Harnessing Health: Proactive Measures to Prevent Thrombosis and Promote Well-being

Harnessing Health: Proactive Measures to Prevent Thrombosis and Promote Well-being

In a thrombosis, a blood clot partially or entirely blocks a vein. There can be various reasons for this. It is essential to differentiate the term deep vein thrombosis from arterial thrombosis. This is because a blood clot forms in an artery, which can result in a heart attack or stroke. Read here how thrombosis develops and how to reduce your risk of thrombosis.

The risk group

Bedridden people and smokers who take birth control pills are particularly at risk. Various diseases and certain medications can also increase the risk of thrombosis. We will tell you what causes thrombosis can have and how to reduce your risk with preventive measures.

 

This is how a thrombosis develops.

Three factors play a role in the development of deep vein thrombosis:

  1. Damage to the vessel wall – for example, due to phlebitis, an injury or an operation – activates the blood platelets, thus encouraging them to clump together to form a clot.
  2. Swirling or slowing down the blood flow, for example, in varicose veins or being confined to bed for a long time, also causes the blood platelets to accumulate more often. This also explains why the risk of thrombosis is increased after long journeys by plane, train or car. When you sit for a long time, the popliteal vein is kinked, and the leg blood flow is reduced.
  3. change in blood composition can also promote the development of thrombosis. This can happen, on the one hand, through various hereditary diseases with a tendency to blood clot (thrombophilia) or through malignant tumours. On the other hand, the blood can become more viscous due to a lack of liquid (“dehydration”), making it easier for blood clots to form.

Immobilization and confinement to bed causes

An important risk factor for the development of thrombosis is the immobilization of extremities, for example, after surgery or injuries. Because of the lack of muscle activity, the return flow of blood is slowed down, and clots can quickly form.

That is why patients who are in bed for a long time because of an illness or after an operation or who wear a cast are usually prescribed thrombosis injections. Even with severe cardiac or chronic venous insufficiency, there is a slower blood flow in the veins, promoting thrombosis.

 

Dangerous combination: smoking and birth control pills

Hormonal factors can also contribute to the development of thrombosis. For example, the female sex hormone estrogen influences certain coagulation factors, making blood clot more easily.

Therefore, pregnant women and women who use estrogen-containing medicines such as the contraceptive pill or the vaginal ring for contraception have an increased risk of thrombosis. This is also significantly increased by smoking because nicotine also contributes to the activation of blood clotting.

Thrombophilia: disease with a risk of thrombosis

Thrombophilia describes an increased tendency to blood clotting associated with an increased risk of thrombosis. Some of these coagulation disorders are hereditary – primarily a genetic defect in the coagulation system. Other thrombophilia occur later in life, for example, as a result of other diseases such as liver cirrhosis or as a side effect of heparin therapy.

Blood diseases such as polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia, in which the number of blood platelets increases, also increase the risk of thrombosis.

The following factors can also contribute to an increase in the risk of thrombosis :

  • severe overweight ( obesity )
  • Taking certain medications to treat mental illness (neuroleptics)
  • infections
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other impairments of lung function
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke with paralysis as a result
  • a thrombosis in the past

Reduce risk – actively prevent thrombosis.

There are various ways to prevent thrombosis, but these can only be used if there is an increased risk of thrombosis:

  • Mobilization: After recovering from an illness or an operation, bed rest should only be maintained if necessary, and physiotherapy should be started early. However, discuss beforehand with your doctor or physiotherapist how hard you can exercise.
  • Compression: During a hospital stay, bedridden patients are usually prescribed thrombosis stockings. For people with a generally increased risk of thrombosis, wearing compression stockings in everyday life may make sense.
  • Thrombosis injections: If an extremity has limited resilience after injuries or operations, drug-based thrombosis prophylaxis with anticoagulants is usually carried out for a few weeks. Heparin, injected under the skin once or twice a day, is usually used. Newer anticoagulant agents, such as rivaroxaban or dabigatran, are also available in tablet form.
  • Anticoagulation: after a thrombosis has been overcome, long-term therapy with so-called vitamin K antagonists such as Marcumar is usually started to prevent a recurrence. These drugs inhibit the vitamin K-dependent formation of specific coagulation factors and can thus prevent renewed thrombosis.
  • Thrombophilia diagnostics: If thrombosis occurs repeatedly in younger patients, diagnostics to rule out thrombophilia or another disease may be helpful.
  • Exercise: On long-haul flights or long car, bus or train journeys, you should exercise regularly to prevent thrombosis. Stand up as often as possible on the plane and walk a few steps. You can do simple exercises from your seat: alternate between stretching and flexing your feet quickly for 30 seconds or try picking things up off the floor with your toes. During breaks in road trips, get off and do some loosening and stretching

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