202015Oct
Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

The disorder known as Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT happens when you have a blood clot beginning to form inside a deep vein. DVT clots usually form in the thigh, lower leg, or pelvis; however in some cases, they can form in the arm as well.

Often, it is serious and under-diagnosed by vein doctors, but it is a medical condition that is preventable. This condition can happen to anyone and can result in disability, severe illness, and sometimes, death. Therefore, it’s essential that you learn all you can about DVT.

Risk Factors of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Genetics

Researchers have found links between various genetic factors and DVT. The British Journal of Haematology published a study in 2013 that revealed about half of the study participants who had DVT also had a genetic condition which included deficiencies of protein C and S and factor V Leiden. These affect how blood coagulates. The journal Gene published another study in 2014 that showed that people who have clotting issues because of a genetic mutation tend to also have other mutations which puts them at a higher risk for VTE.

Pregnancy

The veins in your legs and pelvis receive increased pressure during pregnancy. Higher at risk are women who already have an inherited clotting disorder. You are still at risk of pregnancy-related blood clots for up to six weeks after giving birth.

Sitting Too Long

When you fly or drive, you tend to sit for long time periods. This keeps your legs still for hours, which keep your calf muscles from contracting. Because contracting your calf muscles helps your blood to circulate, when your calf muscles are not moving for long time periods, it can lead to blood clots.  You’ll have to visit a Pacific Northwest vein clinic to have it evaluated and treated.

Certain Diseases

Various disorders and diseases can heighten your risk of getting blood clots, including blood-clotting disorders that are hereditary, particularly if you already have a risk factor. Your risk for getting a blood clot is increased if you have inflammatory bowel disease or cancer.  You are also higher at risk if you have heart failure, which is a disorder that lessens your heart’s ability to pump blood.

Preventing DVT

If you’ve been confined to your bed for a long time due to an illness, following a surgery, or injury, it’s important that you get up and move around as soon as you can.  You should talk with a doctor or vascular surgeons if it requires surgery. If not, your doctor can help you prevent DVT by advising you to not sit for long time periods and if you need to, be sure to get up every couple hours and walk around. They might offer you vein treatment, medication (anticoagulants) or medical compression stockings to help prevent you from getting DVT.

Other things you can do are wear clothes that are loose-fitting and exercise your legs while you sit.  You do this by tightening and releasing them and raising and lowering your toes and heels while keeping them on the floor. Avoid living a sedentary lifestyle, maintain a healthy weight and follow all recommendations your doctor gives you which are personalized to your individual risk factors.