March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month
What is Happening?
The most common cause of DVT is poor blood flow. This allows the blood cells a chance to stick together, forming clots. Usually occuring in the legs, but can also happen in the arms or chest.
Are you At Risk?
Many factors can increase your risk of DVT, the more factors you have, the higher your risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Inheriting the Disorder
If your family has a history of blood-clotting disorders, DVT, or Pulmonary Embolisms (PE) you can be at risk; but, typically, this must be combined with another factor.
Being over the age of 60, although it can occur at any age
Being overweight or obese can increase blood pressure as well as cause several other health issues
Cigarrette smoking can affect blood clotting and circulation, increasing risk
Extended Bed Rest
If your legs have no movement for a long period of time, then the calf muscles don’t contract which helps blood circulate.
Some forms of cancer and cancer treatments can increase risk, please consult with your doctors in this scenario
Sitting for Long Periods of Time
Commonly occurs from extended driving or flying, since your calf muscles don’t contract
Your veins can experience extra pressure in your pelvis and legs during pregnancy and for up to 6 weeks after birth. Women with a family history of clotting problems may be at extra risk
Taking these pills can increase your blood’s ability to clot
What are the signs and symptoms
What are some DVT preventative measures you can take?
Avoid Sitting Still
Try to avoid long periods of time where your legs do not move. If you are traveling, avoid crossing legs. Try to stand and walk occasionally when possible
Take all Medication as Directed
If you have been prescribed any medication or blood thinners, please take as directed and finish the full cycle
This will lower your risk of blood clots as well as improve health in numerous other ways
Make Life Changes
This can be as simple as exercising more, or quitting smoking