Thromboses are not only a particularly painful matter, they can also severely limit the health of those affected. However, it is not only venous thrombosis itself that is dangerous, it also carries the risk of pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal if not treated quickly.
What is venous thrombosis?
Thrombosis is a vascular disease that can be fatal due to any subsequent complications. A thrombosis usually occurs in veins, i.e. the arteries that lead to the heart. For melanin deficiency meaning, please visit phonejust.com.
Arteries that carry blood away from the heart are rarely affected. In general, however, thrombosis can occur in all blood vessels. However, deep leg veins are particularly at risk.
The affected person’s blood clots and an unhindered blood flow is no longer possible. Instead, the clots can be carried further by the bloodstream, where they often clog pulmonary vessels and seriously threaten the sufferer’s life.
The formation of the blood trickle, the so-called thrombus, has various causes. Damage to the vessel wall and slower blood flow or an increased risk of the formation of clots due to a change in blood composition are particularly common.
Lack of exercise, obesity, tobacco consumption, low fluid intake and injuries as well as being bedridden and certain medications can also promote the development of venous thrombosis.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Thrombosis can occur in any region of the body. Depending on the location, the symptoms remain very mild or cause life-threatening complications. In many cases, tiny clots don’t cause serious symptoms. However, if characteristic features are found, extreme caution is required.
Typical are unusual feelings of tension in the limbs, some of which are painful. Slight swellings on the extremities and protrusion of superficial veins due to the backlog of blood can also be observed. There is a distinct feeling of warmth in the affected area. A clear difference to other regions can be perceived by those affected by the mere laying on of hands.
Due to a lack of oxygen, the surrounding skin becomes discolored. Reddish or blue zones with a shiny surface are considered a serious warning sign of venous thrombosis. Pressure pain on the inside of the foot, Payr’s sign and calf pain when bending the foot (Homan’s sign) indicate a venous occlusion in the leg.
Blood clots do not always manifest themselves to such a significant extent. Therefore, the absence of these symptoms should not be considered as an exclusion criterion. An urgent emergency occurs when shortness of breath occurs quickly with accompanying chest pain. There may be a pulmonary embolism. The result is severe heart palpitations and feelings of dizziness and even fainting. The tremendous strain increases the chance of heart failure. But thrombosis is also extremely dangerous in other areas. Immediate notification of the emergency doctor remains unavoidable under such circumstances.
Diagnosis & History
Thromboses are based on the development of blood clotting. Blood clotting is a natural process that the body uses to protect itself. To prevent bleeding after an injury, the body causes the blood to clot.
This clots and closes the wound. In the case of a thrombosis, there is no wound that needs to be treated, but blood coagulates without damaging a blood vessel. The clots that form prevent the bloodstream from flowing smoothly and create the risk of pulmonary embolism. During a thrombosis, there is usually damage to the vessel wall, which occurs as a result of the accumulation of blood fat, calcium and connective tissue.
These settle on the vessel wall and form a natural obstruction within the vein. If the deposit, which is called plaque, breaks open, the body reacts with a clotting reaction and the vessel is closed. In the case of arterial thrombosis, this process leads to a heart attack. In the case of venous thrombosis, it can happen that the plaque is carried further by the blood and clogs other vessels during the course.
When should you go to the doctor?
Venous thrombosis must always be treated by a doctor. As a rule, this disease cannot heal on its own, so treatment by a doctor is always necessary. The sooner a doctor is consulted, the better the further course of this disease. The person concerned should therefore contact a doctor and initiate treatment as soon as the first symptoms and signs of venous thrombosis appear.
A doctor should be consulted if there is severe pain in the legs. The legs themselves often feel very heavy, so that the affected person also suffers from restricted movement. Swelling on the legs can also indicate venous thrombosis if it does not go away on its own and lasts for a longer period of time. In many cases, the legs turn blue or red. Venous thrombosis can be diagnosed and treated by a general practitioner or an internist. The further course depends heavily on the time of diagnosis, so that a general prediction is not possible. The life expectancy of those affected may also be limited by this disease.
Treatment & Therapy
Affected people suffering from venous thrombosis should seek medical treatment as soon as possible. The primary goal of the therapy is to dissolve the existing blood trickle in the affected blood vessel, allowing the blood to flow freely through the body again.
Restoring blood flow is called thrombolysis. To ensure the success of thrombolysis, it is important to start the treatment early, it is only effective in the early stages of venous thrombosis. Drug for carrying out a thrombolysis is, for example, heparin. It reduces blood clotting and at the same time can ensure that blood clots that have already formed are dissolved before they block the entire vein.
Once the thrombosis has fully developed, this therapy is no longer necessary. Instead, there is now the option of surgically removing the blood clotting. The affected area is opened and the lumps surgically removed. If the area of the affected vessel is too large, a balloon catheter is used. In this case, a catheter with a small balloon is inserted into the vein and inflated once the vascular blockage has been reached. If the doctor now pulls the catheter back in the direction of the opening, he can remove the coagulated blood at the cut point and thus restore the further unhindered flow of blood.
In another type of treatment, the vein is opened and the clotted blood is pushed out of the vein by applying gentle pressure. The overall goal of thrombosis treatment is not only to remove the coagulated blood, but also to prevent the process that caused it from starting again. For this purpose, the patient is injected with heparin for a week, after which he has to take blood-thinning medication for at least three months. Examples include phenprocoumon and vitamin K antagonists. In addition, those affected are advised to wear compression stockings, which are indispensable for the rest of life after a pulmonary embolism.
Thrombosis can be prevented by regular exercise and a healthy diet with few animal products, which are deposited on the vessel walls in the form of high blood fat levels. Obesity and diabetes should be treated.
It can also be helpful to alternately shower the limbs with hot and cold showers, which promotes blood circulation. Tobacco, the contraceptive pill and long periods of standing and sitting should be avoided. A high fluid intake in the form of water and unsweetened tea can also have a preventive effect.
After treatment for venous thrombosis, the patient should ensure a balanced diet. Usually no special diet is recommended. However, he should ensure that he has a sufficient amount of vegetables and fruit in order to consume an adequate amount of vitamins and fiber. A sufficient amount of food, which serves as a source of carbohydrates, is also important here.
It should be noted that there is no excessive intake of vitamin B12. This is especially important if the patient is taking medication to promote blood clotting. It is therefore best not to take any vitamin supplements that contain vitamin B12. The same applies to vitamin K. In addition to nutrition, exercise also plays an important role. Sports or regular exercise in the form of walks are advisable.
Endurance sports such as swimming or hiking are best suited for this. In the case of competitive athletes, however, the intensity of sport should be discussed with the doctor. Regular exercise improves the functioning of the circulatory system and blood vessels. In the case of a thrombosis of the deep leg and pelvic veins, however, bed rest should be observed immediately after the treatment.
You can do that yourself
In the case of venous thrombosis, those affected can contribute to the improvement themselves. Above all, animal fats should be avoided in the diet. This applies in particular to cream, sausage and cheese. Refined sugar, alcohol and high levels of table salt in the diet should also be avoided. It is also advisable to use vegetable fat instead of butter. If those affected are overweight, you should eat a calorie-reduced diet until you have regained your normal weight.
There are also currently studies showing that taking folic acid and vitamin B can reduce the risk of venous thrombosis due to their lowering effect on homocysteine levels. Rubbing rubbings with rubbing alcohol and cold applications have proven to be particularly useful as home remedies. These are, for example, treading water, dew walking or walking in the snow in winter. Cold showers several times a day and cold body washing with simple water or vinegar water also help to alleviate the symptoms. A cold footbath lasting about 2 minutes in the morning after getting up is also very suitable.
In addition to all this, regular active vascular training should take place. This can be achieved through sport and exercise and is the cheapest and easiest treatment for venous thrombosis. Especially before going to bed, the legs should be given some exercise. The best way to do this is to take a leisurely stroll.