Your Health Ben Brown | 7 years ago

What is Thrombosis? How Can You Prevent It?

In honor of October 13 being nationally recognized as World Thrombosis Day, spend some time educating yourself about thrombosis, its causes, and what you can do to help prevent it from developing.

What is Thrombosis?

Thrombosis refers to a blood clot that forms in the artery or vein, which can lead to a severe condition known as Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). VTE includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a blockage of the pulmonary arteries, which are the major blood vessels of the lungs. Usually a blood clot, or thrombus, has migrated from veins located deep in the legs, a condition referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). While the disease is relatively common, it is often misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and is recognized as a major cause of morbidity and mortality.

Causes Of Thrombosis

There are many risk factors and potential causes for thrombosis. Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can increase the risk for developing thrombosis including:
  • Varicose veins
  • A history of heart attack, stroke, or congestive heart failure
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Being overweight
  • Over the age of 40
  • Long periods of inactivity, or sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking

How to Prevent Thrombosis

To prevent a VTE from developing, there are some measures that should be taken before or after a surgery, including:
  • Taking any prescribed medications as directed, including blood thinners or aspirin
  • Moving around frequently, to increase blood flow and circulation in the legs
  • Getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Being overweight, older than 40, and not taking an anticoagulant, or other medication as prescribed, are all factors that increase the risk of developing a thrombosis. Additionally, preexisting health conditions such as a family history of DVT or PE, cancer, heart attack or heart failure can all contribute to slowed blood flow, or damage to the blood vessel.