You suddenly start having a sense of weight in your legs, swelling, and then a sharp pain. You examine yourself and see that your leg has changed color, especially in an area that turned blueish. Is it a blood clot in your leg?
The medical name of the condition is deep-vein thrombosis or DVT, resulting from a blood clot (thrombus) blocking a vein in your leg or arm. The clot forms when your blood is too thick, and the risk of developing a blood clot increases as you get older. The clot is more likely to form in one or more of your lower leg veins because your legs are subject to gravity all day long. If you have had a recent injury to your leg or if you are overweight, the risk of having a blood clot in your leg is higher.
In some cases, you can even develop deep vein thrombosis in the cerebral or mesenteric veins. The latter are those located in your intestines, and when they are blocked, they trigger a type of abdominal pain that is very difficult to bear. Deep vein thrombosis is one of many diseases in the blood grouped together as venous thromboembolism disorders, and this one is the third most common cause of cardiovascular-related death. Number one and two are heart attack and stroke. That’s why it is important to know about this disease and look for medical help immediately if you suspect you have it.
In this article, you will find everything you need to know to introduce yourself to this disease, from causes and general information to the signs and symptoms you should look for.
Causes and risk factors
It is difficult to pinpoint a single cause of deep vein thrombosis because there are usually many of them. That’s why we talk about risk factors instead. The difference is that you can have a risk factor and still not trigger a disease. It just increases your risk of having this problem.
You’ll be more likely to have a blood clot form in your leg if you have one of these problems:
1) A reduction in your blood flow
When you have reduced blood flow, it gets stagnant and can’t move as it should. Stagnant blood is more likely to form blood clots. This happens, for example, if you have to stay in bed for an extended period, after surgery, or when you’re under general anesthesia. It can even happen during a long flight where you must stay sitting for a long time.