DVT or deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot is formed in the deep veins of the patient's body usually legs. The symptoms of DVT or deep vein thrombosis can range from no particular symptoms to severe pain or swell in the leg. It has been seen that deep vein thrombosis develops in case a patient has some medical condition that affects the process of clotting of the blood. In many cases, deep vein thrombosis occurs if a patient does not move for a long time after a surgery or accident when the patient is confined to the bed.
What are the Main Causes of Blood Clots in Blood Vessels?
The cause of blood clots may be varied due to various reasons. The main factors responsible for blood clots are-
- When the inside of the blood vessels get damaged due to trauma or some other conditions.
- When the normal flow of blood is changed due to some form of blockage or unusual turbulence.
- When a patient is affected by a rare state called hypercoagulability in which blood clots more than usual.
What Causes DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis in Leg?
As mentioned earlier, anything that may lead to the damage in blood vessels or change in blood flow can potentially lead to deep vein thrombosis in legs. Few of the causes of deep vein thrombosis in legs may include:
- Prolonged duration of sitting may affect the circulation of blood leading to DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
- Long duration of bed rest and immobility due to injury or accident.
- Orthopedic emergency or surgery in hips, legs or knee and even knee replacement surgery.
- Abdominal surgery or some form of heart surgery may lead to frequent blood clots.
- Obesity is another factor causing deep vein thrombosis as this affects blood circulation throughout the body negatively.
- Heart attack of heart failure is another potential factor.
- Pregnancy and childbirth can also cause DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
- Being at higher altitude can affect the pressure in the blood vessels giving way to DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
- Intake of hormone therapy or birth control pills increases the estrogen level in the blood which causes frequent blood clots.
- Diseases like cancer can be a potential cause of DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
- Presence of genetic disorders that lead to changes in the mechanism of blood clotting.
- Increase in age can lead to DVT or deep vein thrombosis in leg.
- Certain medical conditions affecting vein such as inflammation of vein walls may lead to deep vein thrombosis.
- Blood clots forming in a superficial vein can give way to deep vein thrombosis.
How Can DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis be Prevented?
Once the risk factors are known, DVT or deep vein thrombosis can be prevented by taking care. Various measures may be suggested to prevent deep vein thrombosis. They are:
- If the patient has undergone surgery or has been advised bed rest for some reason, he should get moving as soon as possible. Simple leg exercise may also prove beneficial in case of bed rest. The patient can go for leg raises in order to ensure proper blood circulation.
- If a person has to travel by plane, he should occasionally stand or walk. If such is not possible, exercising lower legs may be helpful. Such exercises include raising and lowering heels while keeping the toes on the floor and then again, raising the toes with heels on the floor.
- If a person has to travel long distance by car, he should stop every hour and walk around.
- Lifestyle changes are equally important to avoid deep vein thrombosis. A person should lose weight and quit smoking.