A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that travels to the lungs where it gets stuck. In rare cases, there are other causes of pulmonary embolisms, but blood clots are the primary cause. While treatable if caught early, they can be life-threatening.
The symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. In many cases, it may feel similar to having a heart attack. Other symptoms include dizziness, sweating, and clammy skin. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is critical to get medical attention as quickly as possible.
There are a variety of conditions that can cause pulmonary embolisms, including heart disease, certain types of cancer, and disorders that may negatively impact clotting. They are also more common following major surgery or periods of immobility such as very long plane rides.
Risk factors associated with the development of blood clots include smoking, being overweight or obese, and taking birth control pills, or going through hormone replacement therapy with estrogen.
There are some diseases and disorders that can cause blood clots or increase the risk of clots that can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Being aware of these diseases and understanding the symptoms can allow you to be an advocate for your health and get tested if you believe there is a risk.
Diabetes can lead to the development of pulmonary embolisms. Patients with diabetes are more likely to have plaque buildup, which leads to blood clots, which can then travel through the body. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 8% of people with diabetes will die of a clot-related issue.
Type 2 Diabetes is also often associated with being overweight, which is also a risk factor for developing pulmonary embolism. These factors work together to increase the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism dramatically.
While there are medications used to help treat diabetes, diet and exercise are fundamental parts of the overall treatment plan. Your doctor may recommend a supplement like Gluco type2, which is an all-natural supplement that can help control your blood sugar.
Factor v Leiden (FVL) is a genetic disorder that also dramatically increases the risk of developing pulmonary embolisms. FVL causes abnormal clotting, which makes the individual more prone to developing blood clots. They are at a significantly higher risk of developing both pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis.
There is no cause of FVL because it is a genetic mutation, so individuals are either born with the mutation, or they are not. It is approximately 5% of the population in the United States. It is less common in Native Americans and African-Americans as it is found mostly in people with Northern European ancestry.
There are no symptoms of FVL except for the development of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. You can be tested for the mutation if there is a family history of these symptoms. Additionally, if others in your family have been diagnosed with FVL, it is crucial to get tested.
Antiphospholipid syndrome, also known as Hughes syndrome, is another disorder that will cause the blood to clot easily by creating too many clotting antibodies. While there is no cure, it is treated with medications and monitoring. In addition to an increased risk of life-threatening blood clots, it can also increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, miscarriages, and stillbirths.
While knowing your risk factors will not reduce your risk of forming a pulmonary embolism or provide a better indication of symptoms, it will provide you with an understanding of the risk. You can focus on getting exercise and physical activity and monitor your diet to help reduce your risk factors. You can also quit smoking if you are a smoker.