What Are the Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?


 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.

About Me

Getting to Know Your GP

Getting to know your GP is one of the wisest things you can do. For many years, I avoided all contact with my GP. I would always tell myself that whatever ailment I was suffering from, it wasn't anything that I couldn't fix with a few painkillers and a glass of water. Thankfully, one day, I bumped into my GP in the street. We started talking and started to become friends. I still avoided the medical centre, but now and again I would visit his home for a cup of coffee. On one of my visits, the doctor noticed that I didn't look well. He referred me to the hospital and they discovered that I had an infection in my lung. After treatment, I am now fighting fit again. I now always attend all of my medical appointments and I would like to encourage you to do the same.

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