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Do not let that put you at risk for blood clots- Tips to keep your blood flowing

varicose veins

The deep veins in our body are surrounded by powerful muscles and during contractions they send the deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Valves in the leg veins ensure that the blood does not flow back towards the feet between contractions and flows only in one direction, against the gravity.

If blood circulation in the leg veins is affected or if you have a condition that makes you susceptible to blood clots, blood starts to pool. This causes swelling and can lead to formation of clots in the deep veins. Deep vein thrombosis or DVT refers to the formation of blood clots in the deep veins. 

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the most common type of blood clot and it is estimated that every year, there are about 3,000 cases of blood clots reported in India. DVT is a serious condition and any delay in treatment can cause serious complications like Pulmonary embolism (PE).

Blood clots with major health risks

Any blood clot formed in the arteries or veins can be dangerous. Depending on the location of the clot, various complications can arise. Blood clot in the lungs can cause Pulmonary embolism. An arterial clot in the brain can result in a stroke. Clot formed in a coronary artery can cause heart attack. When formed in the abdominal blood vessels, a clot can cause vomiting, nausea and/or pain.

What are the common blood clot triggers?

1) Continuously sitting for long hours during a ride

2) Being bedridden for long after an illness or surgery 

3) Conditions like varicose veins when superficial valves stop functioning properly and blood starts to pool in your legs

4) Leading a sedentary lifestyle

5) Taking medications that induces clotting of blood

Can we prevent blood clots?

Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, quitting smoking, and proper weight management can minimize your risks for clots.  

Here are a few tips to practice while in situations like a long car ride. Long hours of inactivity may lead to more risk of clot formation.

1) Stretch your legs intermittently – Get up every hour or so and try to repeatedly move your ankles back and forth and stretch your calves. 

2) Wear compression stockings – This will help to prevent blood from pooling and reduce swelling 

3) Drink lots of water, avoid excessive alcohol consumption

4) Try small exercises while sitting to move your legs and feet

Treatment for blood clots

The aim of treating blood clots is to prevent clots from getting larger or getting loose and moving away. It will also focus on reducing your chances of developing more clots in the future.

Blood thinners or anti-coagulants are prescribed that help to prevent clots from forming.  Compression stocking will give relief from swelling and prevent clot formation. 

Sometimes a stent may be necessary to keep a blood vessel open. In many cases doctors perform thrombectomy surgery to remove blood clots that are formed.

To know more about blood clots and treatment, call our vascular experts at Avis Vascular Centre.

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