Deep vein thrombosis of DVT or the condition of having a deep vein (usually in the leg or thigh) causing pain and swelling can be caused by several factors. Firstly, as most diseases, the factors that cause DVT may be genetic (inborn), or congenital (acquired). DVT in itself is considered to be a congenital condition, however one’s genetic predisposition to easily form blood clots can increase the risk of acquiring it. Essentially, this condition occurs when something changes, limits or stops the blood flow in the deep veins.

DVT can often be caused by long periods of inactivity. For example during hospitalization when one is prevented from leaving the bed for weeks or even months. Traveling with long haul flights wherein in forced in one position for extended periods can also be another cause. Jobs that involve sitting or staying in one position for hours on end may lead to this condition as well.

Doctor checking man's blood pressure in exam roomAnother factor may be smoking. Smokers allow carbon monoxide and nicotine to enter their bloodstream. These restrict arteries and lessen the oxygen in the blood. These also increase the heart rate and overexerts the heart’s muscles. In fact, it is a false notion that smokers mostly die of heart and lung problems. It is actually more common for them to suffer fatally from circulation problems and their heart and lung conditions are usually just complications.

Obesity is another well-known condition that leads to cases of DVT. Overeating allows for buildup of fat in the arteries. Naturally, these increases the tendency for clots and blockage. The worst cases of DVT lead to embolisms or when the clots break off and block arteries in the heart, lungs and brain. When blockage occurs, the cells and muscles are unable to receive nutrients and oxygen and literally suffocate and die. When coupled with hypertension or high blood pressure, embolisms often lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Other causes include pregnancy or having recently given birth. Exercise is highly encouraged for all individuals, but more so for pregnant women. Pregnancy changes the blood’s coagulability or its ability to clot making pregnant women more susceptible to blood clots. Also, as the size of the baby gradually increases, pressure to the pelvic area also increases therefore slowly cutting off blood flow to the legs as well as the flow from the legs to the heart. Given that DVT may occur without symptoms, even after birth women must get check-ups to ensure that have not developed thrombosis during pregnancy.

Lastly, another cause is when individuals undergo major surgeries. This is often for the simple reason that major surgeries require extended bed rest and therefore long periods of inactivity. However, those who undergo specific surgeries such as hip and knee replacement have greater risk for thrombosis. These surgeries often include doctors introducing tissue debris and fats in the veins to prepare the bone for receiving the newly attached hip/knee replacements and these increases the blood’s coagulability. Also, surgeries can cause damage to vein walls which can also promote faster clotting of the blood.