Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where blood clots form deep in the veins of your circulatory system. Usually, DVT occurs in the veins on lower extremities and is primarily caused by either a lack of circulation or the inability for blood to clot normally. Close to one million people are affected by blood clots each year and up to 100,000 people die from complications related to DVT. if a DVT blood clot breaks loose, it can result in pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal. The problem is that blood clots often remain undiagnosed and many people don’t realize the problem until it’s too late. To better understand DVT blood clots and keep yourself protected, it’s important to know what the risks are, how to reduce them, and the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
Blood clots can occur at any age, but the older you get, the more likely you are to suffer from them. Other risks for blood clots include living a sedentary life, immobility, varicose veins, obesity, and medical/family history. A majority of blood clots occur after surgery or hospitalization due to the immobility that’s required during healing time. If you’re pregnant or have just delivered a baby, your risk for DVT increases. Similarly, if you take oral contraceptives, you’re at a higher risk for developing DVT. Luckily, just because you’re in a high-risk group doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce your risks.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of blood clots is to keep moving. Prolonged periods of sitting, like on a long airplane ride, greatly increase your chances of clotting, so make sure that you get up and move every few hours. The simple act of standing up and stretching can do wonders. You should also try to eat well and maintain a healthy weight. Extra body weight strains circulation and makes being active more difficult. If you’re worried about clotting after surgery or recovery, talk to your doctor about blood clot prevention. If you smoke, try to quit—smoking is terrible for you and limits circulation. Treat any varicose veins and learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of blood clots so you can seek medical attention immediately if you notice any.
Blood clots present symptoms differently based on where they’re localized. If you have any swelling or discomfort, red or discolored skin, or skin that’s warm to touch and tender on your arms or legs, call your doctor. This could be accompanied with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, fever, or other discomfort in the upper body. In some cases, people with blood clots experience weakness of the face, difficulty speaking, vision problems, and sudden, severe headaches. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately.
If you have varicose veins, getting them treated will drastically reduce your likelihood of developing DVT. When left untreated, serious instances of varicose veins can be extremely dangerous, even fatal. At Illinois Vein Specialists, a board-certified vein specialist can treat your varicose veins with a pain-free, outpatient procedure.
OUR PHILOSOPHY. FIND A BOARD CERTIFIED VENOUS AND LYMPHATIC DOCTOR.
At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us. That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today. We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor (formerly known as Phlebologist).