One of the most common blood clotting issues in the United States is deep vein thrombosis. It affects nearly 200,000 Americans each year and accounts for upwards of 60,000 deaths. Knowing the signs and symptoms early can save your life.
Blood clotting is a critical aspect of healthy body function. Essentially it is our body’s way of protecting itself from losing too much blood in the event of a cut, scrape or other injury. When blood clots form in the body, especially in deep veins, it can be detrimental and life-threatening, especially if you don’t know they exist.
At Virginia Vein Care, we are here to help you diagnose and treat blood clotting and vein issues sooner, preventing complications and long-term detrimental symptoms that can arise from conditions like DVT.
Let’s explore important ways to identify and prevent DVT today.
What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious health condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein within your body. DVT blood clots are most often found in the thigh or calf, but they may also be found in other areas of the body, like the pelvis or arm.
Symptoms of DVT
According to the CDC, only about half of those living with DVT experience symptoms.
The most common symptoms of DVT include:
- Leg, foot or ankle swelling, typically on one side
- Cramping, especially in the calf
- Severe pain in the foot or ankle
- An area of the skin that feels warm to the touch
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is essential to get treatment now. If left untreated, DVT can lead to more severe health emergencies, such as a pulmonary embolism.
5 Ways to Prevent DVT
Although DVT cannot be entirely prevented, there are various measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing this vein-related condition and other more severe complications as a result of DVT.
1. Exercise regularly
Daily movement helps reduce your risk of developing blood clots in your legs or other parts of your body. Exercise improves blood flow and enables you to maintain a healthy weight — all essential pieces to a more balanced lifestyle free from blood clots and DVT.
To help with circulation in your legs, consider exercises such as:
2. Quit smoking
Smoking changes the surface of blood platelets throughout your body, making them clump together more easily, which instantly increases your risk of developing blood clots.
Those who currently smoke have a 23% higher risk of developing DVT than nonsmokers, while those who have ever smoked have an increased risk of 17%. The best way to reduce your risk of DVT as a smoker is to quit.
3. Pay attention to circulation during long trips
Long periods of sitting can have a negative impact on blood flow and circulation, especially in your legs.
When heading out on a long trip in the car or plane, ensure you include a plan to keep the blood circulating well in your legs, especially if you already live with vein-related conditions like varicose veins.
Some best practices include:
- Getting up and moving around between flights or at rest stops
- If stuck sitting, flex your feet, rotate your ankles, and point your toes up and down to get the blood flowing
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Wear compression stockings
4. Drink enough water
Water consumption plays an integral role in the health of your veins and overall circulation.
Make sure to drink enough water each day to avoid dehydration. Hydration works to reduce the viscosity of your blood, allowing it to flow more efficiently.
Aim to drink at least 100 ounces of water each day. Add additional ounces when performing high-impact exercise or spending hours outdoors in the sun or heat.
5. Talk to your doctor after surgery
If you’ve recently had surgery or have one scheduled soon, it is essential to discuss the risks of blood clots and DVT with your doctor before surgery day. Those who undergo surgery for any condition are often at higher risk of developing blood clots.
To be proactive, your doctor may prescribe blood thinners or ask that you wear compression stockings following surgery.
DVT Treatment Near Me
If you are experiencing new or worsening symptoms in one of your legs consistent with DVT, we recommend visiting a vein specialist or urgent care facility for further evaluation today. Getting seen sooner will help deter any complications.
Virginia Vein Care offers a wide range of minimally invasive treatment options to effectively care for DVT and other vein conditions. Don’t live with symptoms another day; early diagnosis will help in avoiding DVT for good. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you today.