The Relationship Between Diabetes
Diabetes increases the risk of plaque buildup in arteries, which can lead to dangerous blood clots.
Although blood clots regularly form a normal function of blood cells to repair damaged blood vessel walls, clots become a problem when they prevent blood from flowing properly through an artery or vein.
Regular exercise, staying mobile and controlling diabetes help blood clotting. Still, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of a blood clot so you can get medical help quickly. About 80 percent of people with diabetes will eventually die from clotting-related causes.
The signs and symptoms of blood clots depend on their location and whether they occur in an artery or a vein.
Blood clots in an artery that supplies blood to the heart or brain:
- Sudden heart attack
- Transient ischemic attacks or mini-strokes
When a blood clot develops in a vein, symptoms can include:
If a clot forms in a vein in a leg or arm and then breaks off and travels to the lungs, it can cause a pulmonary embolus—a potentially life-threatening condition. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Blood clots are diagnosed primarily by history and physical examination. Depending on the location of the blood clot, other tests may be ordered. In most cases, treatment requires the use of anticoagulant medications that thin the blood and prevent further clotting.
If you have additional questions about the connection between diabetes and blood clots, ask your primary care physician.
The relationship between diabetes