- by Dr Mamata S.H.
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- May 15 2017
What is Deep Vein Thromboisis?
What Is DVT/ Causes of Deep vein thrombosis?
A blood clot that forms inside a vein, usually deep within your leg is called Deep vein thrombosis. The danger is that bit of the clot can rupture off and progress through your bloodstream. There could be an organ damage or even death if the clot gets stuck in your lungs and clocks the blood flow.
Surprising Causes of DVT
Being an Athlete
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Low Vitamin D
Medicines with Sex Hormones
A leg swollen below the knee is a common symptom of DVT. In the area of the clot you may have pain or tenderness and redness.
But you will not always have these. About 50% of people with DVT get no warning signs.
This is a clot that blocks the blood supply by moving into your lungs. It can cause coughing up blood, low blood pressure, trouble breathing a faster heart rate, fainting and chest pain. Call for emergency help and get medical care right away if you have any of these.
What Causes DVT?
DVT may be caused by anything that damages the inner lining of a vein -- your immune system, surgery or an injury. In a vein, especially that's already damaged, it's more likely to form a clot if your blood is thick or flows slowly. Individuals who have more estrogen or certain genetic disorders in their system are also more inclined to have blood clots.
Who is likely to get DVT?
Few individuals with a higher risk are those who:
Have had surgery
Are on extended bed rest
Are overweight or obese
Sit for long times, like on a long airplane flight
In the 4th to 6th week after giving birth and during pregnancy women are more likely to develop DVT as they have higher levels of estrogen, due to which blood clot might be formed more easily. The blood flow in the veins slows down because of the pressure of their expanding uterus. Certain blood diseases can increase their possibilities of having DVT even more.
The amount of estrogen in a woman's blood rises due to some treatments for postmenopausal symptoms, birth control pills and pregnancy. These can increase the possibilities of getting DVT.
Trapped in Your Seat
It can be exciting to travel to faraway and new places! Squeezing into a coach seat for an extended international flight is not. Research show long-distance travel -- a trip that persists for more than four hours -- Increases the chance of spreading DVT. It does not matter if you go by, bus, train, car or air. Your blood flow slows when you are in a cramped seat and do not move around.
Diagnosis and treatment:
Your physician will examine you for signs of DVT. He may also ask about the medications you're taking, your medical history and medical issues of close family and activities that increase your possibilities of having this condition.
The most common way to confirm you have it is an ultrasound. Sound waves are used to see the blood flow and disclose a clot. Other tests, such as a blood test called a d-dimer may be required.
The most common way to treat DVT is drugs called anticoagulants. They don't really thin your blood although they are known as blood thinners. To prevent new blood clots from forming they make it less "sticky". They will give your body time to dissolve one on its own but they can't break up a clot you already have. You take these medications by needle or in a pill.
Side Effects of Blood Thinners
People who take these medications bleed more easily or may get bruises often. You'll need to watch what you eat when you take certain ones. And you may need to go to a lab frequently to get your blood checked. If you have an accident, newer medications make it harder to stop bleeding.
If you bleed a lot from minor injuries, let your doctor know about it.
Blood thinners can also make it uncomplicated to bleed inside your body, where it is not visible.
Bleeding in your abdomen can cause pain, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, or looks red and black stools or bright red. Bleeding in your brain can bring on vision changes, severe headaches, confusion and unnatural movements. If you notice any of the signs, call for help.
Vena Cava Filter
Your doctor may recommend putting a filter into your biggest vein, called the vena cava if you can't take blood thinners or they aren't working. The breakaway clots are caught by this filter and stopped from getting into your heart and lungs. It can help stop a dangerous pulmonary embolism but it won't stop new clots from forming or cure DVT.
Thrombolytics are medications that dissolve blood clots. To dissolve a life-threatening blood clot in your lung, doctors use them only in emergencies as they can cause sudden, severe bleeding. For e.g.; Through an IV in a hospital you get thrombolytics.
To keep your blood moving these special socks put gentle pressure on your legs. They keep swelling down and relieve pain where a clot has formed and they help keep clots from forming as well. Your doctor will need to write a prescription for ones with more pressure, though you can get compression stockings over the counter. Keep them on even when you are at home.
Keep Your Feet Up
Raise your legs; sit with your feet resting off the floor, when you can. You will make it uncomplicated for the blood in your veins to flow up near your heart. With DVT this can lessen the discomfort and swelling in the leg.
DVT sometimes leaves behind an unpleasant reminder, once a blood clot is gone. You may see changes in skin color or long lasting swelling where the clot was. Or it may hurt. As a year after the clot these signs, called as post-thrombotic syndrome, occasionally show up.
At your desk, when you are not much active, for e.g. Step away for a bit. Stand up. Take breaks to stretch your legs. To get blood flowing, use your muscles. Especially work your lower leg muscles.
Possibility of having DVT is lowered if you exercise and keep yourself at a healthy weight.
Drink plenty of water and don't wear tight clothing when traveling will keep you seated for more than 4 hours. Every couple of hours get up from your seat and walk around. Stretch and move your legs if you have to stay seated.
Try releasing and clutching your thighs and calves, or lowering and lifting your heels with your toes on the floor. Once you reach your destination try and do the sightseeing by foot.
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