Have you had any heart problem before? Does your work demand you to sit or stand for a longer period of time? Does either of your legs swell? Do you feel any dull pain in one or both of your legs?
You may not know it, but you might be suffering from deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. DVT occurs when there is a blood clot that has formed in a vein deep within your body, most commonly in the legs.
Am I in Danger?
DVT is not fatal until a portion of the blood clot travels and lodges into a vital body organ. People with untreated DVT often suffer from pulmonary embolism, a possibly fatal health condition that happens when a blood clot blocks one of the lung’s blood vessels. This may lead to shortness of breath, lung failure, and ultimately, death.
Am I at Risk?
According to Mayo Clinic, you are at risk of DVT if you have the following conditions:
- Family history of blood clot disorder
- Recent injury or surgery in one of the legs or heart
- Bedridden for a long time
- History of stroke, heart failure
- Taking birth control pills
- Some types of cancer and cancer treatments
What are its Treatments?
It is important to consult with your doctor right away if you feel any DVT symptoms and are at risk of this disease. Upon DVT diagnosis, your doctor may advise you to take medications, such as blood thinners and clot busters, to fight against blood clots. In Canada, doctors advise buying Plavix, especially if they have certain heart and blood vessel conditions.
How Can I Prevent It?
DVT is completely preventable. Here are some tips:
- Maintain a healthy weight. Too much pressure on your legs triggers blood clot formation.
- Avoid standing or sitting still for a prolonged period of time. At work or while driving, have occasional breaks where you can do some stretching.
- Make a healthier choice. Quitting smoking, for instance, can help you keep DVT at bay.
By knowing your risk of DVT, its symptoms, and the simple ways on how to prevent it, you are keeping yourself free from this potentially deadly disease.