If you’ve had a deep vein thrombosis, it’s important to follow your post DVT care instructions. During your initial recovery period, you’ll have very specific steps you’ll follow. But even after your clot resolves and you can return to normal activity, it’s important to look at your lifestyle and make adjustments. After all, having one DVT increases your risk for future blood clots. So to stay safe and prevent future clotting, here are six post DVT care lifestyle changes to lower your risk of recurrence. (But keep in mind that these suggestions won’t replace doctor-prescribed blood thinners, or any other medical instructions.)
1. Post DVT Care: Get Active Safe
Long periods of sitting, especially on a long flight or car ride, raise your risk for DVT. For that reason, moving more can lower your risk for future clots. In fact, studies show that regular exercise lowers your risk for venous thromboembolism, or VTE, a diagnosis that includes DVT and pulmonary embolism. (That’s a blood clot in your lungs, a potentially fatal condition.)
Not sure where to begin with exercise? We love to suggest swimming, walking or biking workouts on our Move it Monday posts. That’s because these gentle workouts are low impact but keep blood pumping out of your legs. Still, you should always check with your healthcare provider before beginning a new exercise routine.
2. Reach or Maintain a Healthy Weight
Higher body mass index (BMI) numbers dramatically increase your risk for blood clots. Obesity is a risk factor for DVT. Speak to your primary care provider about all your options. But following this vein and heart-healthy diet could help you lose weight and live healthier, along with a regular exercise program.
3. Butt Out
Smoking negatively impacts your health in so many ways. But in terms of post DVT care, it can increase your risk for future clots because it impacts the quality of your platelets, the parts of your blood involved in clotting. Need help quitting? Check out these free resources to start stopping today.
4. Always Take Precautions During Travel
Planning a long flight or road trip? Any excursion that’s over seven hours could increase your risk for clots. If you’re driving, be sure to build frequent stops into your itinerary. And if you’re traveling by air? Plan to get up and walk through the plane regularly. Or check out these exercises that keep blood flowing and that you can do straight from your seat.
5. Drink that H20
If your hydration levels drop, your blood circulation may slow down, and that can increase your risk for DVT. Every body needs different levels of hydration. And hot, humid weather like we get here in Houston certainly increases the amount of fluid you need to take in. But a good level of hydration to shoot for is about eight to 10 glasses of water each day.
6. Practice Stress Management
Stress and inflammation go hand in hand. And inflammation can raise your blood pressure levels, also increasing your risk for future clots. As a result, managing your stress levels is a key part of post DVT care.
Now, stress management looks different for everyone. But spending time outside, meditating or practicing yoga can all be effective tools. The key is to find something that works for you and stick with it. Even—or especially—when life gets hectic.
Post DVT Care in Houston, TX
After you’ve had one DVT, your risk for another one increases. First, learn the warning signs of deep vein thrombosis. (If you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical care.) Then, make sure to stick with regular venous and arterial check-ins. Our Houston area vein specialists are here to help, so schedule your appointment today!