Deep vein thrombosis is a very serious condition, but fortunately quite rare. Generally, if you have a healthy lifestyle with healthy veins, your risk is low. Unfortunately, some patients have a predisposition to getting deep vein thrombosis. If you have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, you should consult your doctor because you may need a blood test called a thrombophilia screen to assess that.
One of the most common questions a doctor is asked, is the risk of deep vein thrombosis on long-haul flights. A flight more than three and a half hours is defined as a long-haul flight. To those patients, the best recommendation is to wear flight socks, drink plenty of fluid, and exercise on the flight by moving your toes, twisting your ankles, getting up from the seat, and stretching your legs.
These exercises often encourage the flow within the deep veins and reduces the chances of developing a DVT. It doesn't eliminate it but it certainly reduces the chances. If you’re unwell, you should make sure you drink plenty of fluids as sticky blood can lead to a DVT.
Losing weight and avoiding obesity will also minimise your risk of DVT.
How can you maintain healthy veins?
The best advice for maintaining healthy veins is once you have varicose veins, you should get them treated properly the first time. If treated badly, they are likely to come back and therefore you need to see a specialist vein surgeon who can assess your veins appropriately and offer you the most thorough treatment, treating all underlying causes of varicose veins. Unfortunately, keeping fit doesn't stop the veins deteriorating, as it is possible to see varicose veins in athletes who are very thin and with minimal body fat.
Once you have varicose veins, wearing compression stockings and maintaining good skin care with moisturising cream is very important. Resting your legs when appropriate is also useful but again, it’s not an easy thing to do if you have a busy lifestyle.
Overall, my summary for maintaining healthy veins is once you’ve developed varicose veins, you should consider getting them treated at an early stage.
You could also consider wearing compression stockings but many patients don’t want to wear stockings every day for the rest of their lives.
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