Beware of Blood Clot Risk and IBD
According to recent research people with IBD are at a significantly higher risk for the development of a dangerous type of blood clot. These clots are called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) when they occur in the leg or Pulmonary Embolism (PE) when the occur in the patient's lung. Both of these types of blood clot can be fatal if not dealt with appropriately.
DVT may be the hardest of the two to recognize because the symptoms can mimic many other issues. DVT normally comes on quickly and is usually not related to overexertion or injury. As someone with increased risk it is better to be overly cautious should you experience any of the following symptoms: swelling in one or both legs, pain or tenderness in one or both legs, warmth in the skin of the affected leg, red or discolored skin of the affected leg, surface veins that are visible in the leg, or abnormal leg fatigue.
The symptoms of PE can vary from person to person. Most will experience some kind of shortness of breath, chest pain, and a cough that may produce bloody sputum. These can be vague symptoms but one of the differences with PE is that the symptoms do not go away with rest. Other signs can include: wheezing, leg swelling, clammy or bluish skin, sweating, fast or irregular heart rate, weak pulse or lightheadedness. If you have any combination of the symptoms contact your doctor for further evaluation.
If you have IBD it is important to discuss your risk for clots with your physician. Make yourself aware of the symptoms if a blood clot and determine ahead of time what steps will be taken should you experience these symptoms. Most physicians will have an on call service you can contact or you may be asked to contact your local ER. A little preparation can save you a lot of problems later.