Blood Clot Prevention
There are many strategies which you may implement to prevent DVT from occurring. They focus on three main factors which prevent clot formation. These include keeping blood flowing well, enhancing vein health, and keeping your blood healthy.
Here are some tips for staying healthy and preventing blood clots from forming:
- Learn the signs and symptoms of DVT (see below) so that you can seek diagnosis and treatment early, should one occur.
- Wear loose fitting clothing so that your blood may flow freely and your blood vessels are not damaged. Pay particular attention to wearing socks that fit properly, and avoid wearing girdles and other constrictive clothing.
- Do not cross your legs while sitting.
- Take frequent breaks when travelling. If you cannot get up and walk around, change your position frequently. Move your legs often and tighten and contract your muscles regularly.
- Get regular exercise. Consult with your health care provider for specific recommendations. If you are bed or wheel chair bound learn how to perform range of motion and other exercises.
- Lose weight if you are overweight in order to reduce pressure on your blood vessels and prevent the development of illnesses which predispose you to DVT formation.
- Consider the use of bioidentical hormone replacement therapies or herbal remedies to relieve menopausal symptoms instead of standard hormone replacement drugs.
- Consider non-hormonal types of birth control.
- If you have diabetes, keep your blood glucose levels tightly controlled.
- Do not smoke.
- Drink adequate amounts of fluids daily.
Signs and Symptoms of DVT
Signs and symptoms may vary depending upon the location of the clot. Clots often form within the valves of veins, particularly in legs.
The clot may become dislodged and travel to other body parts. If it travels to your brain, you may have a stroke. Clots in the lungs are serious. They are referred to as pulmonary emboli. A clot may lodge in your heart, causing a myocardial infarction, heart attack.
If you have a clot which lodges in your lungs, heart, or brain, you need immediate medical assistance. Call for emergency assistance immediately.
You may be eligible to receive a clot dissolving medication if you get help immediately. The medication restores circulation and limits damage caused by the clot.
Signs that indicate a need for emergency medical assistance include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pressure or pain
- Jaw pain
- Inability to speak
- Weakness on one side of your body
- Changes in consciousness
- Pink frothy sputum
Fortunately, most blood clots occur in the legs and do not cause life-threatening conditions. You may even have a blood clot and not realize it.