There are both superficial and deep veins in the limbs or extremities (arms and legs). A blood clot in the deep veins is a concern because it can cause life-threatening complications. A deep vein thrombus is a blood clot or thrombus that develops in deep vein usually in leg; here they pass through the center of leg, surrounded by muscles, less commonly Deep Venous Thrombosis occurs in deep veins of arm or pelvis. A blood clot is a clump of blood that is in a gelatinous, solid state.
Deep Venous Thrombosis is primarily related to the stasis of blood flow, vascular wall damage, activation of clotting system and hypercoaguable state.
Blood passing through the deeper veins in the calf or thighs flows relatively slow than from a solid clot which becomes wedged in the veins.
Deep Venous Thrombosis continues to be under diagnosed and under treated. Awareness among Indians regarding this potentially life-threatening disease is low. It is especially high in hospitalized patients, in a majority of whom it is clinically silent.
Deep vein thrombosis can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow (pulmonary embolism).
There is increased risk of deep venous thrombosis among pregnant ladies in India. Increased hormone levels and a slower blood flow as your uterus expands and restricts blood flowing back from your lower extremities, contribute to this risk. Furthermore, bad lifestyle, poor nutrition and more use of saturated fats enhances the risk among women. This elevated risk continues until about six weeks after giving birth. Being on bed rest or having a C-section also increases your risk of having DVT. Highest incidence is in puerperium especially just after childbirth.
Causes of Deep Venous Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. It can also happen if you don’t move for a long time, such as after surgery or an accident, or when you’re confined to bed. Here are some of the causes of Deep Venous Thrombosis
- Patient Factors:
- Age> 40
- Varicose veins or venous thrombophlebitis
- Previous Deep Venous Thrombosis
- Use of oral contraceptives
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Pregnancy: due to hormonal changes and pressure on veins by fetus
- Dehydration: increase blood viscosity
- Immobility: Stasis of blood
- Long distance travel
- Smoking (especially heavy usage)
- Positive Family History
- Surgical Conditions: The common surgical causes of deep venous thrombosis includes:
- Abdominal, pelvis, orthopedic surgery to lower limb
- Increased use of central venous line has caused more involvement of upper limbs in deep venous thrombosis.
- Medical Conditions :
- Myocardial Infarction / Heart Attack
- Heart failure / Congestive heart failure
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Malignancy or its treatment
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Behcets syndrome
- Major injuries/ paralysis
- Hematological Disorders
- Anti-Coagulants Deficiencies
- Increased Clotting factors
Symptoms of Deep Venous Thrombosis
About half of all DVT cases do not cause symptoms. The symptoms you feel can depend on the location and size of your blood clot. However, DVT mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh, most often on 1 side of the body. The clot can block blood flow. Deep venous thrombosis signs and symptoms can include:
- Swelling in the affected leg
- Leg pain
- Calf pain
- Cramping or soreness
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
- A feeling of warmth in the affected leg
- Difficulty in sitting and standing
- Problems in walking
- Fatigue and malaise
Precautions for Deep Venous Thrombosis
Preventive measures might be used before and after any procedure or event that increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). You can lower your risk of having DVT by making a few lifestyle changes. These measures include:
- Quit smoking to lower your risk of blood clots
- Exercise your lower leg muscles to improve circulation in your legs. Point your toes up toward your head so that the calves of your legs are stretched, then relax. Repeat. This exercise is especially important to do when you are sitting for long periods of time.
- Wearing compression stockings can prevent swelling and lower your chance of developing clots. They reach just below your knee or right above it. You’ll most likely wear these every day. You can use highly designed compression stockings offered by Lumino Cielo. It will not only make you feel comfortable but also relieves your pain.
- Keep your blood pressure under control
- Lose your weight
- Stretch your legs and feet while you’re sitting; this keeps your blood moving steadily in your calves.
- Give up alcohol
- Raise your leg whenever you’re resting. This helps to relieve the pressure in the veins of the calf and stops blood and fluid pooling in the calf itself.
Home Remedy of Deep Venous Thrombosis
Although no natural remedies are there which can cure DVT, but some can help in the process of blood thinning and prevention of the disease. Some of the home remedies for DVT are:
- Ginger: Drink ginger tea 2 or 3 times a day. Ginger plays a great role in treating DVT. A natural salicylate, it can block vitamin K and thin the blood. It also boosts blood circulation in arteries and veins. Plus, it helps prevent high cholesterol, which can cause plaque buildup and inhibit circulation.
- Cayenne Pepper: This natural blood thinner also helps in the treatment of DVT. The compound capsaicin in cayenne pepper promotes blood circulation and helps prevent blood clots. It also strengthens the arteries and capillaries.
- Vitamin-E: Eat vitamin E-rich foods like walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, olive oil, spinach, broccoli, and avocado. Vitamin E contains antiplatelet and anticoagulant properties that help prevent blood clots.
- Turmeric: Apply turmeric paste on the affected part. This wonderful spice also has blood-thinning properties and can help improve circulation
Treatment of Deep Venous Thrombosis
DVT treatments focus on keeping the clot from growing. In addition, treatment will attempt to prevent a pulmonary embolism and lower your risk of having more clots. Your physician or vascular surgeon can usually treat DVT with medications or minimally invasive procedures. Rarely, surgery may be required.
- Medications: Medications are used to thin your blood, such as heparin and warfarin. This makes it harder for your blood to clot.
- Clot Busters: These drugs are either given through an IV line to break up blood clots or through a catheter placed directly into the clot.
- Filters: You might need to have a filter put inside the large abdominal vein called the vena cava if you aren’t able to take blood thinners. This form of treatment helps prevent pulmonary embolisms by stopping clots from entering your lungs.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy depends upon the condition of the patient. For some patients it’s useful while for others it’s contraindicated.