Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, describes a blood clot in a deep vein, especially the leg veins. It is often considered a leg illness because a deep leg vein is most often affected. While the exact figure is unknown, in the US alone, it is estimated that up to 900,000 people experience this type of venous thrombosis each year.
Learning more about DVT conditions and DVT risks is imperative to reduce your risk of developing this condition. This will also help you better understand which DVT treatments may be the most beneficial for you.
What is DVT?
When someone has this type of clot, they may not experience any symptoms. When symptoms do occur however, leg pain and swelling are common. There are a variety of factors that can increase your risk of developing a clot in a deep vein, including:
- Blood clotting disorders
- Surgery or injury to your veins
- Oral contraceptives
- Prolonged bed rest
- Excess weight
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Heart failure
- A family history of this condition
- Prolonged sitting
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Being over age 60
When this type of clot is present, it is possible for it to break free and travel to your lungs, resulting in pulmonary embolism. This is a life-threatening complication that requires immediate medical treatment. A pulmonary embolism can present itself in the following ways:
- Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly
- Dizziness and lightheadedness
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain
- Rapid pulse
How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing a DVT
There are several ways to help reduce your risk of developing this type of clot. If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of this clot developing, make sure that you are following your treatment protocol and keeping all of your doctor’s appointments so that you always know your overall state of health.
If you smoke, it is important to work on a smoking cessation program. Losing excess weight can also decrease your risk of developing this type of clot.
Exercising regularly helps to promote better blood flow to reduce the risk of clots. This is especially important if you frequently travel or sit since both of these factors can increase your risk of developing this condition.
If you are on medications that contain estrogen, it is especially important not to smoke and report any symptoms that could indicate a blood clot immediately. This is especially important if you smoke.
DVT is a condition that can be life threatening when it is left untreated. It is important to know the health of your veins so that you can take the steps needed to reduce your risk of this condition and other vein-related issues.
If you suspect that you have developed a DVT, it is important to consult a medical professional right away. To learn more about the health of your veins, contact Heart of Dixie in St. George, UT today to schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate and experienced specialists.