Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blood clot forms inside a vein deep inside the body. While it can happen in most parts of your body, it often occurs in your lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. Untreated, DVT can become chronic and lead to serious health problems. If you believe you may have one, it’s a good idea to get to a doctor as soon as possible because DVT can be fatal.
What are the signs of DVT?
While not everyone has the same symptoms, there are a few things that you should look out for:
- The sudden onset of leg and arm swelling
- Pain and/or soreness when you walk
- The uncomfortable area feels warm
- Enlarged veins
- Red or bluish looking skin
Blood clots can break free and move about your body. If the blood clot gets stuck in your lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism. It can be fatal.
What are the primary causes of DVT?
There are a number of things that can cause DVT, but the risk rises significantly once you reach the age of 40.
- Sitting for long periods
- Sitting or lying down for long periods of time can make blood hard to circulate. Airline flights or bed rest can put you at risk.
- More pressure is put on your veins during this period. DVT can happen up to six weeks after you have your baby.
- Having a high body mass index can increase your chances of developing DVT.
- Current health issues
- Things like heart disease and cancer can increase your risk.
- Inherited blood disorders
- Thick blood or having blood more prone to clotting is a condition that can be passed on to you.
- Vein injuries
- This can happen if you have a broken bone or some other trauma to a vein.
- Cigarette smoke causes your blood vessel lining to thicken. This can make clots form.
How is DVT treated?
There are several ways DVT can be treated. You should talk to your doctor about the options that best fit your condition. Here are the top treatments:
- Blood thinners
- These, also known as anti-coagulants, will prevent growth and keep clots from breaking off. Some of the most popular medications used include Warfarin, Heparin, and Exozabin. Depending on the drug, you will either take it in pill form or receive an injection.
- Clot bursting procedure
- Primarily used for chronic DVT. A catheter is used to direct the medicine directly into large clots and break them up and eventually dissolve them. This procedure works immediately, as it increases blood flow.
- With this procedure, a filter is put into the vena cava vein. It then catches clots before they can move to other parts of the body.
If you believe you are suffering from DTV, go to a doctor and get the proper diagnosis. You can then get with your doctor and find out which methods are best to deal with the problem.