Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis is a dangerous medical condition caused when a clot hinders blood flow in your arms or legs. When your leg blood pressure gets too high, it can cause the clot to travel to your heart. Each extremity contains both superficial and deep veins that pump blood back to your heart and keep your body functioning properly. While blood clots in superficial veins are typically not dangerous, DVT can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

A quick diagnosis is a key to recovering from DVT. If you pay attention to the warning signs, you can have the condition adequately treated at a medical center such as the Gilvydis Vein Clinic. The earlier DVT is diagnosed, the better your prognosis will be, and the less likely you will be to suffer from complications.

What Are the Symptoms of DVT?

There are several warning signs that indicate DVT, but you will need to be evaluated by a medical professional for an official diagnosis. DVT in the legs is more common than DVT in arms, but it can occur in any extremity. While some people have no noticeable signs of the condition, the following symptoms could be a cause for concern.

  • Discoloration: If you have a DVT, the affected extremity with often has a strange coloring. Sometimes it turns red, while other times it appears to be blue or purple.
  • Pain: If you feel discomfort in your arms or legs that does not go away, you may have DVT. The pain often feels like a muscle cramp that will not ease regardless of treatment.
  • Swelling: If you have a significant amount of swelling in one extremity with no apparent injury, it could be a sign that a clot is restricting blood flow, and causing edema.
  • Warmth: If your arm or leg is hot to the touch for no reason, it could be your body reacting to a DVT.

How Is DVT Diagnosed?

DVT requires several tests to confirm the diagnosis. Your doctor will perform a physical evaluation and then most likely order an ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis. Occasionally, venography, blood test, or CT scan will also be used.

Which Risk Factors Contribute to DVT?

Anyone can develop DVT, but many risk factors make it more likely. The more risk factors you have, the more likely it is that you will develop DVT at some point in your life. The most common risk factor is immobility. If you live a sedentary lifestyle or are bedridden due to surgery or a chronic illness, your calf muscles will be unable to contract and keep blood flow moving correctly. Pregnancy, age, smoking, heart disease, and obesity are also big factors in the development of DVT.

There is no guaranteed way to prevent DVT, but you can reduce the likelihood of developing the condition by taking care of your body. Break up long periods of sitting with short periods of movement to keep from being immobile. Regular exercise is a great way to keep your blood pumping properly and help you maintain a healthy weight.

How Is DVT Treated?

Because blood clots are so dangerous, it is a good idea to have them treated in a clinic. At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we offer three types of DVT treatments. Depending on your personal situation, we will use any of the following methods on you.

  • Blood Thinners: Blood thinners are prescribed for 3-6 months to help stop the clot from growing and give the body time to naturally break up the clot.
  • Venogram: We use x-ray technology and a special dye to map your veins and determine the location of blood clots so we can treat them more effectively with blood thinners.
  • Thrombolysis: We dissolve large blood clots that are not responding to blood thinners using a catheter.

If you are concerned about your veins or think you may have DVT, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic today to schedule an appointment. We will diagnose you quickly and start treatment so you can get back to your healthy lifestyle as quickly as possible.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/g0d4ather