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Deep vein thrombosis – Everything you want to know
12 Oct 2021

Have you heard about the medical condition, deep vein thrombosis? It may not be a familiar condition for most of us. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition to be addressed.

In this article, we are going to see all that we need to know about this condition, including the cause, symptoms, treatment, and preventive methods.

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis or simply DVT is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot occurs in a vein present deep inside the body. Deep vein thrombosis usually occurs in veins associated with our thigh or lower leg. It can also happen in other parts of our body too.

DVT can usually cause severe symptoms such as leg pain or swelling. But sometimes they will not cause any symptoms at all. Blood clots in the leg can occur in many instances. For example, if you are on a long journey, after having surgery, or when you are having bed rest.

How serious is deep vein thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis is a medical emergency. As already mentioned, deep vein thrombosis occurs in veins that are deep inside our legs. The clots associated with veins can cause many life-threatening complications.

The most dangerous cause of deep vein thrombosis is pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism happens when a blood clot breaks down and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. These clots get accumulated in a blood vessel of the lungs and can cause permanent lung damage.

When they get accumulated in the blood vessel of the lungs, the other organs of the body will not get enough oxygen. This can cause damage to other organs too. If not diagnosed and treated at the proper time DVT can lead to serious issues including death.

What are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis?

If you have deep vein thrombosis you may experience the following symptoms in your leg such as:

  1. Inflammation
  2. Swelling
  3. Pain
  4. Red-colored skin 
  5. Cramps
  6. A warm feeling in the affected leg

When should you consult a doctor? 

You should immediately consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms associated with pulmonary embolism such as:

  1. Sudden shortness of breathe
  2. Chest pain that worsens while coughing 
  3. Dizziness
  4. Swift pule
  5. Brisk breathing
  6. Blood associated while coughing

Other than the symptoms of pulmonary embolism, you should seek medical help as soon as possible if you have any other symptoms related to deep vein thrombosis. 

What are the causes of deep vein thrombosis?

Any factors that cause blood clots can be a major cause of deep vein thrombosis. Some of them are:

1. Blood vessel damage

Blood vessel damage can result in deep vein thrombosis. Clots in the blood can happen due to damage to blood vessels. Injury associated with blood vessels can stop down blood flow thus causing clots to happen.

2. Surgery

Sometimes surgeries can cause injury to blood vessels. These injuries further prevent blood flow. They may further develop into blood clots resulting in the formation of deep vein thrombosis.

3. Bedridden condition

People who are bedridden due to certain conditions or surgery will also have an increased chance of having blood clots.

4. Inactivity

If you are sitting for too long especially while traveling a long distance, blood flow in the lower part of the boy may slow down. When blood flow is slowed down, there is a possibility of having blood clots.

5. Medications

Usage of certain medications can also result in blood clots as its side effects.

How can we treat deep vein thrombosis?

If you are experiencing deep vein thrombosis, you will be undergoing any one or many of the following treatment methods such as 

1. Medication

To prevent blood clots your doctor will give you medications like Arixtra and Lovenox. These blood-thinning medicines prevent further blood clots and will also reduce existing blood clots.

2. Compressing stockings

Compressing stockings are mainly prescribed by your doctor to make blood flow smoother and to reduce swelling and discomfort associated with your leg. Compression stockings will be advised only if you are at a high risk of deep vein thrombosis.

3. DVT surgery

Your doctor may recommend surgical methods such as surgical thrombectomy if your condition associated with the blood clot has higher risks such as damaging the tissues. DVT surgery is also preferred in cases where you have a large number of blood clots.

During the procedure of surgical thrombectomy, your doctor will make an opening in the blood vessel and remove the blood clot. Then they will repair the damaged tissues and blood vessels.  

Every medical surgery has risks associated with it. So your doctor will only choose a surgical method if no option is left. 

How do you prevent DVT naturally?

As we always say, prevention is a lot better than cure. This is also the case for deep vein thrombosis. We could prevent DVT naturally by taking a few healthy steps and changes in our lifestyle such as:

  1. Maintaining blood pressure under control
  2. Avoid sitting still for a long time
  3. Stop smoking
  4. Manage your body weight
  5. Engage in physical activities daily
  6. If prescribed, take your blood thinners at the proper time
  7. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight
  8. Consume foods rich in minerals and vitamins

DVT is a serious issue and without proper diagnosis and treatment, it can lead to many health complexities. You should not ignore any signs and symptoms associated with DVT. If you suspect that you have any symptoms of DVT, you should immediately consult a hematologist.

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