. Usually, the discoloration intensifies as the blood clot grows in size.
The development of red skin patches on areas of the affected foot is a common sign of blood clot in foot where the need to see a doctor should be considered.
Instances of loss of sensation or feeling of the affected foot may also imply the presence of a blood clot. Numbness is characterized as changes in sensation such as tingling, burning, and pins-and-needles feeling.
The feeling of numbness occur due to compression, irritation or damage of several or single branch of a nerve. The doctor will need a detailed information of other associated symptoms with a variety of tests to identify the appropriate treatment to implement. The medical term for tingling and numbness is paresthesia.
4. Intensified heart beat
Increase in heart beat can also be a sign of a blood clot in foot. Usually, the body has a mechanism of expelling out foreign materials that are considered not to be part of the body. In this case, as the clot advances, the body attempts to get rid of the clot. This leaves the heart over worked and consequently, resulting to an increase in the rate of heartbeat.
An increase in heart activity is known to trigger psychological effects like anxiety, which may worsen with time. Moreover, a persistent increase in heart rate may also result in a number of medical problems.
5. Unusual body temperature change
A blood clot in the foot can also present a sudden increase in temperature of the affected area (warm when touched). In some cases, this sign presents itself like a burning or a tingling sensation of the affected area (item #3).
The sudden increase in temperature is normally preceded by an increased urge of itching. The introduction of home remedies may as well intensify the condition.
6. Exhaustion/ Fatigue
Patients who developed a blood clot in foot are also likely to experience fatigue which often presents itself in the later stages. This happens when the body’s defense processes is hard at work beyond normal restrictions just to get rid of the blood clot.
The fatigue is considerably unprecedented, which means it may occur even when the person is not involved in any physical activities.
7. Low grade Fever
Fever can be another sign of a blood clot in foot. It can happen when the clot disintegrates and enters the blood stream. The resulting effect is usually a low grade fever that combines with a relatively increased temperature of the affected foot.
In some instances, the presence of blood clot in the foot may result to inflammation, which may in turn cause a low grade fever. Normally, the fever may manifest with sweating or shivering. It may also bring about headaches, loss of appetite, and dehydration.
In rare cases of the fever, there can be other presenting symptoms like mood instabilities, convulsions, confusion, and hallucinations. The fever is not always specific. It can present itself differently among different patients.
8. Skin tenderness
The skin around the clot can become a little bit tender. Skin tenderness is also a sign that usually develops in the later stages of blood clot in foot.
It is also at this stage that the deep veins starts to be visible in the skin due to the growth of the clot in the foot. In some cases, the tenderness may occur in both feet, even if it originally affected one foot.
9. Dilated veins
Dilated veins also feature to be among the signs of blood clots in foot. This symptom can also influence areas close to the foot like the thighs and legs.
Usually, the condition will not necessarily cause any complication or problems but when the dilated veins are causing problems to the surrounding veins; it is possible for internal rupture to occur.
Consequently, this can lead to discoloration of the skin.
10. Discomfort in the foot
A discomfort in the foot can also indicate the presence of a clot. Pain in the foot usually develops with persistent discomfort in the affected area.
The pain comes about when the blood flow is slowed or obstructed, such that the surrounding tissues are denied of enough oxygen from the blood.
- Increased heartbeat can lead to psychological effects like anxiety.
- Blood clot in the foot can be brought about by long hours of travelling.
- In intense fever, hallucination may occur.
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