What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis, oftentimes referred to as DVT, is caused when blood runs too slowly throughout the veins. When blood does not run smoothly through the veins, a large clot can form deep within the body.

Deep vein thrombosis typically happens in the lower section of the body, spots like the legs, pelvis, and thighs are especially vulnerable to DVT. However, these clots can also occur in other locations within the body as well.

Deep vein thrombosis can have devastating and even fatal effects on the body.

What are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

According to WebMD, not everyone with deep vein thrombosis will show symptoms. However, some of the more common symptoms reported are:

  • Leg and arm swelling that comes on without warning
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Veins that appear enlarged
  • Warmness in the affected area
  • Skin that can appear blue

Because blood clots can break free after being lodged in the vein, they can travel to fatal areas of the body, including the brain, heart, and lungs. When this happens, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism is formed. A pulmonary embolism can be fatal and is a serious health condition.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism also include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain, especially when breathing in
  • Fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Expelling blood through cough
  • A rapid pulse

What are my Treatment Options for DVT?

According to Mayoclinic, there are several treatment options available. Things such as blood thinners can keep the blood moving smoothly through the veins to prevent blood clots. Blood thinners can come in intravenous shots or pill form. While these medications do not break up existing clots, they can prevent additional clots.

There are other options for treating DVT. These options include:

Clot busters: Clot busters are an important option from those who are already suffering from DVT. Typically, these medications are given through an IV or via a catheter placed specifically in the clot. This medication is reserved for high risk and more serious DVT situations because they can cause a significant amount of bleeding.

Filters: If for some reason you cannot take a blood thinner, a doctor may place a filter inside the large vein within the abdomen. These filters will prevent blood clots from traveling to the individual’s lungs.

Compression socks and stockings: Compression socks can be used to prevent swelling in the legs.

How Can I Reduce my Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Although there are many options for treating DVT. Many people would like to reduce their risk altogether. There are many things a person can do to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Things such as moving around and getting more exercise can aid in reducing your risk. You can obtain information on the food pyramid offered from the U.S. Division of Farming to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight and diet as well.

While DVT may not be completely avoidable for all people, there are things that can significantly reduce your chances. Always be sure to get enough exercise and eat a proper diet to keep your body running smoothly.

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