Are You at Risk of Developing DVT?

If you haven’t heard of DVT, it’s time you learn about it. Why? Because anyone, young or old and from any walk of life, can experience DVT. Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein located deep in your muscle tissue. Most cases of DVT occur in the leg, but they can also occur in either arm. Since a huge portion of the American labor force works a desk job, and/or lives a sedentary lifestyle, DVT is a constant risk.

But DVT is more serious than just having a clot form in one of your veins, although that’s bad enough. The major complication occurs when the clot breaks loose — it can travel through your bloodstream and become lodged in your lungs, blocking the blood flow there. This is known as a pulmonary embolism, and it is a life-threatening condition.

Fortunately, DVT is preventable, and if you’re living with DVT, it’s treatable and possibly curable. Our caring, passionate team of board-certified and fellowship-trained vascular surgeons are specialized in this disorder. Together, we help you to identify your own risk factors, as well as offer testing and treatment options. Keeping North Atlanta healthy and active is our goal at North Atlanta Vascular Clinic, so we want you to have all the information you need about this condition and its risk factors.

Why should I worry about DVT?

As we mentioned above, deep vein thrombosis isn’t a condition that’s restricted to one group of people or one particular lifestyle, and it carries with it the potential of causing great harm. There are around a dozen different risk factors for DVT, and some of them are pre-existing conditions

Age

While DVT doesn’t discriminate based on age, you are at elevated risk of developing a clot if you’re age 60 or over. 

Sex

While DVT affects women and men at about the same rate, it is of particular concern to pregnant women. The elevated hormones that come with pregnancy raise the chances of developing DVT. With a growing baby steadily increasing pressure on the veins in the mother’s legs, blood clots become more likely.

Just as hormones elevated by pregnancy can directly contribute to your risk of developing DVT, so can hormone replacement therapy. Several types of hormone replacement therapies use estrogen, which chemically affects blood clotting. 

Family History

Whether it’s DVT or another blood clotting disorder, if someone in your family has this condition, it increases your chances of developing DVT as well. As with every heredity condition, make sure to tell us if DVT is part of your family medical history. 

Weight

Just like pregnancy, extra weight on your body puts extra weight on the veins in your legs and can lead to sluggish blood flow and clotting. 

Lack of Activity

DVT is far from the only medical condition that can be caused or exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle. Atlanta is a hotbed of rich, delicious Southern cuisine, but it often falls short when it comes to fitness. Keeping your blood flowing with regular exercise and a healthy, high-fiber diet is essential for the prevention of DVT and other health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

If you have any of these risk factors, say something

DVT can develop without symptoms, but if you have them, you’ll likely notice red or discolored skin on your leg, pain, and/or unexplained warmth on one spot. Don’t ignore the signs. Give us a call at one of our locations, or schedule an appointment with us online today.

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