Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a common ailment of blood clotting in the veins of your limbs. The fatality rate of this ailment is higher than many of the most dangerous diseases. Here is a quick guide to prevent deep vein thrombosis.
Deep vein thrombosis commonly occurs in veins of a person’s limbs. The most common areas for thrombosis are the calf and the thigh in a person’s feet. This condition is also known to appear in a person’s arms, but only very rarely. DVT usually starts with a tiny blood clot in your limbs. This clot can gradually increase in its size causing some serious circulation problems. A pictorial display of a blood clot, magnified 5000 times to enhance its clarity, has been given alongside for your reference. There are high chances of these clots shifting with flowing blood to the central organs of a person’s body such as his heart, his lungs or towards the brain. This can prove fatal. Read more to know about the symptoms and preventive measures for avoiding this ailment.
Identification of The Problem
DVT has been a major cause of death in the western countries with victims higher in number than those suffering from cancer and AIDS combined. There is a high chance of symptoms going unnoticed in almost half of the DVT cases. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A sudden warm feeling in an affected limb. This is due to blocking of blood circulation.
- Experiencing swelling in a foot or both feet.
- Clearly visible dark veins on skin surface of your feet.
- A dark red flushing in the skin color of your feet.
- Excruciating pain and overall leg fatigue when the patient is walking or standing for long hours.
- A decided numbness in feet and arms.
- White feet or milk feet which refers to a condition where there is total loss of blood supply to the feet making them turn white in color.
- Color of feet may also change to deep blue or purple in severe cases of DVT.
In some unidentified cases, the clots have been known to break free and move with the circulated blood towards the main artery connecting the lungs thereby creating a condition commonly known as pulmonary embolism. Some common symptoms of this condition are sudden and severe coughing, dizziness and breathlessness.
DVT is a lifestyle disease which mostly gets triggered due to a negligence of health and fitness on part of the victim. At times, this ailment is hereditary in nature. At such times, you are advised to get a thorough body check up done on regular basis and consume the prescribed medication to keep the problem at bay.
Some common preventive measures to avoid being a victim of DVT are:
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and a good exercise regime.
- Chucking the harmful habit of smoking cigarettes.
- Controlling your blood pressure with a proper food intake. Doctors suggest a diet which is minimal in cholesterol and salt content for maintaining a low or normal blood pressure.
- Consume hormone replacement pills and birth control pills only after consulting your doctor.
In case you are already a victim of DVT, then there are several preventive measures to curtail the aggressiveness of this ailment. Some situation wise preventive measures are listed below for your easy reference.
Preventive Measures Post Surgery
The first two weeks post a surgery are very crucial. Some common measures to prevent the effects of thrombosis after your surgery are:
- Doctors stress that patients must rigorously follow their medication regimen. Some of the prescribed drugs are heparin and warfarin.
- Doctors usually prescribe usage of elastic compression bands for your feet to regulate the blood flow through your veins. They help control the accumulation of blood and forming of clots in your feet.
- Whenever you are resting or sleeping, it is advisable to position your legs above the level of your seating or sleeping position. Ideally use a soft elevating cushion or a footrest for this purpose.
- Continue with some leg exercises even after your surgery. This induces blood circulation. Some easy exercises include back and forth movement of your knees or gentle rotation of your ankles. It is always a good idea to walk at a slow pace when recuperating.
- You may also opt for a gentle foot massage from a certified physiotherapist.
Preventive Measures during Pregnancy
There is a high chance for occurrence of DVT during pregnancy. The chances increase when the expectant mother is more than 35 years of age. The situation leads to formation of blood clots in the woman’s feet or pelvic areas. At the same time, it can prove fatal for the baby as clotting may occur inside the placenta thereby cutting off blood supply to the baby. Expectant Mothers can prevent this situation by:
- Being active and healthy throughout the pregnancy.
- Consuming plenty of water.
- If DVT is hereditary, then the same needs to be informed to you gynecologist for getting a suitable prescription.
Preventive Measures when Traveling
Long hours of journey mean little movement of limbs thereby increasing chances of DVT effects. Patients are suggested some easy preventive measures such as:
- Taking frequent stops whenever possible during the journey. This helps to induce a proper blood circulation.
- Wear the elastic compression bands around your feet to regulate the blood flow.
- Gently massage and squeeze the muscles and toes of your feet.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing such as tight slacks, socks, etc., which are likely to hamper blood circulation.
- Drink plenty of water and juices. Avoid consumption of fluids that are dehydrating in nature, e.g. alcohol and coffee.
- Do not sit cross-legged during your journey. Similarly, avoid heaping heavy pieces of luggage on your feet. Doing so increases chances of clamping your veins, thereby inducing blood clots.
- On journeys such as ones on trains, airplanes or in a bus, make it a point to stand on your feet and walk on the aisle from time to time.
Deep vein thrombosis is not completely curable. However, there are many prescribed measures to keep a control on effects of this ailment. If left unattended, this ailment can worsen. If you have a slightest doubt that you are having this ailment, then make sure to visit your doctor without any further delay.