Last week, I felt a twinge of pain in my right calf. Even though I knew the pain was due to overexerting myself while exercising, I was still scared that the pain could be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is potentially fatal.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Deep vein thrombosis or DVT is the formation of a blood clot in the veins that causes irritation to the walls of the veins. The clot can form in the lower legs, thigh or arms and travel anywhere in the body.

DVT is a very serious emergency that is potentially fatal if the blood clot breaks off and travels to the heart or lungs.

DVT usually occurs in people who are age 50 or older. But anyone at any age can develop blood clots.

Celebrities who have been diagnosed with DVT or blood clots include Serena Williams, the late rapper Heavy D, the late actor Dennis Farina, the late comedian Garry Shandling, Nick Cannon, Marion "Sure" Knight, and more.
 

What Causes Blood Clots?

Factors that increase your risk of developing blood clots include sitting in one spot for prolonged periods of time. You are at increased risk for blood clots if you are a frequent flyer, a trucker who drives long distances, or you sit in front of the TV all day!

Factors include:

  • Sitting in one spot for prolonged periods of time
  • Family history of DVT
  • Sedentary lifestyle (couch potato)
  • Being overweight
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone therapy
  • Smoking cigarettes or marijuana
  • Some conditions that put you at risk for blood clots include heart disease, hereditary disorders, pregnancy, surgeries such as for knee or hip replacement, dehydration (not drinking enough water), bone fractures (such as thigh bone) or any condition that causes the blood to pump sluggishly.
     

    Signs and Symptoms

    PRS is an easy acronym to remember for DVT in your legs or arms. P = pain, R = redness, S = swelling.

    In some instances there are no signs or symptoms of DVT. In most instances patients may experience the following:

  • Swelling in the feet, ankle or legs (usually in one leg)
  • Cramping or burning pain usually in the back of the calf
  • Skin turning red, bluish or purple over the affected area
  • Skin that feels hot in one area of the leg
  • One leg bigger than the other
  • If you experience one or more of these signs and symptoms in your lower leg or arms, you should call your doctor immediately or go to the closest emergency room!
     

    Treatment

    Treatment for DVT includes blood thinners such as heparin, warfarin, enoxaparin, or fondaparinux. Thomobolytic drugs to break up blood clots. Compression stockings are prescribed to prevent swelling in your leg and decrease your chance of developing blood clots.

    If all else fails, your doctor may insert a small wire filter in your vein to stop blood clots from entering your lungs.


     

    Prevention

    The easiest way to prevent blood clots is to drink plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day). Avoid sitting for long periods of time. Walk around! Go for a brisk walk outside. Do stretching exercises.

    This has been your Medical Minute.

    DISCLAIMER

    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Sandrarose.com and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

    Photos by Getty Images/iStockphoto, Kwanchaichaiudom/Getty Images

    • Robert lee Bennett OG

      That TV new anchor men died of that riding in a hummer during the Iraq war ever since then I have tried to tell people about sitting down for hours

    • MsPam

      Take care of yourself Ms. Sandra, we love and appreciate you!???

    • MISSMEWITDATBULL

      Thanks so much for this! DVT was my Dad's ultimate cause of death. Had no idea how prevalent it is within our community until it hit so close to home. Spurred me not to take my own health for granted. Started juicing. And walking, then hiking. Now if only I could leave ice cream alone...

    • Quitedeliteful

      Great Medical Minute! I sit a lot so I will make sure to walk and stretch on my lunch hour. In fact, this info has me standing as I type.

    • jeniefrumdabloc™

      Sandra when has weed ever clogged the blood.... THC thins the blood . same with alcohol .. learned that in DUI school years ago https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5a16feb7886870b58e876a7ffc6b264e7419e743bb55ec579123b82d4a427799.gif

    • Ice Lee

      I developed DVT and PE while on birth control pills. I was helping my mom move from VA to FL, and we made minimal stops. I definitely learned my lesson about taking time out to stretch!

    • Blue

      Can I get a Medical Minute on why I want to turn around and go home as soon as I get to work? Thank you.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      Marijuana can lower your blood pressure which makes your blood sluggish. So if you smoke weed and sit for prolonged periods of time... Well, rest in peace.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      I had pain in my right calf. It scared me so bad. Now I exercise for at least 5 minutes every hour while blogging. That's at least 40 minutes a day. A DVT will not take me out of earth. ?

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry for your loss.

    • jeniefrumdabloc™

      Weed has helped me with menstrual clots and all .... I know for a fact ... but carry on ...... A little epson salt can help you with blood circulation as .... spa bath ... relax. trust ..... I have healed people that have had poor blood circulation and it works .... much love

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      It sounds like you're suffering from Work Anxiety. It's a real condition which is characterized by anxiety, depression, and chronic stress due to toxic work environments.

      Please read more here: https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety-types/work-anxiety

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      Thank you for sharing.

    • Blue

      I love you!!!! Thank you, auntie

    • Bashi22

      Sandra I really appreciate you on giving medical knowledge. I do drink 4l of water every day my skin is clear because of my water intake. I make sure I do hot yoga one to two day a week. Sandra you should do a podcast and invite other medical people to come on.

    • Connie

      Since it's Medical Minute day, can I get one on heel spur?

    • Quitedeliteful

      I have nine hour days so I will follow your lead and stand up and take a break every hour. I plan to be around for a very long time.

    • A D N

      After a serious operation years ago, I developed them in my lungs and legs. I'm a miracle and grateful to be here typing this. My favorite song is "Grateful" by Hezekiah Walker. I play this every birthday and New Year!

    • It’s Real Talk! Period!!

      I thank Sandra for this Important Medical Minute on DVT. I had it after surgery and did not know why one ankle was swollen! Here is my short story: I had foot surgery and thought it was an bone in my foot that was causing my ankle to swell. So I went to Podiatrist to get it check out. She said nope not your foot but you have a blood clot in your leg and must get to Emergency Room asap! I drove 5 miles to Emergency Room which ended up in hospital for 5 days! My family doctor said “ you are lucky bcuz most DVT are found on autopsy reports “!
      So Sandra’s fear is real and something we as POC should not ignore! If you are experiencing any type of symptoms it only takes an quick minute to get it checked in most Emergency Rooms that have machines to check it out!!

    • hottlanta

      I love 2 fly and i instead of sitting waiting on the plane l am walking in the airport. Even when i get 2 my seat l move my legs in an up n down motion before getting off the plane.

    • hottlanta

      Get 2 werk lazy.

    • Karen Brady

      I've learned. Take pain seriously brothers and sisters. Consistent pain, yep.

    • Karen Brady

      Short quick walk when you can too.

    • Quitedeliteful

      LOLLOLLOL!!!!!!!! You telling the truth!!!

    • Logan Roberts

      My grandma passed away of this. I miss her so much. ??

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      I'm sorry for your loss.

    • Logan Roberts

      Thanks Sandra.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      4 liters of water a day is a lot! Be careful. You are at risk of diluting your electrolytes which could lead to a heart attack or water intoxication.

    • Bashi22

      I drink that much when I workout and do hot yoga ????. Or if a drink coffee ?? I drink. I’m try and cut by 1liter