March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month

This month marks the 12th year of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month. Raising awareness of this potentially deadly disorder is paramount to preventing it. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, typically in the leg. If the clot becomes dislodged, it can travel to major organs like the lungs and brain. Between 350,000 and 600,000 people each year are diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, and most of these cases could have been prevented through awareness of the risk factors and lifestyle changes.

Risk factors

Sedentary lifestyle – inactivity is one of the biggest risk factors for blood clots. When you remain sedentary for too long, blood can pool in veins and begin to clot. Exercise or daily movement, especially after sitting for long periods of time, can help prevent this.

Age – Although there is nothing you can do about getting older, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle as you get older. Exercising and eating better can help reduce the risk of diseases that lead to age-related problems.

High blood pressure – Checking your blood pressure regularly can help you determine if you may be at risk. High blood pressure indicates a problem with how your blood is circulating. If you do have high blood pressure, medication may be necessary to regulate it. Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol can also lower blood pressure.

Birth control pills – Some birth control pills have a hormone called drospirenone that has been linked to blood clots. Consult your doctor to know what your birth control contains, to lower your risk.

Long plane flights – Between the cabin pressure and the long periods of sitting, a plane flight can be a dangerous adventure. Standing, or walking around the plane, can help combat blood clots. Wearing compression stockings can also prevent DVT.

Symptoms

If you think you may be at risk, you should check yourself for several symptoms that could indicate deep vein thrombosis. Leg swelling is a tale-tell sign of DVT. Pain, itching and burning sensations can also be present. The skin around the affected area can become discolored. If you see any of these signs, you should seek immediate medical attention.

For more information about deep vein thrombosis and other vein disorders, contact Total Vein Care at (225) 245-3540. Our vein experts can help you!

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