blood-clots-in-legs-why-the-move-300x300There are numerous arteries and veins in the body that supply blood to the tissues that need it the most. These blood vessels carry an extensive supply of nutrients and oxygen so our muscles can freely move throughout the day. There are particularly important blood vessels in the legs. These include the femoral artery and vein, great saphenous vein, and popliteal artery. These blood vessels are not unlike any of artery or vein in the body and are prone to blockages. These blockages most often come in the form of blood clots. Blood clots in thigh regions can be extremely dangerous. They can occlude with blood flow to the lower half of the extremity and cause severe pain. Blood clots in thigh vessels can also dislodge and travel to other areas of the body such as the lungs and brain. The formation of blood clots involves trauma to the vessels of the thigh and atherosclerosis development. Both of these contribute to platelet coagulation and increases risk of narrowing in the vessels. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the formation of blood clots. Blood clots in thigh symptoms include excessive swelling, severe pain, redness, abnormal heart rate or pulse and sweating. If you are experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention for dissolving blood clots.

There are numerous risk factors associated with developing blood clots in thigh blood vessels. These can include smoking, long periods of inactivity, obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, alcohol consumption and lack of exercise. It is important to discuss with your physician on how best to decrease the risk of suffering from a blood clot in thigh vessels. If blood clots in thigh symptoms are present, doctors will often confirm the presence of a clot with numerous diagnostic test and procedures. These can include computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), angiographs, and ultrasounds. These diagnostic procedures are important in determining the best remedy for blood clots. Treatment for blood clots often involves lifestyle changes, medications and if needed, emergency surgery. Lifestyle changes recommended are directly linked to the risk factors associated with developing blood clots in thigh blood vessels. For example, increased exercise, eating healthy and quitting smoking are some of the most common recommendations given by physicians. Medication is another treatment option for blood clots in thighs. The most common medication for blood clots are warfarin and tissue plasminogen activator. Warfarin is anticoagulant that deters the formation of further clotting and limits the size of the present clot, while tissue plasminogen activator plays an important role in dissolving blood clots. These medications are not without side effects and thus, it is imperative to discuss these medications at length with your doctor. If deemed necessary, surgery may be needed. Surgery is used as last resort for blood clots in thighs as it comes with additional complications and risks. These can include further clotting and additional trauma to blood vessels. Your physician is the best person to determine which treatment method is best.

Formation of Blood Clots

In most circumstances, blood clots in thighs are used as a defensive mechanism by the body. When trauma and subsequent bleeding occur, the body needs to close the wound and stop the bleeding immediately. Platelets play the most crucial role in this. Platelets are a type of blood cell that actively stick together to work to close the wound and stop the bleeding. There are several genetic conditions and diseases that contribute to abnormal platelet functioning and thus, improper blood clot development. These can be especially life threatening complications. Cancer, trauma, obesity, becoming pregnant, immobility, and atherosclerosis development can also contribute to the formation of blood clots in thighs. Your doctor should be informed of any of the above situations to help prevent the development of blood clots in thighs.

Blood Clots in Thigh: Symptoms

dvt_diagram_1Blood clots in thigh symptoms can be especially problematic and life altering. It is important to seek medical assistance immediately if you are suffering from any the common signs and symptoms blood clots in thigh vessels. Common blood clots in thigh symptoms include severe pain, excessive swelling, redness, and warmth when touching the area. Also, the feeling of numbness may appear in the lower half of the leg as an diminished blood supply is passing to these areas.

Risk Factors

It is important to mitigate the risk factors associated with developing blood clots in thighs. These risk factors are directly linked to trauma and atherosclerosis development in blood vessels of the thigh. The most common risk factors include long periods of inactivity (plane rides), injury, becoming pregnant, old age, heart abnormalities, smoking, and obesity.

  • A long period of inactivity promotes the likelihood of blood pooling in areas of the body, and due to gravity, especially the legs.
  • Trauma directly to vessels promotes platelet coagulation. These coagulation is linked to blood clot development.
  • Becoming pregnant puts added stress on the vessels of the lower body.
  • Aging and the risk for developing blood clots in thighs are correlated.
  • Heart irregularities, especially a problematic heart beat and rate, can disrupt the rhythmic action of the heart, and cause blood to pool in areas of the body.
  • Smoking directly damages blood vessels of the blood causing them to harden and narrow. This inhibits the proper functioning of vessels and contributes to inadequate pumping of blood and clot formation.
  • Obesity causes an increase workload and stress on the vessels of the body. This causes trauma, which promotes clot development.

Blood Clot Diagnosis

Blood clot diagnosis must occur as fast as possible so a remedy for blood clots can begin. The most common diagnostic tests and procedures include venous ultrasounds, computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs).

Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds are usually the first diagnostic procedure for examining a blood clot in thighs. They provide detailed images of the vessels and can elicit information on how blood is flowing through these vessels. Abnormalities in blood flow velocity are linked to atherosclerosis development and blood clot formation. Ultrasounds are also non-invasive and pose no harm to patients.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

CT scans are another invasive tool to provide information on blood clots in thighs. They are often used in ultrasounds provide inconclusive results.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging is also an invasive diagnostic tool to examine the muscles and vessels of the body. They are not often used in blood clot diagnosis, but can provide detailed images if needed.

Treatment for Blood Clots

If the symptoms of blood clots are present in the body, a remedy for blood clots must be taken immediately. This often involves directly dissolving blood clots and preventing further clots from forming. Physicians often use three things in the treatment of blood clots in thighs. These are lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are always recommended for people with blood clots in thighs. This is because if one clot has already formed, there is a high risk for additional clotting in regions of the body. The lifestyle changes recommended help lower the risk of blood clot development. These lifestyle changes include increasing physical activity, avoiding long periods of inactivity, eating a healthy diet (avoiding foods high in saturated and trans fat), quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and losing weight. Also, physicians may recommend the use of compression socks to improve blood flow in the lower extremities while exercising or for use on a daily basis.

Medications

stroke-figure922Medications for blood clots are extremely common and imperative in the treatment process. These medications are vital as they work to prevent further clotting, deter the size of the present clot, and work on dissolving blood clots in the body. Medications for blood clots often include anticoagulants, antiplatelets and thrombolytics. In terms of anticoagulants, and antiplatelets, the two most common medications are warfarin and aspirin respectively. These work to deter clot formation in the future. The gold standard of medications for blood clots is thrombolytic medication. In particular, tissue plasminogen activator is notoriously known for being the best remedy for blood clots. This medication is given intravenously and must be administered 3-4 hours after clot is discovered for best results. This medication actively seeks out and dissolves blood clots in the body. This remedy for blood clots is not without its complications, albeit. It is associated with severe bleeding and patients must be monitored while on the medication. It is important to discuss with your physician in length about the potential risks and complications associated with medications for blood clots.

Surgery

Surgery is used as an absolute last resort in the treatment of blood clots in thighs. This is because surgery is an invasive procedure and is associated with additional risk factors. Vascular and endovascular procedures may be used to remove the blood clot in the thigh.

It is important to seek medical treatment immediately if you suspect a blood clot is present in the body.