Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis: Causes, Picture, Symptoms and Treatment

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) as the name suggest blood clot forming in the deep vein. But, it times the problem triggers due to no apparent reason. It can develop in the body due to some medical conditions. The medical conditions that result in you to end up in bed. So, inactivity can lead to the problem. The blood clots develop in the body due to the inactivity for a long time. It mostly occurs after an accident or surgery. Therefore, the incidents that force you in the confinement of a bed can trigger the DVT.

What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

It is the condition triggered due to the formation of thrombus or blood clots. In most cases, patients may develop blood clots in one or more veins. The deep veins in the legs are more susceptible to the problem. So, it can lead to swelling in the leg or severe pain. But, some people may experience no signs. It is a serious condition that can result in a fatal condition. The blood clots in veins can break from the legs and travel to the lungs. It can lodge in the veins of the lungs and trigger pulmonary embolism. The condition can block the blood flow in the lungs. Therefore, it can lead to fatal complication including death.

Symptoms Of Deep Vein Thrombosis

deep vein thrombosisSo, how do you know you experience some problem? You need to monitor your body closely. Some people may not find any signs associated with the problem. But, in most cases, you may see signs. Therefore, the common symptoms linked to the problem are:

  • Swelling in one or both legs.
  • Pain in the leg that feels like cramps or sore at the calf. But, escalates to something severe.
  • Discolored skin or red color in the leg.
  • Warm feeling in the affected area. It occurs mostly in the leg.

Causes Of Deep Vein Thrombosis

The problem with blood circulation is the main cause triggering the deep vein thrombosis. So, the clots form in the vein when the blood clotting reduces or something prevents blood circulation. The problem that triggers the issue are:

  • Surgery
  • Injury or trauma to a vein
  • Side effects of certain medication
  • Limitation of movement

Risk Factors Associated With Deep Vein Thrombosis

Some people are more at risk of developing DVT compared to others. So, what makes them vulnerable to the disease? The following factor increases the possibility of getting the problem:

Inheriting Blood Clots Disorder

Inheriting Blood Clots Disorder

The inherited blood clotting problem can trigger the issue. It can lead to developing of clots when combined with other risk factors.

Staying Inactive For A Long Time

Prolonged bed rest due to paralysis or hospital stay to increase the risk of DVT. The condition can make your legs remain still. So, it leads to improper blood circulation in the calf muscles. It can trigger blood clots.

Trauma

The injury or surgery to the veins can increase your risk of developing blood clots.

Pregnancy

Pregnancy can increase the pressure in the veins of the legs and pelvic region. Women who have inherited blood clotting disorder can experience the problem more.

HRT or BC Pills

Hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills can increase the risk of getting blood clots.

Excess Weight

Obesity or overweight people experience the pressure in the veins of legs as well as the pelvis. It can trigger DVT.

Age

Old people above 60 years of age can get affected by the problem more compared to others.

Genetics

People with a family history of Deep vein thrombosis have more chance of developing it.

Smoking

When you smoke, it affects the blood circulation as well as the clotting adversely. So, it increases the risk of developing clots.

Cancer

Some forms of cancer can elevate the substances in the blood that can increase the risk of clotting. In other cases, some cancer treatment can also put a patient at risk of developing blood clots.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Severe problems with the bowel can trigger DVT. So, people suffering from the following are at risk of developing the blood clots:

Sitting Still For A Long Time

When your legs remain still for a long duration of time, it can result in improper blood circulation. It is due to the inability of the calf muscles to contract. So, it results in the blood clot formation in the legs. People who sit still for a long time or travel frequently can experience the problem. Therefore, it leads to clot formation in the calves.

Heart Failure

Heart Failure

Patients who have suffered heart failure have limited lung and heart function. So, it increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and subsequent pulmonary embolism. Even a small clot can trigger pulmonary embolism, which becomes more noticeable.

Complications Due To Deep Vein Thrombosis

The deep vein thrombosis triggers several health complications if left untreated. So, you need to provide ample importance to getting treatment at the right time. Some of the main problems associated with the DVT are:

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism

It is the most serious or severe complication associated with the DVT. The problem occurs when a blood clot from other parts of the body enters the lung. So, the clot can result in the blood vessel in the lung to get blocked. In most cases, the blood clot known as thrombus travels from the leg to the lung. It is a life-threatening condition. Therefore, you need to monitor your body for the signs and symptoms. When you observe the signs, you need to seek a medical appointment. Some of the warning signs that require immediate attention are:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Feeling lightheaded/dizzy
  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain while taking a deep breath
  • Severe discomfort while coughing
  • Rapid pulse

Postphlebitic Syndrome

Postphlebitic Syndrome is another common complication associated with DVT. It is the severe problem that reduces the quality of life. Therefore, the problem also known as post-thrombotic syndrome can cause damage to the vein. It leads to a reduction in the blood flow. So, the affected area can experience severe issues like:

  • Leg pain
  • Skin Sores
  • Edema (Persistent swelling of the legs)
  • Skin discoloration

Diagnosis Of Deep Vein Thrombosis

When you experience the signs or symptoms associated with the problem, you need to get a doctor’s appointment. Your doctor can check for the symptoms and diagnose the problem. So, your doctor adopts the following diagnostic techniques to detect the issue:

Physical Examination

It is the first step to detect the presence of the problem. Your doctor asks for the signs you experience. Then, the doctor performs a thorough physical examination. It helps to detect the swelling, discoloration or tenderness on the skin. If your doctor suspects a problem, then the doctor can suggest other tests like:

Ultrasound

The ultrasound uses the sound waves to visualize the clot. During the ultrasound, the doctor uses a transducer (wand-like device). It is placed on the region affected by the clot. So, the sound waves can travel through the tissue. It reflects back the waves that are converted to an image. Therefore, your doctor can detect the clot and its severity with the image.

You need to undergo several ultrasound tests over a period of several days. It will help your doctor detect the growth of the existing clots. The ultrasound can also find new clots. So, your doctor can detect the issue with ease.

Blood Test

The doctor can suggest some blood tests. The blood sample sent to the lab will test for a substance known as D dimer. So, if you suffer from DVT problem, then you have elevated levels of D dimer.

Venography

It creates an x-ray image of the veins in the areas like feet and legs. During the procedure, your doctor injects the dye into the large vein in the ankle or foot region. It is an invasive method. Today, non-invasive imaging techniques can provide a clearer picture of the clots.

CT Scans/MRI Scans

It is the sophisticated imaging techniques that provide visuals of the clots with better clarity. Most of the times, the images can reveal the size, severity, a specific location of the clots in-detail.

Treatment To Overcome Deep Vein Thrombosis

The treatment of DVT aims at stopping the clot from increasing its size. It focusses on avoiding the clot to break loose and result in pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism can result in a fatal complication. Therefore, the treatment aims to reduce your chances of suffering from the issue again and prevent its recurrence. Depending on the diagnosis and the severity of the condition, your doctor can suggest the following treatment options:

Blood Thinners

Your doctor can suggest taking the blood thinners. As the name suggests, the anticoagulants decrease the ability of the blood to clot. The blood thinner may not prove effective for existing clots. But, it prevents the formation of new clots and prevents existing ones from getting bigger. So, you can take it to prevent the DVT. It is available in the form of pills or injections. In the case of injectable thinners, you take a shot under the skin. You can also inject it through the veins in your arms (intravenous). Your doctor can suggest taking in three ways:

  • Some blood thinner is given intravenously while you inject others under the skin.
  • First, the doctor may suggest taking an injectable thinner for some ways. Once it starts its action in the body, your blood becomes thin. Then, your doctor stops the injection.
  • You can take the blood thinner in the pill form. So, you can avoid needles associated with the injectable thinners.

Depending on your situation, the doctor can suggest the best option that works well for your health. In any case, you may need to take the blood thinner for three months or for a longer duration. You follow the instructions provided by the doctor. So, you have to follow the dose suggested by the doctor religiously. Taking a low dose or high dose can trigger serious complications in the body. Therefore, you need to maintain caution while taking it. To prevent any complication, undergo periodic blood tests. It will detect the time duration required by the blood to clot. So, you can ensure the medication works well or not. Pregnant women must avoid taking certain blood thinners to prevent complication to the baby.

Clot Busters

Clot Busters can treat the more serious form of deep vein thrombosis. It is also effective for pulmonary embolism. In the majority of cases, the clot busters work well when other medications do not work well. The clot busters also known as thrombolytics can break the clots swiftly. The clot busters are given in two ways. One method includes giving the drugs through the IV line. Another method uses a catheter. It is placed directly on the clot to alleviate the problem. But, you need to understand that it can trigger serious bleeding. So, your doctor may suggest it only for severe cases of blood clots.

Filters

Some patients suffering from blood clots cannot take medications to clear the clots. So, the doctor suggests inserting the filter into the large vein called vena cava. It is present in the abdomen. So, the filter prevents the blot clots from reaching the lungs and lodging.

Compression Stockings

Compression Stockings

It is ideal to avoid the swelling that accompanies with the deep vein thrombosis. You need to wear the compression stockings that reach the level of the knees to avoid swelling.

Life Style Remedies To People With Deep Vein Thrombosis

People suffering from deep vein thrombosis need to get treatment as soon as possible. But, for the treatment to become effective, you need to follow some pointers. It will help you prevent the problem from affecting you again. So, apart from watching the diet and looking for signs of bleeding, you can follow the steps like:

Frequent monitoring

You need to consult your doctor regularly. It will help you check if the treatment offers you relief. You can also modify the treatment if the current one proves ineffective. So, your doctor can order a blood test to detect the blood clotting. Based on the results, the doctor can take appropriate steps.

Take Medications Religiously

You need to take the suggested blood thinner at the right time as prescribed. So, you need to continue taking the medication for at least three to six months to show visible effects.

Monitor For Excessive Bleeding

One of the side effects of taking blood thinners includes bleeding. Therefore, watch out for excessive bleeding as it can affect your health. Certain daily activities you perform make you susceptible to cut or bruise. In such cases, talk to your doctor. At times, even a minor injury can result in fatal complication due to the consumption of blood thinner. So, get advice from your doctor.

Follow Active Lifestyle

You may take bed rest to heal quickly after the surgery or other issues. But, it can only lead to the development of new clots. So, try to move as soon as possible. Start slow, but ensure you get moving. Therefore, it will aid in preventing the new clots from forming.

Wear Compression Stocking

Take advice from your doctor and wear compression stockings. It will prevent the formation of blood clots in the legs.

Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis

You can take preventive measures to avoid the deep vein thrombosis from affecting your life. You can take the following steps to avoid clot formation. So, the measures include:

Avoid Sitting Still

A sedentary lifestyle can put you in danger. If you are in a bed rest after a surgery or other reasons, try to move. Sitting still for a long time can interrupt the blow flow leading to clots. So, follow the pointers suggested to avoid it:

  • Never cross your legs when you sit at the same place for a longer duration of time. It affects the blood flow in the legs.
  • While traveling a long distance in your car, ensure you take a break and walk. So, every hour and stretch your legs. Walk around for some time.
  • When you travel by plane, make sure to stand or walk at frequent intervals. If you do not get a chance for it, then try to exercise the lower legs.

Lifestyle Changes

You need to follow a healthy lifestyle to avoid clots. So, you need to maintain a healthy weight. If you weight more than the normal weight, then reduce it.

Exercise

Include physical exercises in your daily life to ensure you have an active lifestyle. The daily exercise can improve the blood circulation in your body. So, it will lower the risk of blood clots. People who travel frequently or sit for a long time need to include the exercises to avoid the complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Avoid Bad Habits

Smoking is a bad habit that can affect your life adversely. So, try to quit smoking to reduce the risk of clots.

Conclusion

Deep vein thrombosis is a treatable condition, but ignoring it can prove fatal. The condition can cause blood clots to appear in areas like thigh, pelvis, lower leg, and arms. With proper medical care at the earliest, you can alleviate the issue. But, maintaining a good diet, active lifestyle, and proper care can prevent the condition from affecting your life.

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