What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) refers to blood clots that develop in veins deep in your body. They usually occur in the arms or legs, causing them to swell and become painful. If you have pre-existing medical conditions that affect blood clotting, you are especially susceptible to this condition.
There are two types of veins — superficial veins and deep veins. You can see the former just under your skin while the latter rests deeper within the muscles. Blood clots in superficial veins aren’t usually a cause for concern as vein valves keep them from entering deep veins. It’s the deeper veins that should concern you.
DVT can occur after you have periods of immobilization, such as rest periods after accidents or surgery. In most cases, DVT isn’t severe, and doctors can diagnose it quickly. However, patients with DVT should take the condition seriously since blood clots in deep veins can move through the bloodstream and reach the lungs, blocking blood flow to the lungs. It’ll result in less oxygen supplied to the body and sometimes pulmonary embolism (PE), a blockage in a pulmonary artery in the lungs, which can be life-threatening. (x)
Deep Vein Thrombosis Symptoms
Because of the potential dangers of not detecting DVT, it is important for you to be aware of the indications of possibly having health concerns for yourself and others. Some symptoms include:
- Discomfort and Discoloration
DVT can occur without showing symptoms. Since it occurs mainly in the legs, individuals with DVT may experience discomfort along their legs. In some cases, skin along the affected area can become discolored.
The affected area may also be painful. Pain from DVT in the legs usually starts in the calf and spreads. It makes the portion feel sore, but the pain — similar to that of cramps — is generally bearable. Pain from DVT usually increases while bending and straightening affected limbs.
- Heat and Swelling
The affected area may feel warm to the touch and look quite red. The veins may even swell, in which case they sometimes become visible.
- Pulmonary Embolism
In severe cases, PE may show DVT. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include sudden chest pain, shortness of breath and a worsening cough. Deep breaths may also be troublesome. Patients may even throw up blood. (x) (x)
- Other DVT Symptoms
A rapid pulse and constant shortness of breath are also common symptoms of DVT.
Book a Medical Checkup
Visits to the doctor are wise if you suspect you may have DVT — since, in worst-case scenarios, the condition can be life-threatening. Booking a checkup with your doctor, whether or not you have DVT symptoms (remember — it doesn’t always show signs), goes a long way to prevent dangerous DVT complications.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Diagnosis
At your medical checkup, the doctor will review your health concern and set you up for some tests to see if you have DVT. It’s nothing to be alarmed about because tests eliminate health concerns as well. Some diagnostic tests include:
- Blood Tests
Doctors make diagnoses by considering patient history, physical examinations and tests. One such test is the D-dimer assay test. (x) This blood test can help doctors rule out the presence of blood clots.
Ultrasound is another tool healthcare professionals can use to diagnose DVT. They can help technicians locate clots in the arms and legs and help doctors determine clot size and age. Ultrasounds can also help doctors track treatment progress. (x)
Deep Vein Thrombosis Causes
DVT has various causes, many of which are conditions that disrupt the natural flow of blood through your body. At any one time, the body makes and then dissolves tiny blood clots throughout the system. However, it has a more challenging time getting rid of clots in deep veins.
Some standard causes of deep vein thrombosis include pregnancy, smoking, certain medications and more. Below are some of the many causes of deep vein thrombosis: (x)
- Prolonged Periods of Bed Rest
Prolonged periods of bed rest after accidents and surgeries or during paralysis can cause DVT. Regular movement in the legs and arms helps circulate blood. Without regular movement, blood doesn’t circulate as well, forming clots. Caregivers are likely to help you if you are bed ridden, making sure your body has regular movement.
Pregnancy can also cause DVT because of additional pressure on the legs. Pregnant women with blood clotting disorders are more at risk. Perhaps, you can plan your pregnancy and work with your doctor on determining your body’s health before getting pregnant. If you are pregnant, you work with your doctor and determine if it is a concern. If so, both of you can regulate your body’s health. Objective imaging validates if you have a health concern. You want to minimize maternal and fetal risks by using the most effective test during pregnancy, which may be D-dimer testing. (x)
Obesity can also contribute to the onset of DVT since it increases pressure on the legs and arms. (x) A sizeable administrative database study implied that obese patients responded positively to aggressive anticoagulation programs regarding DVT. Still, these programs did not assist in pulmonary embolism — blocked arteries in the lungs. (x)
Smoking disrupts regular blood circulation and clotting, increasing the risk of DVT in smokers, particularly women. (x)
Age often also contributes to DVT. While DVT can occur at any age, the risk of DVT onset increases significantly after 60. The vessel wall changes as your body ages. For example, the venous valves thicken. These valves help the blood flow through your body, operating as two elastic flaps of tissue in the veins. A study suggests that since these valves thicken with age, they may cause venous thrombosis in older bodies. (x)
Family history plays a role, too, and is a common consideration in DVT diagnosis. If your parents, grandparents or great-grandparents had DVT or pulmonary embolism, your risk of developing it increases. If you have it in your family, you can make lifestyle changes to lower the risk of developing DVT. (x)
- Oral Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapies
Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies cause blood clotting. (x) The hormone estrogen, which both oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapies contain, causes the blood to clot easier. A study determined that the higher the dose of estrogen therapy, the greater the risk of venous thrombosis compared to low-dose preparations. The first year of use is key to determining the risk factor. The risk varies based on its preparation, obesity, increasing age, cancer and recent surgery. (x)
- Vein Diseases and Conditions
Vein diseases and conditions that damage blood vessels — such as vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation) and varicose veins — can also cause DVT. (x) Damaged blood vessels narrow, restricting blood and causing clots.
Hypercoagulation is a condition that causes the blood to clot faster than expected. (x) This condition, combined with any of the DVT mentioned above causes, increases the risk of developing DVT and its complications.
- Heart Disease
Heart disease can also put you at risk of DVT or pulmonary embolism. Since individuals with heart diseases cannot efficiently deal with additional blood flow issues, DVT and pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Supplements and Treatments
The best treatment for DVT is anticoagulant (blood-thinning) medications. Straightforward DVT cases take about three months to treat. However, treatment duration varies depending on several factors, such as patient history, other medical issues, risk factors and more. (x)
Below are a few supplements that can help treat DVT. Note that you should use them only as treatment adjuvants, not stand-alone treatments. And talk to your doctor before taking supplements to determine whether they’re right for you. Ask your doctor for their dose guidelines and follow them. If you don’t have access to a doctor, follow dose guidelines on supplement packaging.
Supplements for Deep Vein Thrombosis
You may discover you have some of these supplements in your possession as basically used vitamins and herbs. If so, congratulate yourself:
- Fish Oil for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Fish oil contains essential fatty acids vital to cardiovascular health. Take two capsules up to three times daily.
- Garlic Extract Powder for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Garlic extract powder is beneficial to overall health and well-being. Clinical and animal research supports garlic’s beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. (x) Take two daily servings of 650 milligrams with meals.
- Ginger Root Extract Powder for Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Cayenne Extract Powder for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Cayenne has anti-inflammatory benefits and can also dilate the blood vessels, promoting blood circulation. Take 500 milligrams of cayenne extract powder up to three times daily with plenty of water and meals.
- Turmeric Extract Powder for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Like garlic, turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, beneficial to overall health and well-being. And like ginger, it also has cardioprotective and (possibly) anticoagulant effects. (x) Take no more than 1,000 milligrams of turmeric extract powder once daily.
Where to Buy Supplements and Powders for Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism?
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Are you interested in trying any of these powders or supplements mentioned in this article as a possible solution to helping you with DVT and PE? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Treatments for Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVT and PE can become life-threatening, and the health concern is not something you can take lightly. However, modern-day medical care has a good chance of handling the disease. Some treatments include:
- Anticoagulants for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Anticoagulants are the first line of treatment for DVT. They’re blood thinners that help the body dissolve existing clots and prevent new ones from forming. Doctors generally prescribe anticoagulants as soon as they make a diagnosis. Worth noting is that these medications can cause excessive bleeding if doses are too high. (x) Warfarin or heparin are popular anticoagulants. Doctors prescribe thrombolytics if the risk of pulmonary embolism is high.
- Compression Stockings for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Immobile patients in prolonged bed rest can use compression stockings to prevent blood from clotting. Doctors sometimes order the use of external pneumatic compression devices. (x) These devices use air-filled cuffs to squeeze the legs, improving blood flow and dissolving clots.
- Movement Exercises for Deep Vein Thrombosis
Doctors advise patients coming out of surgery to move as soon as possible. Performing leg lifts in bed can help prevent DVT by increasing blood circulation. Physical therapists can also recommend movement exercises that can strengthen the body and increase deep-vein blood circulation. Even walking has proven therapeutic effects in patients recovering mobility post-surgery.
Medical professionals reserve surgical removal of blood clots when all other treatment options fail or when patients can’t take anticoagulant medication because of pre-existing health concerns.
Minimizing Risk Factors for Deep Vein Thrombosis
The best way to prevent DVT is by addressing risk factors. If you’re worried about DVT and smoke, now may be the time to quit. If you’re obese, consider increasing your weekly exercise to help you lose weight faster. Also, if your job requires you to sit all day, consider taking more breaks to walk around.
Living a stress-free and healthy lifestyle of eating the right foods and exercising may lower the chances of ever having DVT or PE.
The Bottom Line
DVT is a vein disorder that affects the deep venous system, usually in the legs or the arms. Symptoms and complications of DVT can range from life-threatening (pulmonary embolism) to unnoticeable. If you suspect you have DVT or are at risk of developing it, booking a checkup with your doctor is the best way to get a diagnosis or come up with a preventive plan.
By understanding the risk factors and causes of DVT, making informed decisions around preventing it becomes easier. Now might be the time to fulfill your weight loss goals or quit smoking. Also, consider taking any of the supplements mentioned above to help you prevent or treat DVT. Remember to talk to your doctor first before taking supplements to determine whether they’re right for you.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.