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 from the DVT and travel through your bloodstream and become lodged in the blood vessel of your lungs.
This 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 DVT.
Virginia Vein Care can treat your Deep Vein Thrombosis: call us at (703) 570-8410.
You need to know the warning signs of DVT since just about anyone can have one, especially if you are at a higher risk than others. Noticing the problem before it gets worse and seeking the proper treatment is key to preventing dangerous complications as well as long-term problems such as disability.
While some people experience only mild symptoms, you still need to recognize that you could have a potentially life-threatening disease.
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.
Blood clots can form for several reasons:
If an injury causes damage to a blood vessel, it can decrease or even block blood flow and may form a blood clot.
Certain blood clotting disorders can increase the likelihood of DVT. However, these genetic disorders are rare
Some medications can cause blood clots. You should discuss with your doctor the risks and benefits of any medication before use.
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.
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
- Those over 60 years old
- 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
- Those who have had DVT before
- Women taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
- People who have varicose veins
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.
6 Early Signs Of DVT
Early Stage DVT Symptoms in the Leg
People begin to experience the initial stages of Deep Vein Thrombosis in their leg when there is a blood clot in one of the deep veins. These are the vessels which bring blood back to the heart once it has delivered oxygen to the tissues. The symptoms are tied to the obstruction of the blood returning to your heart which leads to a buildup of blood in the leg.
Most experience DVT in the leg but it is not uncommon for it to occur in other areas such as the pelvis.
Early symptoms of DVT include:
Skin redness or discoloration:
The skin over the impacted area may become pale or even red or blue. This is caused by the blood buildup in the affected area. As with other DVT symptoms, the color won’t simply go away with time.
Throbbing or cramping pain:
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. You may notice the pain getting worse when you walk or stand for prolonged lengths of time. The cramping may feel like a charley horse but it will persist and get worse over time.
An area of skin that feels warmer than the surrounding areas can indicate a blood clot. This warm sensation may be limited to the area just over the vein. Sometimes, the entire calf or limb will be warmer than the other.
You may feel tenderness over the affected area.
Swelling may occur in the affected leg, foot, or ankle, but rarely is there swelling in both legs.
This could be a sign that the blood clot has moved from your arm or leg into your chest. If you get a bad cough, pain in your chest, or are coughing up blood, call 911 immediately.
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.
Early Warning Signs of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Rapid pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Lightheaded or dizzy feeling
- Chest pain that worsens when taking a deep breath or coughing
Healthy Habits to Lower Your Risk of Blood Clots
Treat Your Early Stage DVT
Usually, a doctor will prescribe blood-thinning medications (known as anticoagulants) 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.
Book an appointment with Virginia Vein Care today to assess any early stage DVT symptoms.. Additionally, we offer a vein screening online at no charge.