Eight surprising causes of deep vein thrombosis

These eight surprising risk factors increase your chance of having deep vein thrombosis.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the leg. It’s a condition that can cause potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism if it occurs in the thigh and travels higher, blocking off the main blood flow to the lungs. It’s a common fear, especially as the risk increases with age. Well-known risk factors include coronary heart disease, blood clot disorders, previous thrombosis and chronic heart failure. But here are some factors you might not even know are putting you at risk of DVT.

Vitamin D deficiency
Make sure you’re getting your vitamin D dosage. A study referred to by WebMD found that when comparing people who had DVT to those who had not, sufferers had, on average, lower levels of vitamin D. So step out into the sun or chow-down on some fish, as the stakes might be quite high.

Surgeries themselves may put you at a higher risk of DVT as veins may be damaged, particularly on operations involving the legs, abdomen, hips or pelvis. But the bed rest post-surgery is also a risky time, as a lack of movement can slow your blood flow through the body. So try to get moving as soon as you’re able, and consider speaking to your doctor about the use of blood thinners.

Inflammatory bowel disease
Not only is the inflammation that causes bowel disease linked to clots in the blood, but those who suffer from them are also more likely to need surgery, require more bed rest and also be dehydrated, all of which increases their chance of DVT. According to WebMD, people who suffer from bowel disease – including Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome or ulcerative colitis – may have double or triple the risk of blood clots compared to those who don’t.

Hormones aren’t helping
Menopause hormone replacement therapy contains estrogen, which makes blood clots more likely, and certain types of treatment like patches, can contain 60 per cent more estrogen, increasing your risk again. But don’t feel too special just yet, men; taking testosterone has also been shown to increase the risk of clotting.

Bigger might not be better
If you’re on the heavier side on the scales – we’re talking a BMI of 25 or over, then according to WebMD, you’ve doubled your chance of getting DVT. This is because the extra body mass puts more strain and pressure on your veins, so lowering excess body fat may also lower your chances of a blood clot.

According to Mayo Clinic, smoking increases your risk of DVT as it harms your body’s circulation and helps create blood clots. Smoking also damages your heart and blood vessels.

Being an athlete
It might be time to rethink the marathon. Endurance athletes who run marathons or triathlons are more likely to experience injury and dehydration, and the symptoms for DVT are often camouflaged among other common injuries.

Sitting stagnant
Sitting still for long periods of time, whether while driving, flying or behind the desk could put you at risk, says Mayo Clinic. When the muscles in your legs move and contract they help blood circulate around the body, so sitting down for a prolonged time can increase the risk of clots forming in your calves. Make sure to get up and walk around regularly, when and where possible.

Did any of these risk factors shock you? If you know something about DVT that we’ve missed, let us know in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.




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    11th Feb 2019
    You take everything with a grain of salt....every day we read about new studies that show this or that...statistics and more statistics. I’m not saying they’re always wrong, but for heaves sake, what’s good today it is dangerous for your health tomorrow. How do you explain a case where a perfectly healthy person (our 43yo daughter), who’s a vegetarian, non smoker, non drinker, never had an operation, physically active and definitely not overweight, developing pulmonary embolism? No doctor could come up with any answers! Everything in moderation I’d say....stay healthy and pray it doesn’t happen to you!
    11th Feb 2019
    Vegetarians can often be unhealthy too, if they eat a lot of fat, eggs, cheese, and processed foods they too are at risk of disease.
    Doctors do not know why you get sick they only know how to diagnose (guess work half the time) and prescribing pills.
    A low fat wholefood diet is your best chance of being healthy, preferable with no or little animal products because they are very high in fat with no fiber.
    11th Feb 2019
    DVT can also be from damaged veins, if you suffer from varicose veins you are at risk too, or you get an infection from a scratch and get cellulitis.
    11th Feb 2019
    Testosterone is also prescribed to women on combined HRT. A doctor well trained in HRT will often prescribe it to women because it is a hormone that is also important for bone health. You can do exercises that flex your calve muscles to lower your risk of thrombosis.

    I take a vitamin D3 supplement because I believe it is safer than going out in the sun, or eating fish that might be tainted with micro plastic with so much plastic now polluting the oceans.
    12th Feb 2019
    All very good comments. Musicveg you’re absolutely right. A low fat whole food diet is definitely beneficial. Our daughter, who also happens to be a yoga instructor, maintains a very healthy diet and has always been very healthy and lean. So, when she developed pulmonary embolism recently, it was a complete surprise to everyone. The doctors are still puzzled with her case and all they can advise is blood thinner medication.
    12th Feb 2019
    Have you read any of Anthony Williams books? You could borrow from the library, there might be something she missed that he has pointed out in his books, he also has a website which has a lot of free information. Being lean does not guarantee health, I know because I was always skinny. I got sick 7 years ago and now since I finally found my way to health again I have put on weight and look and feel healthier.

    Tags: dvt, health, thrombosis,

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