Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside your body. This condition can be very serious because blood clots can break loose and travel through your bloodstream and into your lungs. That is called a Pulmonary Embolism, which can be life-threatening and requires emergency treatment. That makes it extremely important that you take precautions and see a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you might have a DVT.
What can cause DVT?
Usually, Deep Vein Thrombosis forms in your legs, but they can also develop in other areas of your body. DVT is caused by a blood clot that blocks a vein. Clots can form for several reasons:
- Injury: If an injury causes damage to a blood vessel, it can decrease or even block blood flow and may form a blood clot.
- Genetic Disorders: Certain blood clotting disorders can increase the likelihood of DVT. However, these genetic disorders are rare
- Medication: Some medications can cause blood clots. You should discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of any medication before use.
- Surgery: Blood vessels can be damaged during surgery, which can cause blood clots. If you are on bed rest after surgery with very little movement, can also increase the risk of blood clots.
- Reduced Mobility/Inactivity: By staying immobile, or sitting for extended periods of time, blood can collect in your legs and form a blood clot.
Who Is Likely To Get DVT?
People who are more likely to develop blood clots, include:
- Cancer patients
- People who have recently had surgery
- People who are on extended bed rest
- Are elderly
- People who are overweight or obese
- People who sit for extended periods of time, especially those who travel frequently
- Pregnant women or women who have recently given birth
If you fit into any of the above categories, you need to be aware of signs of blood clots. But what do you need to be looking for? Here are 5 early signs that you may have developed DVT and need to see a doctor.
5 Early Signs Of DVT
- Skin redness or discoloration: The skin over the impacted area may become pale or even red or blue.
- Pain or cramping: Some people who have developed a blood clot in their leg may feel cramping in the calf or severe unexplained pain in the foot and ankle.
- Warm Area: An area of skin that feels warmer than the surrounding areas can indicate a blood clot.
- Tenderness: You may feel tenderness over the affected area.
- Swelling: Swelling may occur in the affected leg, foot, or ankle.
If you develop any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will diagnose you by taking blood tests, ultrasound, or other imaging tests.
Usually, a doctor will prescribe medications to ease pain and inflammation, break up clots, and keep new clots from forming. Depending on the severity, elevation and moist heat can also be staples of treatment.
To prevent DVT, remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks from long car rides or extended periods of sitting.
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