What is a Blood Clot or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

They say when given the choice between activity and inactivity, people are predisposed to choose the latter. However, many of us are unaware of the repercussions of preferring non-physical activities. Circulatory problems such as blood clots which may lead to a condition known as  Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT plagues and threatens many today.

Clots occur when the blood is prevented from being able to deliver sufficient oxygen to certain parts of the body due to constricted arteries. The problems in circulation may be due to lack of exercise, long periods of inactivity such as when one is traveling, obesity and smoking or a combination of these. Other factors such as prolonged hospitalization, the intake of certain drugs, having preexisting conditions such as cancer or having undergone surgery, pregnancy or having recently given birth can also increase your risk for DVT.

Deep  Vein Thrombosis occurs when clots occur in any of the deep veins, usually in the thighs or legs. These clots prevent blood from smoothly flowing through which causes swelling, redness,  increased warmth in the lower leg,  and pain. Worse, it can lead to various complications such as embolisms: which occur when these clots break off and get carried by the blood and clogs other arteries such as those in the heart or lungs. Pulmonary embolism or when a main artery in the lungs is blocked for example, could prove fatal.

DVT is often, although not always, associated with the lower extremities: thighs and legs. It can manifest without symptoms and often comes with pain and the swelling of the affected areas as well as engorged veins.

Other types of circulatory problems are angina, high blood pressure, peripheral vascular disease and aneurism which may all range from being mild to life-threatening. It is vital that sufficient attention is paid to the health of the circulatory system or the so-called lifeline of the body. After all, it is our blood delivers all the vital nutrients essential to life as well as oxygen which every cell needs to keep from suffocating and dying.

References: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute as a part of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services