DVT occurs when a blood clot occurs deep inside a blood vessel, blocking the circulation of blood. The blood clots typically form in parts of the body such as the thighs, legs and feet. The real danger associated with DVT is the fact that when these blood clots become dislodged from the point where they formed, they could get to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. It is therefore crucial that you know the risk factors associated with the condition and the warning signs so that you can get the necessary help if needed.
If your family has hereditary blood clotting disorders
Some people are genetically more at risk to develop a hyper-coagulate state or what is known as thrombophilia. When you have this condition, your blood tends to clot too much. The condition can be a result of the mutation of the prothrombin gene, deficiency in protein S and C, which prevent clotting, and excessive homocysteine. Elevated levels of fibrinogen also lead to blood hyper-coagulate state.
If you have been using artificial hormones
Artificial hormones include oestrogen from regular contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. Pregnancy is also placed under these causative factors because of the hormonal changes it creates in the body. Oestrogen increases the plasma concentration of clotting factors and increases gene transcription rates. If you have been taking the pill or undergoing hormone replacement therapy and high oestrogen concentrations have been used, it is essential to be on the lookout for signs of thrombosis.
If you have cancer or have been undergoing cancer therapy
The body usually has a balance of pro-clotting and anti-clotting proteins. Cancer affects this balance, and most of the time the balance tilts towards the pro-clotting side. Increased inflammation and compressed blood vessels heighten the cancer patient's risk of developing thrombosis. Cancer patients are also forced to be off their feet for long hours, which further increase their risk of developing clots.
Other possible risk factors for thrombosis include placement of catheters inside the blood veins, recent trauma, lack of regular exercise and previous issues with DVT. The common treatment for the condition is administering anticoagulants. However, if the clot has dislodged, and a vascular surgeon suspects that it could travel to the heart or lungs, surgery can be performed. If you have symptoms such as swollen legs, pain in the legs and skin which has darkened in a certain area, contact a competent surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.