You know I just reached a few conclusions: One it is really hard to be a doctor, I mean just the sheer amount of knowledge they are required to gain, retain and then apply, itself is a colossal task. Secondly, at some point of time in life we all need a doctor, what with innumerous medical conditions, I am counting out the chances of never experiencing a doctor’s visit. So, on that note in the name of knowledge, today we decipher Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
DVT is the condition where a blood clot appears/forms not surprisingly in a vein deep inside the body, most commonly it occurs in the legs, lower or thigh area, but can occur somewhere else also. We know blood is supposed to flow smoothly within our body and not get coagulated, that is just not how it is supposed to be. When that happens, a person may experience pain, swelling, discoloration or that part may feel warmer. However, it is noticeable that more than half the cases don’t show any symptoms.
Although it can happen to anybody, here are a few risk factors that should alert you to its dangers:
- Injury to the vein: fracture, surgery etc.
- Restricted movement: if one is on a prolonged bed rest or paralyzed, or if you either travel, have a sitting job, leading to non-movement of legs for prolonged time period
- Pregnancy, also after pregnancy till the first period after pregnancy the risk remains
- Obesity: this one puts too much pressure on pelvis and leg muscles opening them to its dangers
- Other factors like family history, old age, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, and certain medications
Now whenever something happens there are a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario. So the best case I guess would not acquire it ever or just get away with it easily. The worst case though is that the clot gets bored of being stationary, so it breaks off and travels to the lungs causing pulmonary disruption. Meaning depending upon the size of the clot they may cause some serious implications like damage lung tissues or some other body parts due to less oxygen. This effect is called Pulmonary Embolism (PE). Together PE and DVT make for Venous Thromboembolism.
Now on to the diagnosis: Obviously a doctor’s advice to figure it out. They would require CT scan, Ultrasound, blood test (D-Dimer). All these to figure out if there is a blood clot in the body.
Once diagnosed, depending upon the condition, treatments would usually be made up of anti-coagulants (blood thinners). In emergency cases, surgery may be performed to remove the clot. Also, patients are advised to use compression stocking, that helps ease out pain and swelling.
However, we can’t really sit around waiting for it to happen to do something, can we? We may help ourselves to some extent by exercising for the blood to maintain its movement, maintain your weight, avoid sitting for long durations, and avoid the risk factors. Also if we are on bed rest, we need to check with doctor what best we can do.
Like everything else in life, it comes down to incorporating healthy habits and a healthier lifestyle is the way to a happier life.