Attacked By Clots

Pulmonary Embolism

The importance of exercise and eating healthy is reiterated numerous times by the medical community for a reason: to avoid medical complications that can kill, such as pulmonary embolisms. When a person does not manage their cholesterol very well, a clot can form in their legs that can dislodge and travel to their lungs.

Just because a clot forms does not mean that a piece of it cannot dislodge. In cases of pulmonary embolisms, the dislodged clot travels into a pulmonary artery which supplies blood to your lungs. When the clot finds a new home and prevents blood flow to a certain portion of your lung, oxygen is no longer delivered. You then experience the symptoms listed below:

  • Shortness of breath (worsening with exertion)
  • Chest pain (worsening with exertion)
  • Coughing with blood-streaked sputum
  • Discolored skin
  • Excessive sweating
  • Lightheadedness
  • An irregular heartbeat

A family history of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism increase your chances of developing the condition. Poorly managed heart disease also contributes to clot formations. Certain cancers and surgery can increase your risk of developing a blood clot.

Long trips overseas contribute to pooling of blood in your lower extremities, increasing your risk of developing a blood clot. It is very common to hear of a person passing away after returning from a long trip overseas; little movement of your legs during a long flight is the culprit. Another example is a lengthy bedrest without movement after one finishes surgery; the blood pools in the legs and contributes to clot formation.

Some other factors which can contribute to blood clots include:

  • Smoking tobacco
  • Being overweight
  • Pregnancy
  • And hormone replacement therapy for menopausal women

Prevention is key! A pulmonary embolism is a very serious medical condition and many patients do not recover from one. It is very important to lead a healthy lifestyle: exercise, eat non-fatty foods, move around during a long flight, take blood thinners if needed and as prescribed by your doctor, wear compression stockings after surgery and drink plenty of fluids.

Guess what can happen when you experience a pulmonary embolism, even after recovery? Such a serious medical condition increases your risk of developing depression and anxiety. It is very common for a mental illness to follow a physical disorder secondary to the stress which it brings upon your life.

The DSM Ready Movement is about leading a healthy lifestyle that incorporates mental health, physical health and spiritual well-being!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

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