Approximately 900,000 people are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) each year in the United States. DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein, most commonly found in the legs. If a blood clot forms in a deep vein, it can block the flow of blood and cause swelling and discomfort in the leg. A deep vein blood clot may also break off and travel back to the heart and into the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of blood clots
Symptoms of blood clots usually occur in one leg, and can include feelings of pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness and discomfort, as well as changes in skin color. The pain is most often located below the knee and may increase in severity while walking or standing. It is important to note, however, that some people with DVT may not exhibit any symptoms, so getting regular check ups with a vein care specialist is the best way to keep your veins healthy.
Water is important for healthy veins
Dehydration is a leading cause of DVT because it may cause your blood to thicken and clot. To help prevent blood clots, it is important to drink 8 ounces of water every 2 hours throughout the day. Water is responsible for many important functions, like circulation and transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Older adults are at a particularly higher risk of dehydration because natural changes in hormones are beginning to occur — specifically the antidiuretic hormone, which is responsible for triggering a thirst response — doesn’t send thirst signals to the brain as effectively.
Tips to help you avoid blood clots
In addition to staying hydrated, here are a few more tips to help you avoid blood clots:
- Maintain an active lifestyle and get regular exercise
- Avoid standing or sitting for more than 1 hour at a time
- Limit sodium in your diet
- Sit or lie down and raise your feet approximately six inches above your heart at the end of the day
For more information about the treatment and prevention of blood clots, please contact Vein Associates of Texas at 888-653-2728. Our team of vein care specialists has nonsurgical treatment options to help you get back to enjoying your life without any downtime.