Blood Conditions

Symptoms, causes, and risk factors of deep vein thrombosis

When a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside the body, it causes a serious health condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A blood clot is simply a clump of blood in a solid state. They are usually formed in the lower leg or thigh. However, it can also develop in other areas of the body. Postphlebitic syndrome, thromboembolism, and post-thrombotic syndrome are also some names associated with this condition.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis
The symptoms of DVT are not prevalent and clearly visible. Instead, only half of the people experience the symptoms of DVT when diagnosed with this condition.

Some of the common symptoms of DVT are-

  • Cramping pain in the affected leg, usually in the calf.
  • An area of the skin is warmer than the other areas around it.
  • Unexplained, severe pain in the foot and ankle
  • Swelling in the leg, foot, or ankle. Usually, on one side.
  • Skin of the area that is affected turning bluish, reddish, or pale

People who have been diagnosed with an upper extremity DVT or a blood clot in their arm may not experience the symptoms mentioned above. The common symptoms that they experience include-

  • Shoulder pain
  • Blue-tinted skin color
  • Weakness in the affected hand
  • Neck pain
  • Swelling in the hand or arm

Unless and until the diagnosed person has been through emergency treatment for a pulmonary embolism, it can be difficult to diagnose deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A pulmonary embolism is caused when a DVT clot that has moved from the leg or arm into the lung.

Causes of deep vein thrombosis
The blood clot blocks a vein that helps in preventing blood from circulating in the body resulting in DVT. There are several causes of blood clots, some of the main causes are-

  • Surgery
    Blood vessels can be damaged during surgeries, this can lead to the formation of blood clots. Bed rest with no or very little movement after surgery may increase the risk of developing a blood clot.
  • Certain medications
    Some of the medications increase the chances of blood which eventually leads to the formation of a blood clot.
  • Injury
    In case of an injury, damage to the blood vessel’s wall can block or narrow blood flow. This may eventually lead in the development of a blood clot.
  • Reduced inactivity or mobility
    When one is sitting all day long while working or flights, blood gets collected in the legs, especially in the lower parts. If one is not moving for a long period of time, the blood flow in the legs can slow down. This may lead to the development of blood clots.

Risk factors of deep vein thrombosis
DVT is most commonly caused in people who are over 50 years of age. Still, while the risk factor is reduced, it can be caused at any age. Some of the risk factors of DVT are-

  • Having a family history of DVT
  • Undergoing hormone therapy or taking birth control pills
  • Having an injury that damages the veins
  • Being overweight
  • Having a catheter that is placed in a vein
  • Smoking heavily