What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis & 5 Natural Ways To Treat It
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious health condition that usually occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein or artery, particularly in the lower leg, pelvis, or thigh.
A blood clot represents a blood clump in a solid, gelatinous state. It can also form in other parts of the body. Deep vein thrombosis may be a serious health issue when a blood clot breaks loose, travels through the bloodstream, and locates itself in the lungs, thus obstructing the proper blood flow.
Symptoms Of Deep Vein Thrombosis
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute stated that the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis are likely to happen in half of the people who suffer from this condition. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Tenderness and swelling in the ankle, foot or leg
- Leg pain, which usually starts off in the calf
- Severe, unbearable ankle and foot pain
- The affected skin area usually turns pale, bluish, or reddish in color
- Moving and walking difficulties
- Ulcers or scaling in the clot area
- Enlarged veins
Causes Of Deep Vein Thrombosis
There are numerous causes of deep vein thrombosis, which, if left unaddressed, may lead to a pulmonary embolism. In fact, if a blood clot detaches from its initial position, it can pass from the bloodstream to other parts of the body, leading to a pulmonary embolism. It can damage the lungs as well as other organs in the body. You should consult a doctor immediately if you are suffering from some pulmonary embolism symptoms. These include:
Prolonged immobility, such as long-distance travel, bed rest after surgery, or sitting for extended periods, can slow blood flow in the veins, increasing the risk of clot formation.
Certain surgeries, especially those involving the legs, pelvis, or abdomen, can increase the risk of DVT. This is partly due to the immobility that often follows surgery.
Injury or Trauma
Injuries that damage blood vessels or surrounding tissues can trigger clot formation.
Pregnancy and Postpartum
Pregnancy can lead to changes in blood flow and clotting factors, increasing the risk of DVT. The risk is highest during the third trimester and the postpartum period.
Hormone Therapy and Birth Control Pills
Some hormonal medications, including birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy, can increase the risk of blood clots.
Some individuals have an inherited predisposition to clotting disorders, such as Factor V Leiden mutation or deficiencies in anticoagulant proteins like antithrombin, protein C, or protein S.
Obesity is a risk factor for DVT because excess weight can put pressure on the veins in the pelvis and legs, slowing blood flow.
Smoking damages blood vessels and increases the risk of clot formation.
Dehydration can lead to thicker blood, which is more prone to clotting.
Varicose veins can disrupt blood flow and increase the risk of clot formation.
Risk Factors Associated With Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is more likely to happen in people older than 50. Some health conditions, which might affect how the blood circulates through the veins, can increase the risk of forming blood clots. These health conditions include:
- A family history of deep vein thrombosis
- Experiencing an injury that damages the veins, like a bone fracture
- Being obese or overweight
- Having a catheter inside a vein
- Undergoing hormone therapy or taking birth control pills
- A sedentary life or prolonged sitting
- A history of stroke, heart attack or cancer
- Hormonal or menopausal changes
Certain diseases and health disorders can increase the risk of developing blood clots. These include:
- Hereditary blood clotting disorder
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart failure
Natural Remedies For Deep Vein Thrombosis
1. Quit Up Smoking
Smoking may cause many symptoms of deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, it is of utter importance to find a way to give up smoking.
2. Wear Compression Stockings
Wearing compression stockings can soothe the swelling and pain of the affected area and hinder the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis by reducing pressure and providing moist heat.
3. Vigorous Exercise
A sedentary life makes people more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, it is of utter importance to take up exercising on a regular basis. The best type of exercise you can take up is to combine resistance training with aerobic exercise, such as running or cycling. In addition, take up exercises to strengthen the legs and knees, like squats, lunges, or walking.
4. Switch The Medications
Deep vein thrombosis can be also caused by certain medications, such as hormone replacement drugs, pressure medications, birth control pills, and cancer treatment medications. Therefore, make sure you consult with a doctor before taking any medications.
The doctor should prescribe you medications or anticoagulants that thin the blood, like warfarin, unfractionated heparin, fondaparinux, or enoxaparin. These medications prevent blood clotting.
5. Stick To A Healthy Diet
As we get older, following a healthy diet is vital for regulating weight, maintaining the cardiovascular system, and controlling blood pressure. Foods that are loaded with potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium help regulate blood flow.
In addition, cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, avocadoes, and bananas are highly nutritious foods.
Furthermore, make sure you drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. However, limit or avoid consuming too much caffeine and alcohol. It is also beneficial to include some herbal remedies and food supplements in your diet in order to promote overall health.
Some of the foods, supplements, and herbs that have anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties include:
- Green tea
- Apple cedar vinegar
- Fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids
- Raw honey
- Fruits, like pineapple, berries, and papaya
- Primrose oil
- Dark chocolate
- Herbs and spices, such as turmeric, garlic, oregano, ginger and cayenne
- Foods loaded with vitamin D and vitamin K, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, and some types of mushrooms
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious health condition that can cause life-threatening complications. If you suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above, make sure you consult a doctor immediately. Certain herbal remedies may have side effects and should not be taken by some individuals. Moreover, pregnant women should pay attention when taking herbs.