A blood clot is a clump of blood that is in a gelatinous, solid state. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside your body. Deep vein blood clots typically form in your thigh or lower leg, but they can also develop in other areas of your body.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, symptoms of DVT only occur in about half of the people who have this condition. Common symptoms include:
- swelling in your foot, ankle, or leg, usually on one side
- cramping pain in your affected leg that usually begins in your calf
- severe, unexplained pain in your foot and ankle
- an area of skin that feels warmer than the skin on the surrounding areas
- skin over the affected area turning pale or a reddish or bluish color
DVT occurs most commonly in people who are over 50 years in age. Certain conditions that alter how your blood moves through your veins can raise your risk of developing clots. These include:
- being overweight, which puts more pressure on the veins in your legs and pelvis
- having a family history of DVT
- having a catheter placed in a vein
- staying seated for a long time while you’re in a car or on a plane, especially if you already have at least one other risk factor
To better control and treat DVT, your doctor may prescribe medication and suggest daily routines to decrease your risk. DVT treatments focus on keeping the clot from growing. Your doctor might prescribe medications that thin your blood, making it harder for blood clots to appear. Another treatment method is wearing compression stockings that prevent swelling and lower your chance of developing clots.
You can lower your risk of having DVT by making a few lifestyle changes. These include keeping your blood pressure under control, giving up smoking, and losing weight if you’re overweight. Moving your legs around when you’ve been sitting for a while also helping to keep your blood flowing. Walking around after being on bed rest can prevent clots from forming. Take any blood thinners your doctor prescribes if you’re having surgery, as this can lower your chance of developing clots afterward.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.