A thrombosis is a potentially dangerous disease that does not choose age, gender, social class or ethnic group and causes the death of thousands of people every year. Due to a number of factors, women are more prone to this disease, so prevention is essential. If you do not know anything about this disease, do not worry, in today’s post I will explain what thrombosis is and answer some questions about this disease.
Global figures show that about 10 million cases of thrombosis occur each year. resulting in between 100,000 and 300,000 deaths in the United States alone and 544,000 in Europe. Even adding up all the deaths from HIV, breast cancer, traffic accidents and prostate cancer in these two locations, the number would still be below the total number of fatal victims of thrombosis.
In today’s post, we’ll cover the following topics
- What is thrombosis?
- Main symptoms of the disease
- Main doubts about thrombosis
- The treatment
- How to prevent thrombosis?
- Look for a doctor
What is thrombosis?
Thrombosis is a vascular disorder caused by the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) within a blood vessel (vein or artery), preventing or interrupting blood flow. There are two types of thrombosis
Venous thrombosis – It is caused by a blood clot that develops in a vein. It occurs especially in the legs, due to trauma or fracture, or because it remains immobilized for a long time. Some major surgeries, including those of the hip, can produce lesions in the veins that predispose to thrombosis.
Clots formed in the veins in the legs can rupture and travel to the lungs, obstructing the pulmonary vessels and producing pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary embolism is a serious disease that causes breathing difficulties, pain and even death.
Arterial thrombosis- It is the result of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries due to the deposit of calcium or fat with loss of flexibility and narrowing) of the blood vessels. When a clot occurs in the artery, the arterial blood that carries oxygen to the tissues stops passing, resulting in ischemia. When a clot forms in the coronary artery, a myocardial infarction occurs that can seriously damage the heart or cause death. When a clot forms in some of the arteries that carry blood to the brain, cerebral ischemia occurs, which can damage the part of the brain.
Main symptoms of the disease
People often take time to realize that they are suffering from thrombosis, however, some symptoms may indicate that you have the disease. See what they are:
- Changes in skin color (redness)
• Pain in the leg or tenderness, especially in the calf
• swelling in the legs (edema)
• Skin that feels warm to the touch
• Difficulty breathing
• Irregular heartbeat or faster than normal
• Chest pain or discomfort, which can often get worse with deep breathing or cough
• Coughing up blood
• Blood pressure, dizziness or fainting
Main doubts about thrombosis
Are pregnant women at greater risk of developing thrombosis?
Pregnant women are a special group of risk factors, as they have higher blood levels of estrogen and clotting proteins, such as Factor VII. However, women who are taking contraceptives or hormonal treatments associated with assisted reproduction are also at risk. Also at greater risk are women aged 35-40 years who have had a caesarean section and suffer from chronic illnesses such as hypertension or diabetes. However, in healthy pregnant women, without risk factors and after a normal delivery, prevention is generally not necessary.
Who is part of the disease risk group?
Those who are smokers, are overweight, have inadequate eating habits, are in prolonged immobilization, have hypertension or diabetes are more likely to suffer from thrombosis.
There are some individuals who are predisposed to thrombosis due to hereditary factors, with women being more likely than men to suffer from this disease.
Are women taking contraceptives at risk of thrombosis?
Birth control pills increase the risk of developing thrombosis, especially among women who have a family history of the disease, smoke and suffer from migraine. Pills can affect a woman’s circulatory system, increasing blood vessel dilation and blood viscosity. As a result, it is possible for clots to form in the deep veins, located inside the muscles.
Can traveling by plane cause thrombosis?
Yes, it is what we call “Traveler’s Syndrome”. On long trips, the problem occurs when the person sits for a long time, without moving. Thrombi can be formed in the veins of the legs, mainly in the knee bend, due to the pressure that the armchairs make in the region. The situation is more serious in airplanes: as the air in the cabin is dry, there may be dehydration, which makes the blood more viscous and increases the risk of thrombosis.
When traveling more than 6 hours, you should get up every two hours for a short walk and wear elastic stockings of medium or normal compression (compressing the ankle and not above) and avoid clothes that compress the body.
Who is young needs to worry about the disease?
The age group in which most thrombosis occurs is in more than 60 years, but it can occur at any age. Among young people, it is especially common in women taking contraceptives.
Can varicose veins lead to thrombosis?
Yes. Varicose veins in their intermediate and advanced stages are risk factors for the formation of clots in the leg veins, the so-called “deep venous thrombosis”.
Therefore, when realizing new varicose veins it is important to seek a specialist to find out if the case may have more complications.
The treatment of thrombosis aims to prevent the formation of clots and dissolve those that have already formed. For this, the main class of drugs used are anticoagulants. Some representatives are heparin, enoxaparin, warfarin and rivaroxaban.
It is also possible to dissolve the thrombi formed with the use of tissue plasminogen activator, administered intravenously. This medication requires monitoring due to its high risk of bleeding.
Other alternatives include the use of pneumatic massagers or compression stockings, which activate circulation and prevent blood from stagnating in the vessels, especially in the lower limbs.
How to prevent thrombosis?
Taking into account the risk factors for thrombosis, we can take some actions that can help prevent the disease. See what they are:
- Practice physical activities
- Do not smoke
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Maintain the ideal weight
- Exercise your calf muscles during long trips
- Move around after long hours on the computer or in your work routine
- Stay hydrated
Look for a doctor
If you experience swelling, pain, numbness, or a change in an upper or lower limb, consult your doctor immediately. And if there is a history of thrombosis in your immediate family be sure to let your doctor know, so that he can advise you on how to protect yourself. Remember: prevention is the best medicine.