Thrombosis – symptoms, treatment, what not to do

Thrombosis is a common problem, and it affects millions of people around the world each year. The exact number of people affected is unknown, but it is estimated that between 10 and 20% of people will experience a blood clot at some point in their lives.

A blood clot that forms in a blood artery or vein is referred to as thrombosis. If the clot, also known as a thrombus, becomes dislodged and moves to other regions of your body, such as your lungs or brain, it can cause major difficulties.

Thrombosis symptoms vary depending on where the clot is placed in your body. Swelling, discomfort, and redness in the affected area are common symptoms. If you see any of these symptoms, you should seek medical assistance right once.

Thrombosis is often treated with drugs that prevent the clot from expanding and new clots from developing. Surgery may be required in some circumstances to remove the clot or repair the damaged blood artery.

While treatment is critical, it is also critical to avoid activities that increase your risk of developing thrombosis. Smoking, sitting for long periods of time without moving, and not exercising frequently are all things to avoid.

To avoid thrombosis in the first place, implement modest lifestyle adjustments like obtaining regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking. By taking these precautions, you can lower your chances of getting a blood clot and staying healthy.

What are Thrombosis symptoms?

Asymptomatic or minor symptoms of vein thrombosis are common. Calf pain that worsens with walking is a common early symptom. Thrombosis causes typical symptoms in half of patients, most often affecting one leg:

  • swelling of the ankle , foot or calf, and even the entire leg,
  • leg pain that worsens with walking but goes away with immobilization
  • tenderness and soreness to the touch,
  • redness of the skin of the leg or its increased temperature (the other – healthy leg – then has a normal temperature).

In the remaining patients, thrombosis is asymptomatic. However , the patient may feel tiredness , chest pain, and shortness of breath due to hypoxia .

In 70% of cases, swelling in one leg is associated with thrombosis. If the swelling affects both limbs, another cause should be suspected, or vena cava thrombosis has developed (in the abdomen).

Low-grade fever or fever may accompany thrombosis (due to inflammation around the vein). The ongoing disease in the vein causes hardening, which can be felt beneath the fingers.

At rest, venous thrombosis can cause pain in the limb under pressure, as well as pain even when the leg is stationary. The patient may also notice a widening of the superficial veins that persists when the leg is lifted.

Treatment of thrombosis

Vein thrombosis is treated conservatively, pharmacologically, and sometimes surgically.

The primary treatment for thrombosis is to take anticoagulants (or anticoagulants, e.g. warfarin, heparin). Anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relievers, and antibiotics are also prescribed by the doctor. Thrombosis treatment can last several months or a lifetime.

Who is most at risk of thrombosis?

The risk of deep vein thrombosis  increases after the age of 45 , but the disease can also affect younger people. The probability of its occurrence is increased by:

  • hereditary tendencies,
  • the use of certain medications, e.g. hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy,
  • obesity and sedentary work,
  • surgery, injuries (e.g. fractures) or prolonged immobilization due to illness,
  • trip lasting more than 4 hours by plane, car or train ( thrombosis and flight by plane ),
  • pregnancy and postpartum period,
  • certain diseases, such as cancer or thrombophilia (tendency to form blood clots).

What not to do with thrombosis? 

When your doctor diagnoses thrombosis, you should change your lifestyle. With thrombosis, you must not:

  • stand or sit still for a long time
  • wear tight clothes that impede blood flow in the limbs,
  • smoke cigarettes,
  • do contact sports, as anticoagulants increase the risk of bleeding.

Thrombosis – how to reduce the risk of getting sick?

To avoid deep vein thrombosis, it is worth taking care of several factors. The principles of disease prevention include:

  • maintaining a healthy weight,
  • regular physical activity (preferably 4-5 times a week). Above all, exercises involving the muscles of the legs are recommended, e.g. walking, jogging, cycling,
  • avoiding sitting for long hours – if your work requires it, take short breaks every hour,
  • conscientious adherence to doctors’ recommendations after surgery or injury – this applies in particular to taking injections with anticoagulant heparin and returning to activity as soon as possible,
  • treatment of leg varicose veins – although varicose veins result from problems with superficial (and not deep) veins, they indicate circulatory disorders in the lower limbs.

To avoid venous thrombosis, stay hydrated, wear loose, non-compressive clothing before a long journey, and tense your calf muscles, move your fingers and feet frequently while sitting, and avoid sleeping in a sitting position. You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine on longer journeys because they have a diuretic effect.

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4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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