A blood clot that forms in a vein that is deep in the body is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). While it can happen in any part of the body, DVT in one or both legs is the most common. It can occur without any symptoms, but it is usually accompanied by pain or swelling. Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition due to the potential for a blood clot to break loose and travel through the veins and lodge in the lungs. When this happens, blood flow can be blocked.
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to deep vein thrombosis. The more of these factors that are present in an individual, the more likely the condition will develop. Several of these factors stem from heredity, diseases, injuries or pregnancy. Examples include heart failure, a family history of DVT, prolonged bed rest resulting from surgery and high blood pressure. Others are factors over which the individual has at least some degree of influence in the way of lifestyle changes. Things in this category consist of smoking, being overweight or sitting for long periods of time.
One of the best things a person can incorporate into his or her lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing DVT is exercise. It should take place regularly, even daily whenever possible. This will help reduce the risk of a host of other health problems as well while contributing to a healthier overall lifestyle.
Individuals whose jobs or other daily routines require prolonged sitting should make it a point to get up and move around occasionally. Likewise, when travelling on a long trip, one should take breaks by getting out of the seat to move around. For those times when this is not possible, things like stretching the legs and flexing the feet will provide some benefit. While drinking fluids to stay hydrated is a good practice, coffee and alcohol should be avoided. They can actually lead to dehydration, which makes clotting more likely.
Smokers who are concerned about deep vein thrombosis should make serious efforts to quit. In addition to some of the more common health hazards related to tobacco use, the threat of developing a clot might be that extra motivation many individuals need to kick the habit, especially if other DVT risk factors are present.
A healthy diet can help with proper weight and blood pressure management. The intake of foods that are high in vitamin K should be regulated due to the vitamin’s role in causing clots in individuals with other risk factors. Vitamin K can impact the effectiveness of certain medications as well.
To learn more about ways to prevent deep vein thrombosis, visit the South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg. If you’ve already developed this unfortunate condition, we have a variety of treatments available to help relieve you of your symptoms. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment to learn more.