Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Do not Ignore Swollen Foot, It could be DVT

We all know that blood circulation is important, but we rarely realize how dangerous improper circulation could be. Proper blood circulation means having the right amount of blood flow to make the heart beat, the hands and legs move and the brain to function. The movement of blood supplies oxygen to the brain and other organs of the body. It also promotes healthier skin and helps cell growth. Hence, poor circulation gives rise to several problems. The feet are known to be a target of poor blood circulation. One of the problems that results from poor blood circulation in the feet is Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT.

What is DVT?

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a condition that results from clotting in the feet. It means having a clot of blood in a deep vein and occurs usually in the thigh or calf. This clotting usually occurs in the lower leg. People who lead a sedentary lifestyle are victims of this condition.  When there is poor circulation, the blood flow to the vein in the legs is restricted. This restriction could be due to hardening of the peripheral arteries, which are vessels that take the blood from the heart to other parts of the body.  DVT can prove to be dangerous if part of the clot breaks and travels into the bloodstream. This movement may lead to the clot getting stuck and blocking the blood flow to any vital organ, say the lung or the brain.

Symptoms of DVT

Unfortunately, people with DVT receive no or very little warning signs. However, here are some signs connected with DVT. Fatigue or cramps in the feet are early symptoms of DVT. The feet may be swollen, ache or generally feel tired. Cramps may occur when there is extended immobility, such as sitting for a long period of time or while sleeping. There could be changes in the color of the skin around the lower legs. Your feet may be painful or feel tender while walking or standing. The skin may feel warm and the veins may be visible.

What to do when there are warning signs:

When any of these signs occur, take medical help. Your doctor will check if you have DVT with a simple ultrasound. This will reveal if there is enough blood flow and reveal the presence of a clot. An MRI and venography are further tests that may be suggested by the doctor.

Treatment and Prevention

Medication usually includes anticoagulants. Sometimes clot busters such as thrombolytics are administered by a doctor, depending on the need. However, there are some simple precautions that can help relieve the pain and avoid clotting. Wearing compression stockings will help in the circulation. These socks apply gentle pressure on the legs and this keeps the blood moving.  Resting your feet off the floor helps a lot as it makes the blood flow easier and reduces the swelling. Regular exercise is the best way to battle with DVT. Do workouts that apply pressure on the muscles. This promotes blood flow, which avoids the formation of clots. When your travel involves sitting for long period, make sure to stretch every few minutes. Clenching and releasing the muscles in the calves and thighs helps a lot.

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