Making lifestyle changes to help prevent a DVT is as easy as 1 through 7.
Deep vein thromboses are much more common than you think and are very dangerous, requiring immediate medical intervention.
“The problem isn’t the formation of the clot in the leg (although it is painful and causes significant morbidity such as swelling of the leg),” begins Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore; Diplomate, American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.
“The real risk is if the clot breaks off from its location in the leg and travels to distant parts of the body,” continues Dr. Besser.
“Once there, it can lodge in a blood vessel and cause that blood vessel to block. If there is no blood flow — that area of the body ‘starves from the lack of blood.
“The most common site for the clot to travel is the lungs (pulmonary embolus). That causes the lungs to work less efficiently — so less oxygen (a necessary substance for life) is absorbed.
“It is also possible for a small clot to pass through the lungs and lodge in a heart blood vessel which can cause a heart attack, or into the brain which can cause a stroke.”
You can now clearly see why making lifestyle changes to prevent a DVT is so crucial to one’s overall health regimen.
Even athletes can get a DVT. This disorder is not reserved just for the old and sick!
A DVT is a very preventable condition, even though a pulmonary embolism kills a person in the U.S. approximately every five minutes.
Big Steps Towards Preventing DVT
These ways to help prevent a DVT come from research that was presented at the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2013 Scientific Sessions.
- Don’t smoke
- Eat healthfully
- Avoid being overweight
- Control blood sugar level
- Control blood pressure
- Control cholesterol
These seven lifestyle factors go a long way in preventing DVT.
A study followed over 30,000 adults 45-plus for 4.6 years. Blood clot incidence was compared among three groups:
1) inadequate heart health
2) average heart health
3) optimal heart health.
Blood Clot Risk in the Study Subjects
- 44 percent lower in those with optimal heart health when compared to inadequate heart health.
- 38 percent lower in those with average heart health when compared to inadequate.
Out of the seven, what were the top two as far as greatest effect on lowering DVT risk? Exercise and weight control.
So now you have even more motivation than ever to lose body fat and stay on an exercise program. Exercise should include strength training.
And please, don’t assume you have an automatic built-in exercise regimen just because you do housework or have a staircase in the home.
A deep vein thrombosis is a lot more powerful than household chores! Do your part in helping prevent the development of a DVT by following the seven lifestyle changes here.
Dr. Besser provides comprehensive family care, treating common and acute primary conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing approach allows her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.