Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is one of the most dangerous medical conditions you probably have never heard of. Unlike strokes and heart attacks, this common cardiovascular problem does not draw much public attention or interest. However, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) East Orlando causes a blood clot in a vein, normally in one of the legs, to about 300,000 people in the U.S. annually. These blood clots are the main cause of pulmonary embolisms, a leading cause of death among hospital patients. Because the condition is underdiagnosed and serious, here is a look at what you should know about deep vein thrombosis and its risk factors.
What Exactly Is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when your blood clots in a vein that is situated deep in your skin’s surface. Even if DVT affects any vein in your body, the condition mostly affects large leg veins in the thighs or lower leg. The condition is normally a silent problem which means it develops without any obvious warning signs or symptoms. And when symptoms occur, they often come in redness, swelling, and pain along your affected vein.
Risk Factors Of DVT
Understanding your risk factors for DVT is one of the best ways of protecting yourself against highly preventable conditions. Some of the factors that put you at risk for DVT include;
1. Vein Injury
Anytime you sustain vein injury, it increases your risk of developing DVT. Severe muscle injury or bone fracture in your pelvis or leg can increase your chance of developing DVT if it affects your nearby vein. Surgical procedures, including knee, bariatric, hip, or female pelvic surgery, are also linked to an increased DVT risk.
2. Prolonged Inactivity
DVT develops when something results in the change or slow down of blood flow in your veins. This often results from an outside factor. Staying inactive for a long time, such as sitting for hours daily, on bed rest, or sitting in one position for a long, such as an airplane or car travel, can cause DVT.
3. Increased Estrogen
High levels of estrogen can increase your risk of developing DVT blood clots. Also, taking a particular form of hormonal birth control medication can make you more susceptible to developing DVT. Increased estrogen levels can also result from undertaking hormone replacement therapy after menopause. Because pregnancy also causes an increase in estrogen levels, pregnant women or those with up to three months postpartum have an increased risk of DVT.
4. Hypercoagulable States
The hypercoagulable state is any condition or disease that increases the risk of blood clotting. Some hypercoagulable states that increase your DVT risk include heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or lupus.
5. Health History
While DVT is more common in adults older than 60, it can occur at any age, especially if you have any health-related risk factors. You are also at a higher risk of experiencing DVT if you are obese, overweight, or have a family history of pulmonary embolisms, DVT, or other clotting disorders. Your risk also increases if you are a smoker.
Ultimately, DVT is highly preventable and treatable with early diagnosis and care. The treatment often involves taking anticoagulant medication to decrease the size and threat of blood clots. Keep in mind that pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency. Therefore, if you or someone close to you ever experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, and cough accompanied by blood, you should seek instant medical attention.