A recent study showed a dramatically increased risk of blood clots for women who have experienced a traumatic event and show symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when compared with women who have not experienced trauma.

Pregnancy, childbirth, the use of birth control pills, and menopausal hormone therapy all predispose women to blood clots. Most health providers are aware of these risks and are likely to monitor your health and prescribe the use of lymphedema products when needed.

However, the risk of clots (sometimes called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE)) doubled for women who have previously experienced trauma and have symptoms of PTSD. Trauma without PTSD also created increased risk when compared to women without trauma.

These findings are significant when you consider that nearly 60% of all women experience one or more traumatic events during their lifetime. The results also demonstrate the need for screening for risk factors and closer monitoring of cardiovascular health in women with PTSD, both from their doctors and via self-awareness.

What Is PTSD?

There are many causes of PTSD including rape, sexual abuse, assault, battery, domestic violence, an abusive childhood, military combat, stalking, natural disasters, and other threatening experiences.

Symptoms include:

  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • Vigilance (constantly feeling on guard)
  • Flashbacks to the traumatic experience
  • Social isolation, guilt, or loneliness
  • Apathy about activities that were once enjoyed
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Fear, severe anxiety, and mistrust
  • And many others

Blood Clots and PTSD – What You Can Do

If you think you might have PTSD, tell your doctor. There are things that can be done to help you deal with the symptoms and recover from PTSD. Since this study is the first to show the link between PTSD and DVT/PE, print the original study and take it to your next appointment to share with your doctor.

It’s also good to learn about your risk of blood clots/DVT/PE, the symptoms, and how lymphedema products can help. Prevent DVT Now exists to educate as many people as possible about DVT/PE risk, prevention, and treatment.

Blood clots (DVT/PE) are preventable, and if they’re caught early, treatable. The more you and your doctor know about your risks, the greater your chances are of never having to deal with what can become a deadly condition.

If you have questions about DVT/PE and would like more information, click HERE.