Preventing Venous Thrombosis: Lifestyle Changes and Risk Reduction Strategies
What is Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)?
Your blood's capacity to clot contributes to your survival. Without it, every paper cut and shaving nick could develop into a serious medical condition. But when it occurs in places where it shouldn't, such in your veins, where a clot can stop your blood flow, clotting can be a significant issue. That is referred to as a VTE (venous thromboembolism). VTEs are risky, yet they are also curable.
Because blood clots in the veins have the potential to break away, deep vein thrombosis can be dangerous. Once in the bloodstream, the clots have the potential to become lodged in the lungs and stop blood flow (pulmonary embolism). Venous thromboembolism, or VTE for short, is the combination of DVT and pulmonary embolism.
In the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism), blood clots can form inside the veins, which is referred to as venous thrombosis. It is a dangerous disorder that, if improperly managed, can result in problems. While certain risk factors, such genetic predisposition or specific medical problems, cannot be changed, there are lifestyle adjustments and risk reduction techniques that can help avoid venous thrombosis. These are some crucial actions you can take:
Be active: For maintaining good circulation and avoiding blood clots, regular exercise is essential. Exercises that encourage blood flow, such cycling, swimming, or walking, should be done. Make an effort to get up and move about frequently if your job is sedentary.
Keep a healthy weight: Obesity and being overweight raise the risk of venous thrombosis. Through a balanced diet and frequent exercise, put your attention on maintaining a healthy weight. For advice on effective weight-management techniques, speak with a healthcare practitioner.
Stop smoking: Smoking destroys blood vessels and encourages the development of blood clots. Among many other health advantages, quitting smoking can considerably lower your risk of venous thrombosis.
Keep hydrated: A sufficient amount of water intake supports healthy blood circulation and viscosity. Drinking enough water helps stop blood from being overly thick and clotting.
Take breaks when standing or sitting for long periods of time: Make an effort to take regular breaks if your profession or way of life involves spending a lot of time sitting or standing. To encourage blood circulation, stretch your legs, go for a stroll, or perform easy leg exercises.
Put on compression socks: Your legs will experience pressure from compression stockings, which will encourage blood flow and lower your risk of blood clot formation. They are especially helpful on lengthy flights because sitting still and confined space might raise the risk of blood clots.
Use hormonal contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy with caution: Hormone replacement treatment and combination oral contraceptives are two hormonal birth control methods that can raise the risk of blood clots. With your healthcare provider, go over the possible hazards and, if required, look into alternate solutions.
Control persistent conditions: Vein thrombosis risk can be raised by some chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease. Follow your healthcare provider's advice and use any prescribed drugs to effectively manage these issues.
Recognise the warning signs and symptoms: Know the symptoms of venous thrombosis, which include leg pain, swelling, warmth, or redness. If you have any unsettling symptoms, get medical help.
Types of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE):
A VTE may be something you've never heard of, but they happen frequently. There are two varieties, which can be distinguished by their locations within the body.
1. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): It grows deep in your veins, as its name implies, generally in the legs. However, you can receive one in your arm. Your doctor might diagnose this as an upper-extremity DVT when it occurs. It has the ability to stop blood flow. Near the blocked vein, DVTs might result in discomfort, edoema, redness, and warmth.
2. Pulmonary embolism (PE): A DVT is not as dangerous as this. It typically occurs when a DVT becomes uncontrolled and invades your lungs. An emergency that poses a risk to life is a pulmonary embolism. It can make breathing difficult and result in a rapid heartbeat, chest pain, and dizziness. You can also lose consciousness as a result of it.
Symptoms of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE):
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot develops in a deep vein, typically in the leg, is a kind of VTE. Additionally, it covers pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when a clot breaks off and moves from the leg to the lungs. DVT and PE are serious, perhaps fatal diseases that demand urgent medical care.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) include:
i. Leg edoema.
ii. Leg cramps, discomfort, or pain that frequently begins in the calf.
iii. Depending on the colour of your skin, the skin on your leg may turn red or purple.
iv. A warm sensation on the injured leg.
Sometimes deep vein thrombosis happens without any obvious symptoms.
Risk factors of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE):
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) risk can be raised by a variety of factors. Your risk of DVT increases with the more risk factors you have. DVT risk factors include:
Age: DVT risk goes up after 60 years of age. However, DVT can happen at any age.
Absence of motion: The calf muscles do not contract (squeeze) while the legs are immobile for an extended period of time. Blood flow is aided by muscle contractions. DVT risk is increased by prolonged sitting, such as when driving or flying. The same is true for prolonged bed rest, which may be brought on by a protracted hospital stay or a physical condition like paralysis.
Injury or operation: Blood clot risk might be increased by surgery or vein injury.
Pregnancy: The pressure in the pelvic and leg veins rises during pregnancy. After a baby is born, the risk of blood clots from pregnancy might last for up to six weeks. Those who have hereditary clotting disorders are particularly vulnerable.
Oral contraceptives such as birth control tablets or hormone replacement treatment: Both have the capacity to improve blood clotting.
Being obese or overweight: The pressure in the legs' and pelvis' veins rises when a person is overweight.
Smoking: Smoking has an impact on blood clotting and flow, which raises the possibility of DVT.
Cancer: Some malignancies increase the blood's clotting-causing chemicals. Blood clot risk is also increased by some cancer treatments.
Heart attack: DVT and pulmonary embolism risk factors for heart failure are increased. People with heart failure have impaired heart and lung function, making even a tiny pulmonary embolism more noticeable.
Colitis of the bowels: DVT risk is increased by ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.
DVT or PE in your family or on your own dime: You may be more likely to develop DVT if you or a family member has experienced one or both of these illnesses.
Genetics: Blood clots more readily in some persons due to DNA alterations. Leiden's factor V is one illustration. One of the blood's clotting components alters as a result of this hereditary condition. Blood clots may not be brought on by an inherited condition on its own unless other risk factors are present.
Treatment of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE):
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), in which a blood clot develops in a deep vein, typically in the leg, is a kind of VTE. Additionally, it covers pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when a clot breaks off and moves from the leg to the lungs. DVT and PE are serious, perhaps fatal diseases that demand urgent medical care. Recovery is frequently possible with early diagnosis and treatment, but long-term consequences are possible.
Blood thinners are typically used in treatment to prevent new clots from forming, and occasionally potent clotbusters are used to actually dissolve existing clots. Options consist of:
i. Anticoagulants, commonly known as direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs), include tablets like apixaban, dabigatran, rivaroxaban, edoxaban, and warfarin as well as injectables like heparin or low molecular weight heparin. These drugs are taken over a period of time. This is typically provided for a set number of months if the VTE happened following a triggering cause like surgery, trauma, pregnancy, hospitalisation, or usage of hormone therapies. Longer therapy periods may be advised for those who don't have these inciting circumstances.
ii. Thrombolytic therapy, which uses medications such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), an enzyme that dissolves clots. This can be administered by a vein in the arm or by introducing catheters right into the vein or lung where the blood clot is located.
Additionally, surgery may be used. This may entail inserting a filter in the inferior vena cava, the body's biggest vein, to stop blood clots from reaching the lungs. Additionally, a sizable blood clot may need to be removed from the vein, or clot-busting medications may need to be injected into the pulmonary artery or vein.
It's crucial to keep in mind that these tactics might not work for everyone, and people with particular medical conditions or worries should speak with a healthcare practitioner for tailored counsel and direction.