A blood clot is a process in which there is formation of semi solid lumps in the blood. Blood clot in foot is a terrible feeling as the foot becomes a source of constant radiating pain that may also cause disturbances in sleep. A large blood clot can completely block the blood flow in the affected area, that may result in severe pain for quite some time. Also, there is a possibility that blood clot in foot may move to other organs of the body, such as the lungs, which may damage health to a great extent.
As we all know, veins located in our legs act as pathways for normal blood flow from the feet to the lungs and the heart. Some of the veins are near the skin, while others are located deep inside the skin, just above the bone. The medical term that is used to describe a clot is known as thrombosis. In most cases, clot is detected in the deep veins, hence the condition is known as deep vein thrombosis. On the other hand, if the blood clot occurs in the veins that are close to the skin, the condition is referred to as thrombophlebitis. In this condition, the blood circulation is not only disrupted but also causes inflammation of the veins (varicose veins), which is distinctly visible to the naked eye (as they are just below the skin).
Difficulty in walking is one of the most common blood clot symptoms in foot. Foot mobility is considerably affected as a result of the blockage of veins or arteries in the foot. Other symptoms include:
Foot Pain: Poor blood circulation in the foot due to blood clot can cause unbearable pain the foot. Many people suffering from acute foot pain show presence of blood clot in foot. The affected foot causes extreme discomfort and the pain travels down to the toes. The pain is somewhat similar to pricking needles that may trigger a burning sensation.
Swelling of Foot: People with blood clot often complain about swollen foot. A specific area on the foot appears swollen that may cause unbearable pain. There have been instances, where the foot sole shows severe inflammation and causes extreme pain.
Numb Foot: Persistent numbness in foot can also be a warning sign of blood clot. Tingling sensation accompanied by mild to moderate numbness can indicate blood clot in foot. The foot may also suddenly become cold which is an indicator of poor circulation.
Discoloration: Blood clot can also bring some noticeable changes in the color of the foot. As blood clot considerably disturbs the blood circulation, the affected foot may turn blue, pale or may appear unusually red. In some cases, the entire foot is not affected and discoloration is observed on the toes.
Ignoring the symptoms and delaying the treatment for blood clot can be life-threatening. There is a possibility that the blood clot may dislodge from the foot and move upwards and reach the lungs, heart or even the brain. Thus, the blood clot that has traveled to lungs can cause pulmonary embolism, whereas if the blood clot lodges in the heart, it can disrupt blood flow, which may lead to a heart attack. In case, the blood clot gets stuck in the blood vessel that is directly connected to the brain, it can trigger a stroke.
Blood Thinners: As soon as a blood clot is detected in the foot, the right treatment approach involves preventing the clot from getting larger. This can be done by taking anticoagulants, medicines that significantly reduce the ability of the blood to form clot. This helps the body to dissolve the clot naturally. Anticoagulants, also referred to as blood thinners are available in pill form but can also be administered intravenously. The most commonly used anticoagulants for the treatment of blood clot are warfarin, aspirin and heparin.
Diet: There are foods that act as blood thinners and can help to resolve these blood clot issues in foot. Eating foods high in salicylates and omega 3 essential fatty acids such as dried fruits, nuts (almonds, cashew nuts) will not only help to get rid of this problem but will also prevent formation of blood clots in future. Almost all fruits and herbs such as ginger, turmeric and peppermint also contain a high amount of salicylates and are useful in this regard.
An ultrasound examination is often used to search for blood clots. An X-ray test is of no use when it comes to detecting blood clots. So, in case you are experiencing the aforementioned symptoms persistently, one should consult a doctor at the earliest and do the necessary tests to rule out formation of blood clots.
An easy way to prevent disturbances in blood supply to the foot or in other organs of the body is to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise for 40-45 minutes. Cardiovascular exercises such as running and jogging increase blood flow in the body. This in turn decreases the risk of formation of blood clots in the body.