Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Many factors can lead to excessive blood clotting, leading to limited or blocked blood flow.
Blood clots can travel to the arteries or veins in the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs and limbs, which in turn can cause heart attack, stroke, damage to the body’s organs or even death.
Factors that increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis
1. Genetic defects
Some people inherit a disorder that makes their blood clot more easily. These defects often occur in the proteins needed for blood clotting and can also occur with the substances that delay or dissolve blood clots.
If you have the disorder, prolonged bed rest, such as during a long hospital stay, or paralysis can increase the risk of blood clots.
Pregnancy increases the pressure in the veins in your pelvis and legs as uterus compresses the veins slowing blood flow, which can lead to blood clots. Pregnancy also leads to an increase in platelets and clotting factors. The risk of blood clots from pregnancy can continue for up to six weeks after you have given birth.
3. Being overweight or obese
People who are obese tend to have a less active lifestyle. Being idle makes your blood flow sluggish, and this makes clots more likely. If you are obese, the extra weight can raise your heart rate and reduce your body’s ability to transport blood through the veins. Obesity changes the chemical makeup of blood, and it leads to inflammation. Both make your blood more prone to clotting.
Smoking affects blood clotting and circulation by making it more likely for your blood platelets to stick together. It also harms the lining of your blood vessels, which makes it easier for clots to form.
Dehydration occurs when your body doesn’t have enough fluids. This condition causes your blood vessels to narrow and blood to thicken, raising risk for blood clots.
5. Heart failure
Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is damaged or weakened. When the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, blood flow slows which can cause clots to form
Being older than 60 increases your risk of DVT, particularly if you have a medical condition that restricts your mobility, recent treatment for cancer, recent surgery, especially on the pelvis, hips or knees or have a family history of DVT.
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