Deep Vein Thrombosis: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when blood clots form in one or more of the major veins in your body—the blood clot forms in a deep vein, typically in one of your legs. Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain and swelling, but sometimes there are no noticeable symptoms. This condition can affect anyone, but the risk of El Paso deep vein thrombosis is higher in people with medical conditions that affect how blood clots.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis
Up to 30% of individuals with deep vein thrombosis experience no symptoms but sometimes the symptoms are mild and may not be a cause for concern. Examples of symptoms associated with acute deep vein thrombosis include
- Pain or tenderness in your leg or arm when standing or walking
- Red or discolored skin
- Swelling of your leg or arm; this may happen suddenly
- Enlarged veins near your skin’s surface
- A feeling of warmth on the swollen area of your keg or arm
- Flank pain or abdominal pain
- Severe headache
Since these symptoms are usually absent or mild when present, some people may not know they have deep vein thrombosis until the clot moves from their legs or arms to the lungs. This condition is called a pulmonary embolism and is a life-threatening complication of DVT. Seek emergency care if you experience symptoms of pulmonary embolisms, such as lightheadedness, sudden shortness of breath, rapid pulse, fainting, rapid breathing, coughing up blood, and chest pain.
Causes of deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis can result from anything that prevents blood from flowing or clotting properly. In most cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs due to vein damage from surgery, injury, inflammation, or an infection. Although anyone can suffer from this problem, some people have a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Below are common risk factors for deep vein thrombosis.
- Old age. Deep vein thrombosis can occur at any age but is more common in older adults above 60 years.
- Surgery or injury. A surgical procedure or any injury that damages the veins increases the risk of blood clots.
- Lack of movement. The calf muscles in your legs play a vital role in blood circulation. They help the leg veins move blood to the heart when they contract. Therefore, the calf muscles don’t squeeze to encourage blood flow when you don’t move for a long time. Having a sedentary lifestyle puts you at risk of deep vein thrombosis. So does sitting for long hours when driving or flying and long-term bed rest due to a medical problem like paralysis.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy, the body undergoes various changes, including increased pressure on the pelvis and leg veins. The risk of blood clots during pregnancy can continue for up to six weeks after childbirth.
Tips to prevent deep vein thrombosis
You can reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis using lifestyle changes such as:
- Lose extra weight and stay within a healthy weight
- See your doctor regularly for checkups
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Do not smoke
- Drink enough water
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle or sitting for long hours
If you have deep vein thrombosis, visit your healthcare provider at i-VASCULAR center for treatment to avoid complications like pulmonary embolism.