Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a severe condition that causes blood clots throughout your body. The blood clots develop primarily in your veins and can occur anywhere on your body but are more common in your legs. It is dangerous because blood clots and pools create thick clots, reducing necessary blood flow. The condition can be very dangerous as the blood flow decreases and depletes oxygen from your body.
What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis
There are only minimal causes that can develop DVT. The causes include trauma to the veins and infections. For example, if you break a bone, especially in your leg, there is potential for your bone to puncture a vein or muscle, leading to the development of a blood clot. However, broken bones are not the only form of trauma.
If you develop an infection in your veins or bones, it can cause the veins to become inflamed. The infections typically develop because of a complication with surgery.
Some individuals have a high likeliness of developing DVT, including people over the age of 60. The older you get, the more susceptible to surgery, infections, and trauma you are.
A lot of cases of DVT are people who struggle with obesity. This is because extra weight and pressure are applied to the veins and bones, which can cause blood to pool and clot in certain areas. Obesity makes the bodywork harder to pump blood.
Heavy smokers are another risk group for this condition. Smoking decreases blood circulation, leading to blood clots near the lungs. These are the most dangerous and need medical attention as they decrease blood flow to important organs.
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
The only way to tell if you have a blood clot somewhere in your veins is to get tested. However, it is possible to see physical symptoms like swelling in the general area. The swelling is likely to grow as the clot gets bigger because of increased pressure.
This happens when there is a lack of blood flow and oxygen. Where the blood clot is, you may notice cramping and stabbing pain. Your leg may also go numb or experience a temperature rise.
Diagnosing Deep Vein Thrombosis
If you notice any abnormal swelling or symptoms listed above, it is time to see a doctor immediately. The doctor will start by looking at the inflamed and swollen area. They will need to know about your symptoms and medical history as some people are at a higher risk.
After all the questions are asked, they will order tests to look closer at the blood clot. The most common test that doctors use is the Duplex Ultrasound exam. The professional technician uses an ultrasound scanning transducer to move around the affected area during the Duplex ultrasound. This allows the professional to take images of the clot and the general area. Sometimes, the ultrasound does not puck up on the area enough, and an MRI may be necessary.
How to Treat Deep Vein Thrombosis
Sadly, there are not a lot of treatments that focus on getting rid of blood clots, and instead, they can prevent more clots from occurring. Your doctor may prescribe medications like blood thinners, the most common medication to treat DVT.
The blood thinner prevents larger blood clots; however, the blood clot is not cured. Blood-thinning medications cannot remove pre-existing blood clots. Slowing down the progression is necessary.
It is essential to conder that the medication takes time to work, approximately two months, but can be taken as long as four months.
If the blood clot has affected an organ severely, then surgery may be the next step. However, it is rare since the surgeries are invasive and come with risks.
Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis
It is not always possible to prevent blood clots, especially if you have an underlying condition or are part of the risk group. However, there are a few things you can do to try and decrease the chances of a blood clot.
Some companies created compression clothes that prevent blood clots. These clothes are tight and can prevent your blood from clotting because of the compression. However, it is more common to see compression stockings as DVT primarily develops in leg veins.
After surgery, it is hard to move around. While it is difficult, it is also important that you prevent blood clots in your veins by exercising and limiting certain movements. For example, if you are bedridden because of surgery, try not to cross your legs or add unnecessary pressure. Your lack of movement can cause your blood to pool and clot if there is insufficient circulation. In addition, crossing your legs adds pressure to the veins in your legs, which can cut off the necessary circulation. Instead, frequently try to go on short walks or wiggle your toes.
While it is harder to develop blood clots in your arms, it is still possible. Stretch your arms throughout the day and avoid sleeping on your arm.
If you are obese, you have a higher risk of developing DVT. Because of obesity and its risks are important to manage your weight, especially before a surgical procedure.
Lose the weight, so there is no extra pressure on your legs and veins. You can do this by changing your diet and exercising more frequently. Moving your body can decrease the chances of a blood clot as it stimulates circulation. Eating healthier foods can also provide you with energy.
Living with Deep Vein Thrombosis
In conclusion, DVT can be a fatal and complicated condition. Thankfully, there are many ways to treat DVT and manage your condition. However, if you suspect that you have a blood clot in your body, you should see your doctor immediately for testing.
After it is found, you will take blood thinners to prevent extra pressure, growth, and new blood clots.
Many blood clots form after surgery as people stay dormant and unmoving. On the other hand, even the slightest movement can encourage blood flow. Either way, you should avoid adding pressure to your body as it recovers.
- Can my Deep Vein Thrombosis go away? Yes, it can. However, you must seek treatment for DVT immediately to ensure you do not put yourself at risk for a severe complication!
- Is Deep Vein Thrombosis Hereditary? Yes. Your family history does make it more or less likely for you to develop Deep Vein Thrombosis, so check in with your family and their history!
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!