Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is a very serious issue that can happen when blood clot forms within a vein located deep inside the body. A blood clot is simply a clump of blood that is in a solid, or gelatinous state. Deep vein clots often form within the thigh or calf, but they might develop within various other areas of the body too. Other names associated with deep vein thrombosis might include thromboembolism, post-thrombotic syndrome, and more.
DVT commonly occurs in people over the age of 50. Some conditions can alter the way the blood moves through your veins, and therefore increase your risk of having clots. These conditions might include having an injury that causes damage to your veins, another problem is being obese or overweight which puts additional pressure on your veins, and having a history of DVT.
Sometimes, undergoing hormone therapy or regularly taking birth control pills can also increase your risk of DVT, and you may find that smoking increases your risk too. Additionally, if you stay seated for long periods of time, this can cause your blood to start pooling, and the result might be a higher risk of having deep vein thrombosis.
In some cases, certain disorders or diseases may increase your chances of suffering fromr blood clots too. For instance, a lot of people have a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis simply because they have genetic clotting disorders that affect the way their blood moves around their system. Additionally, there can be other risk factors too such as inflammatory bowel disease or cancer, which increase your chances of developing a blood clot. Conditions like heart failure can also increase your chances because they make it harder for your heart to pump blood around the body.
The Symptoms and Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis:
According to experts at the Blood, Lung and Heart Institute, the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are only evident in about half of the people who suffer from this condition. However, if you do notice any symptoms, it’s important to speak to your doctor as quickly as possible. Catching the signs of deep vein thrombosis early can mean that you have the opportunity to keep complications to a minimum.
Keep a watch out for swelling throughout your ankle, feet, or leg sparticularly on one side of the body, or cramping that begins within the lower part of the leg. You might also notice unexplained but severe pains in your ankle or foot, or areas of skin that seem warmer than the surrounding areas of the leg. In some affected areas, you could notice the skin turning a blue or pale color.
One of the biggest risks with deep vein thrombosis is the fact that many people don’t actually discover that they have the disease until they’ve gone through an emergency treatment procedure for a pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis, which happens when one of the arteries in your lungs gets blocked off due to the presence of a blood clot.
Remember, DVT is a very serious condition, and if you think you might be experiencing any symptoms, or you notice something wrong within your legs that you simply can’t explain, then you should either go to the emergency room, or see your doctor immediately. Healthcare experts will be able to check you out and decide whether a diagnosis of DVT should be given or not.
Remember, even if you don’t believe that you have DVT, but you’re concerned that your risk might be higher than for most people you can schedule a doctors’ appointment, and your health expert can let you know if preventative treatments are right for you.
Treating Deep Vein Thrombosis:
Treatments for deep vein thrombosis typically focus on reducing your risk of a blood clot developing. Over time, your treatment will help to prevent pulmonary embolisms from occurring within your system, and it could also reduce your risk of suffering from additional clots. Your doctor may also prescribe medications that are designed to thin your blood. For instance, you might be given warfarin, heparin, or a variety of other medications. This means that it becomes much harder for your blood to clot, and it can also keep any existing clots as small as possible, decreasing the chance that you’ll develop additional clots.
If blood thinning substances don’t work, or you’re suffering from a severe case of DVT, then you might be given something known as a thrombolytic drug. These drugs work to break up clots, and you can receive these substances intravenously.
In some cases, your health expert might recommend wearing compression stockings, which limit the swelling in your system and reduce your chances of developing clots. These methods do not decrease your current DVT problems. Compression stockings can extend to either just above your knee, or just below it. Your doctor might recommend wearing these stockings on a consistent basis.
If you suffer from deep vein thrombosis, then you might need to have filters placed within the vena cava, which is a large vein in your body. This is usually the case if you’re unable to take blood thinners. This treatment can help to prevent embolisms by stopping clots from entering the lungs. However there’s a risk to placing filters, because if they are left there for a long period of time, they can cause DVT.
Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis:
If you’re concerned that you’re at risk of having DVT then you can minimize your chances by making some important changes to your lifestyle. These might include giving up smoking, keeping your blood pressure under control, and even losing weight if you are obese. Additionally, it’s important to move your legs as often as you can when you sit for long periods of time, as this can keep your blood flowing more effectively. Walking around can prevent the onset of clots.
In most cases, the risk of developing DVT during travel is lower than you might think, but it can get higher if you sit for more than four hours at a time when flying or driving. You can reduce your risk by moving around as often as possible. Remember to get out of your car and move around during long drives. Walk around the aisles when you’re driving, riding a bus, or taking a train.