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12 Health Facts to Know About Blood Clots

Blood clots – they could be hiding in your body and lead to serious complications and even death, but how would you know if you have one? Turns out there are some symptoms depending on where the blood clot is, so you’ll know when to take action.

Blood clots often fall apart on their own, but when they don’t, they can block oxygen flow and lead to conditions like heart attacks and strokes. It’s important to know the signs before it gets to that point, so let’s take a deeper look at 12 signs of a clot…

1. Defining a Blood Clot

Before you can combat against blood clots, it helps to understand exactly what they are. While blood clots are healthy when they’re stopping the blood flow from a cut or injury, they can also form when they’re not actually needed, which can be a real problem, notes WebMD.

Platelets in your blood are activated by damage to a blood vessel, “changing shape to form a plug that fills in the broken part to stop blood from leaking out,” notes the source. Chemicals from the platelets further the clotting process by attracting other platelets, and then proteins in your blood (called clotting factors) end up as long strands of fibrin that get “tangled up with the platelets in the plug to create a net that traps even more platelets and cells,” it adds. While there are usually other proteins to break down the clot, but cholesterol buildup (plaques) can trigger a clot as well when they break open, it explains.

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