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Bleeding and Clotting Disorders

Any Special Reasons Why I Get So Many Clots?

09/16/2009

Question:

HELLO; I`VE BEEN TOLD I`M VERY LUCKY,(LIKE WINNING THE MEGA LOTTERY). IN AUG.1988 I HAD A PULMONARY EMBOLISM AND AN EMBOLUS IN MY RIGHT CALF. THIS HAPPENED ABOUT TWO WEEKS AFTER STEPPING IN TWO NAILS IN MY RIGHT FOOT. LAST SUMMER(JULY`08)MY DOCTOR WANTED ME TO GET A CT SCAN BECAUSE A BLOOD TEST I HAD TWO WEEKS BEFORE SHOWED I POSSIBLY HAD A CLOT SOMEWHERE IN MY BODY. LUCKY FOR THE BLOOD TEST THAT THE CT SCAN DID SHOW A DOUBLE PULMONARY EMBOLISM! I BELIEVE THIS WAS CAUSED BY A CLOT,I THINK I HAD IN MY LEFT CALF ABOUT TWO MONTHS BEFORE!,I HAD FALLEN PRETTY HARD ON A SIDEWALK WITH MY LEFT LEG AND LEFT HAND. MY LEFT CALF HURT A FEW DAYS LATER AS MY THREE FINGERS HURT EXTREMELY BAD FOR A MONTH AFTER. XRAYS TAKEN ON FINGERS SHOWED NOTHING, ALSO AN ULTRASOUND WAS DONE ON MY LEFT CALF(BUT TWO WEEKS AFTER I HAD THE THROBBING CALF PAIN!),ALSO SHOWING NOTHING! THE HOSPITAL KEPT ME THERE FOR THREE AND A HALF DAYS ON HEPARIN AND STARTING COUMADIN THE SECOND DAY. MY FAMILY DOCTOR HAD ME ON COUMADIN UNTIL JANUARY.

ON MY VACATION THIS YEAR(LAST WEEK OF JULY) I HAD ALOT OF PAIN STARTING TUESDAY IN MY LEFT LEG AND THE NEXT MORNING FROM BELOW MY KNEES TO TOES WAS SWOLLEN. NOTE ALL THIS TIME I WAS ALLREADY TAKING VICADIN 7.5mg FOR A RUPTURED DISC WHICH IS PUSHING ON MY SCIATIC NERVE GIVING ME MUCH PAIN IN THE RIGHT LEG! FRIDAY(THE LAST DAY OF JULY) WE LEFT THE CAMPING TRIP. I CALLED MY DOCTOR RIGHT AWAY AFTER LUNCH! AND THE OFFICE TOLD ME TO GO TO EMERGENCY! IN THE EMERGENCY THEY CHECKED MY HEART/BLOOD PRESSURE AND MANY OTHER THINGS,THEN SETTING ME UP FOR CT SCAN AND ULTRASOUND ON BOTH LEGS!

THE CT SCAN SHOWED ANOTHER DOUBLE PULMONARY EMBOLISM AND LATER THE ULTRASOUND SHOWED THREE EMBOLI IN MY LEFT LEG AND ONE IN MY RIGHT! NOW I`M TOLD I`LL BE ON COUMADIN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!! AFTER I GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL MY DOCTOR TOLD ME THE LAST BLOOD TESTS HE HAD DONE ON ME SHOWED I HAVE THROMBOPHILIA FROM ONE GENE(HEREDITARY). DO YOU BELIEVE I WOULD CONTINUALLY HAVE CLOTS IN MY CALVES YEARS TO COME?, EVEN IF I TOOK THE RIGHT TYPE OF HERBS,VITAMINS,MINERALS AND EATING THE RIGHT FOODS WITH HIGHER VIT.`K`? LATELY I`VE READ THAT `NATTOKANESE` HELPS THE BLOOD COAGULATION?? I WOULD LIKE TO NOT TAKE A DRUG LIKE COUMADIN FOREVER!,BUT WOULD TAKE A NATURAL THING LIKE `NATTO`.

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF ANYONE HAVING SO MANY PULMONARY EMBOLI?? ESPECIALLY AT AGE 51? I`VE HAD BAD BACK PROBLEMS SINCE 15yrs old, ALWAYS THE BOTTOM THREE DISCS. ISN`T THAT ENOUGH PAIN TO DEAL WITH??

Answer:

Unfortunately, what you describe is not so uncommon. Many times patients can have repeated clots, which identifies someone who we feel is prone to blood clots. There are several factors present in you that likely explain your clotting history.

I would agree from the limited information that you provide that you need to be on indefinite anticoagulation therapy given the repeated clots you have experienced.

For more information:

Go to the Bleeding and Clotting Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Spero R Cataland, MD Spero R Cataland, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University