Who is at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis & Can It Be Avoided?
Deep vein thrombosis is primarily the presence of blood clots in the deep vein of a person's body. It generally occurs in legs. Deep vein thrombosis occurs to people who have an underlying medical condition that negatively affects the process of blood clotting. Most of the time deep vein thrombosis occurs while a patient is asked to take complete bed rest after some kind of surgery or accident.
Who is at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis?
It may happen so that some people might have a higher risk of developing deep vein thrombosis than others. Few situations that may make few people more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis-
Prior History: Prior history of the presence of blood may make patients susceptible to deep vein thrombosis in the future.
Family History: A family history of deep vein thrombosis increases the change of the next generation having the same.
Age: If a person is of over 40 years of age, the chances of deep vein thrombosis increase.
Inactivity: Prolonged period of best rest makes muscles inactive. The blood circulation of the body is affected and blood starts pooling in the legs. This in turn increases the chance of blood clotting.
Sitting Too Long: The same mechanism occurs when a person sits in one position for a long period of time. The blood circulation is affected giving way to thrombosis.
Pregnancy: Pregnancy or child birth is another risk factor for deep when thrombosis. This is because; pregnancy or childbirth increases the level of estrogen in the body thereby making the mothers susceptible to blood clots.
Birth Control Measures: Intake of birth control or some forms of hormone replacement therapy also make the chances of thrombosis to go up. The reason being that such drugs contain estrogen.
Weight: Obesity is another risk factor of deep vein thrombosis. Higher body mass index makes people susceptible to thrombosis.
Medical Conditions: Problems of heart, lungs or some form of bowel disease makes the risk of deep vein thrombosis to increase considerably.
Cancer: People with cancer or undergoing treatment for cancer also increases the risk of thrombosis considerably.
Injury: If a person is badly hurt due to some form of Injury or bone fracture, blood circulation gets affected. This increases the chance of deep vein thrombosis.
Surgery: Surgeries in stomach, pelvis, leg or hip also makes patient more prone to serious blood clots giving way to deep vein thrombosis.
How Can Deep Vein Thrombosis be Avoided?
Once the risk factors are known, deep vein thrombosis can be avoided by taking the following precautions for maintaining a healthy blood circulation-
Keep Moving: Avoid sitting for too long in the same position. It is advisable to stretch up and walk after at least every two hours to maintain a healthy blood circulation and to avoid getting deep vein thrombosis.
Post-Surgery Precautions: It is recommended to get moving soon after the surgery. If bed rest is advised, even doing simple leg lifts while lying on the bed will help in proper blood circulation.
Blood Thinners: If a person finds himself at risk for deep vein thrombosis, it is better to seek advice from a doctor. He may ask him to take blood thinners to prevent blood clots and pooling blood in the legs.
Obesity: Obesity increases the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Thus it is important to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise also lowers the chances of getting blood clot. Consumption of alcohol and smoking should also be checked.
Stretch Your Legs: Leg stretching and raises are recommended in case a person has to sit for long hours in train or plane in order to avoid getting deep vein thrombosis. This ensures proper blood circulation. Also, loose fitting clothes should be worn so that the blood does not pool in any part of the body affecting the circulation.