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The Major Causes of DVT and What You Can Do to Avoid It

Blausen_0290_DeepVeinThrombosisDeep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition caused by the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins of the body, usually within the legs. DVT can cause swelling or pain; however, it can also occur without presenting any symptoms.

Causes of DVT

Deep vein thrombosis may develop in those with medical conditions affecting how the blood clots. Additionally, DVT can develop if you don’t move for long periods of time, such as after an accident, following surgery, or if you are confined to bed.

How Serious is DVT?

Deep vein thrombosis can be a very serious condition due to the possibility that the blood clots can break loose, travel through the blood stream, and become lodged in your lungs, which will then block blood flow, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Symptoms of DVT

The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can include:

  • Pain in the leg, often starting in the calf. This pain often feels like soreness or cramping.
  • Swelling in the affected leg. In some rare cases, swelling may occur in both legs

Diagnosing and Treating DVT

DVT is diagnosed using an ultrasound procedure to measure the blood flow, as well as to identify clots. Treatment should begin immediately should DVT be found to prevent it from growing larger and/or causing a pulmonary embolism, which can be life threatening. Treatment for DVT generally involves blood thinners such as Warfarin or Heparin. During this course of treatment, you will undergo regular blood test to assure that the drugs are having the best effects. In addition to drugs, you may be instructed to exercise, elevate your leg, and wear compression garments. Heating pads are also recommended to alleviate both swelling and pain.

Preventing Deep Vein Thrombosis

If you are at risk for developing DVT, there are a few things that you can do to help prevent the condition including:

  • Increase your intake of fiber
  • Include Vitamin C in your diet as it can help maintain blood vessel health
  • Wear compression stockings or socks
  • Lying in a horizontal position can help reduce the pressure. Additionally, elevating your feet will also allow the blood to drain more effective back to the body, which will release pressure on the veins.

If you are concerned about DVT or other vein issues, please contact us at the Laser Lipo and Vein Center. Dr. Wright and his staff are experienced in all areas of vein conditions and treatments, and we will help you regain your healthy veins!

Photo By BruceBlaus. Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29140359

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