Previously I have discussed the causes of a Deep Vein Thrombosis so now I'm going to talk about how you can prevent DVTs from forming. Here we will look at being hospitalized, lifestyle and travel and things that you can incorporate into your life to keep you safe.
Before going into hospital if you are taking estrogen based contraceptive pills or are undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) you may be advised to stop taking it a few weeks before your stay. The same applies for blood thinners such as aspirin but these are normally stopped a week before.
Whilst you are in hospital it is important to remain hydrated and to move around as soon as you are able to; this keeps your circulation healthy, therefore preventing any clots. You may also be offered anti-coagulants (these include warfarin or clexane) and compression stockings depending on your risk factors.
When you leave the hospital you may have to continue on anti-coagulants and compression stockings but your health care provider will give you any necessary information.
Two main causes, or contributing factors, for DVTs are smoking and poor lifestyle choices. Here are some tips you can implement to improve your lifestyle and decrease your risk of blood clots:
- Stop smoking
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Moderate exercise
- Lose any excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.
Travel is often difficult for DVT patients as it requires a lot of planning and often multiple stops on long journeys (more than six hours). Here are some tips to make your journey as comfortable and risk-free as possible:
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated
- Avoid alcohol as this contributes to dehydration
- Do leg exercises such as flexing your ankles
- Take brief walks every hour if possible
- Wear compression stockings
- Avoid sleeping pills as these cause immobility