Be mindful of blood clots.

There are a lot of diseases to keep in mind when it comes to prevention. However, when it comes to blood clots, they can affect people from all walks of life, all ages, and all grades of health. Too many lives are lost because awareness about blood clots and deep vein thrombosis is surprisingly low, so we're here to change that and offer some tips.

According to stoptheclot.org, anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 deaths occur from blood clots, which is more than the total number of people who die from motor vehicle crashes, AIDS, and breast cancer combined. Of the 600,000 cases of non-fatal but potentially deadly blood clots reported each year, 60 percent of them form in the legs and 40 percent occur in the lungs. The site also states that one person dies every six minutes due to a blood clot. 

The good news? They're preventable. 

The first step is to explore your family's medical history. Talk to your family members and your doctor about any suspected blood clot history. If you're going to have surgery – a common cause of blood clots – ask your doctor what you can do to prevent them. Otherwise, maintaining a healthy weight, living an active lifestyle, and quitting tobacco are all essential to reducing your chances of developing a blood clot. Should you have to travel by plane or train, or have been sitting a long time, it's a good idea to stand up, stretch your legs, and walk around every two to three hours. 

Signs and symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis (or when a blood clot forms in one or more deep veins), which could lead to a Pulmonary Embolism (or when a blood clot breaks off from the DVT area and makes its way to the lungs), are as follows: 

Deep Vein Thrombosis

- Swelling in an arm or leg.

- Tenderness, pain, or a cramp-like feeling in that arm or leg. 

- Skin discoloration in the affected area. 

- Leg or arm is oddly warm to the touch. 

What to do: Contact your doctor as soon as you can and see them about your symptoms. 

Pulmonary Embolism

- Acute shortness of breath.

- Chest pain that's sharp and stabbing (could get worse with a deep breath).

- Coughing, sometimes with blood.

- Rapid heart rate. 

What to do: Call 911 immediately and have an ambulance transport the patient to the nearest ER. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have anything to add? If so, let us know in the comments below!

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