How to Prevent Blood Clots in Your Legs
How to Prevent Blood Clots in Your Legs
Blood clots form when platelets, proteins, and cells stick together and build a blood mass. The person’s body makes a blood clot to control the bleeding when that person gets hurt. After the bleeding stops and the healing occurs, the body usually breaks down and removes the blood clot.
Unfortunately, blood clots sometimes form where they should not, the body makes abnormal or too many blood clots, or the blood clots do not break down as they should. These blood clots can be dangerous and can cause other health problems.
Blood clots can form or travel to blood vessels in the limbs, lungs, brain, heart, and kidneys. Depending on where blood clots are located, they will cause different types of problems.
We know the dangers of blood clots (also known as deep vein thrombosis). They are not something to be taken lightly. Although blood clots may not always be life-threatening, depending on their severity and location, they may be, and you don’t want to risk developing them.
Next, we will show you five practical tips on how to avoid or prevent blood clots in your legs:
PREVENTING BLOOD CLOTS IN YOUR LEGS
1.- FIND TIME TO MOVE YOUR BODY
At the end of a challenging and busy day, few activities are as relaxing as lying on the couch and watching television. Yet, many of us spend more than eight hours a day at a desk in front of a computer. This situation makes us question what we can do to make time to move. Below are some tips to keep on moving.
o Parking farther away from work and walking to your office.
o Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs.
o At lunchtime, take a walk.
o Going for a walk after dinner: here, you may enlist family, friends, and neighbors (walking club ).
o While sitting at work or home, try pointing and flexing your feet.
o Trying sitting on the wall at home, do it while watching television or before bedtime.
o Try sitting with your right hip to the wall and lying down, turning your legs against the wall (if you stay in this position for ten to fifteen minutes daily, it may do wonders for circulation and varicose vein disease symptoms.
2.- HYDRATE CONSTANTLY, ESPECIALLY WHILE TRAVELING OR AWAY FROM HOME
Staying hydrated is one of the primary ways to help your overall health. While the criteria are different for everyone depending on their activity level, body composition, and medication, as a general guideline of thumb, you should aim to consume half your body weight in ounces daily.
At first, this volume of water will have you going to the bathroom (and adding up steps!) until your body becomes more used to absorbing that amount of liquid. While water is best, hydration may come from iced tea, vegetables, fruits, and fresh juices.
Avoid excess caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks because they lead to further dehydration.
3.- KEEP A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Extra weight puts additional pressure and strain on your venous system, which may lead to blood clots. This category follows well on the first two in that staying active and well-hydrated helps with overall health and keeping a healthy weight.
In addition, eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential for optimal weight and helps to achieve and keep a healthy weight.
Other ways to help maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) include:
Getting at least thirty minutes of vigorous activity each day
Drinking plenty of water (as mentioned before)
Getting enough sleep
Sleep experts recommend that adults from twenty-six to sixty-four get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Poor sleep may associate with increased oxidative stress, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance. The additional time spent awake may also increase the opportunity to ingest extra calories, leading to weight gain.
No wonder health promotion plans emphasize the importance of prioritizing sleep over exercise.
Specialized dieticians explain the phenomenon of stress-induced weight gain. When you are under stress, you are more likely to eat what you consider comfort food, which often includes high-calorie foods, even when you are not hungry.
Cortisol levels also increase under stress; increased cortisol levels tend to cause cravings for sweet, fatty, and salty foods. Often, people working to lose weight see significant improvements toward their goals when they add stress reduction techniques, such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
Therefore, understanding and managing your sources of stress is also crucial.
4.- ELEVATE YOUR FEET, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SLEEP
Keeping your feet elevated at night while you relax and sleep may help promote healthy circulation, which can lower your risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots), especially if you have varicose vein disease. It does not take much; placing a pillow under your legs will help to elevate your feet a few inches.
EXTRA PRO TIP: try to keep your legs higher than your hips.
5.- BE ALERT TO THE WARNING SIGNS OF BLOOD CLOTS AND POTENTIAL RISK FACTORS
Usual danger signs of a blood clot to be alert of include the following:
Contact a vein specialist if you have experienced leg swelling, redness, or pain. These long-term symptoms may be signs of varicose vein disease. However, if these symptoms are acute (abrupt), especially shortness of breath or chest pain, seek emergency medical attention, as you could suffer a pulmonary embolism from deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot.
Usual risks of a blood clot to be alert of include the following:
In addition to the signs listed above, be alert for your symptoms after a long car or plane ride, during pregnancy, or after accidents or medical procedures.
Also, you should know your family history: know if your grandmother and grandfather have varicose vein disease or if your mother has a history of unprovoked blood clots or clotting disorders. While there is nothing you can do about these risks, knowing your family history may help you understand your risk, and if you develop symptoms, you can seek care early.
MORE QUICK AND EFFICIENT TIPS FOR PREVENTING BLOOD CLOTS.
Wear loose clothing, socks, or stockings
Raise your legs six inches above your heart from time to time
Wear special stockings (compression stockings) whenever your physician prescribes them.
Follow the instructions on doing the exercises your physician tells you to do.
Change positions frequently, especially during long trips.
Do not sit or stand for more than one hour at a time.
Limit your salt consumption
Try not to cross your legs and not bump or hurt them.
Do not use pillows under your knees.
Raise the base of your bed four to six inches with blocks.
Take all medications your physician prescribes.
Stay active; staying active and moving around may help prevent blood clots.
Do not smoke; smoking may increase the risk of blood clots. Talk to your physician about quitting smoking programs and medication if you need help.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS
As mentioned above, blood clots that form in the deep veins of the legs (DVT (deep vein thrombosis)) may cause leg symptoms. Worse, clots can break loose and travel through the blood to the heart and lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).
More individuals die from pulmonary embolisms yearly in the United States of America than from breast cancer.
If you have symptoms that indicate the possibility of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) and cannot immediately talk to your physician or healthcare provider, go to the emergency room. It is an emergency, and it is not something to check on Monday on the assumption that it is Friday.
Treatment usually involves taking a blood thinner for several months or more. Your healthcare provider also will have to find out why the blood clot formed. If your physician cannot find the reason, you may require to take a blood thinner for longer. You do not want to have a blood clot again, so you must be proactive to avoid future risks.
Understanding the signs of blood clots in the legs is vital. This way, you can get medical attention and make a diagnosis. If you suspect you could have a blood clot, seek medical attention immediately.
Nothing contained in this blog pretends to substitute direct medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.
Suppose you are looking for vein removal options or surgery or are worried about blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. In that case, at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, our vein specialists know how to formulate a personalized treatment plan to combat your leg discomfort and help you feel and look your best.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.
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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.
We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.
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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.
This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.