The diagnosis of "thrombophlebitis" is made when the medical diagnosis shows inflammation of the walls of the veins and the appearance of blood clots where there should be gaps. Most often the problem occurs in the lower extremities, which are subjected to great pressure, however, thrombophlebitis of the upper extremities and even the chest is not excluded. Why does such a violation occur and is it possible to get rid of it yourself?
What is thrombophlebitis and how to recognize it?
It is worth saying that there are several related vascular problems: thrombosis - the appearance of a blood clot due to a violation of its blood circulation, which blocks the blood flow in whole or in part; phlebitis is an inflammatory process in the vascular walls of the veins. The addition of these words results in thrombophlebitis, a combination of two disorders, but it is indicated only for problems of closely located veins, the subcutaneous. If the same processes have affected deep veins, doctors have this phlebothrombosis.
- Like any disease in which there is a violation of blood flow or blood clotting, thrombophlebitis can lead to tissue necrosis, which in the initial stages manifests itself only as a severe swelling of the lower extremities, and after -the impossibility of not only moving in the usual mode, but also getting up bed The final point is death due to thromboembolism.
The main difficulty in the diagnosis of thrombosis and thrombophlebitis is that the disease at the initial stage in half of cases is asymptomatic. Rare pain sensations, localized at one point, muscle tearing or a feeling of heaviness — all this can be easily attributed to ordinary fatigue, bruising, and other situational factors. Often, a person understands that he should check the condition of veins only when he sees a change in skin color, feels compaction and persistent pain in the affected area. Feelings increase with prolonged load on the legs: for example, long walking, even on level ground. The pain may have a pulling character and disperse along the inner surface of the thigh, affecting the feet.
- The main symptoms of thrombophlebitis of the deep veins of the lower extremities are frequent edema of the legs, which is located in a specific area: the legs, the ankle, etc., as well as pain, an increase in overall body temperature. The absence of all manifestations, except for strong and not passing edema, indicates phlebothrombosis - impaired blood circulation in the deep veins.
In latent form, the disease may slowly progress over several years, until it rises from the bottom up and puts the pulmonary artery or heart at risk. If the swelling is supplemented by frequent chest pains, shortness of breath, unreasonable cough (ie, non-allergic and non-viral / infectious) nature, you should immediately contact a specialist for a diagnosis. The most accurate check of the condition of the veins and arteries can be obtained through phlebography, duplex scanning or magnetic resonance imaging.
Causes of Thrombophlebitis
Like other vascular diseases, thrombophlebitis can be inherited, and, with a greater frequency, it is manifested in women. But even if no one among them has suffered from the next of kin, external factors can place a person at risk. There is no reliable way to prevent it.
- A sedentary lifestyle, such as prolonged bed rest and sedentary work, provokes a general impairment of blood circulation in the lower limbs. Pregnancy, giving a high load on the legs, difficult delivery, in which the fetus puts pressure on the iliac veins, frequent long flights, all this can be a risk factor. But in such a situation, varicose veins often develop first — varicose veins and blood outflow down, instead of its proper upward movement.
- Inflammation of the venous walls can be triggered by mechanical trauma, as well as surgery, an allergic reaction, the introduction of intravenous injections. Moreover, this applies not only to operations performed on the lower limbs: the risk of thrombophlebitis appears to increase in women undergoing cesarean section.
- Changes in the rate of blood coagulation and its quality caused by the pathologies of the body: oncological diseases, deterioration of metabolic processes, disorders of the liver.
Also significantly increase the likelihood of thrombophlebitis in nicotine abusers undergoing therapy with drugs that thicken the blood. Among the factors that provoke the disease, there are old age.
How to treat deep vein thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities?
The doctor determines the scheme of restoration of blood circulation and elimination of the inflammatory process only based on the results of the examination, which should show whether there is a threat to the pulmonary artery and whether the resulting thrombus is dynamic. If he does not threaten to break away, the patient is prescribed bed rest for several days. This is usually a period of 3 to 5 days. If a complete examination is impossible for a number of reasons, bed rest is prolonged to 10 days to avoid excesses.
- A lying patient should have his feet on the dais to stimulate the outflow of blood from the feet and legs. It is forbidden to conduct thermal procedures: apply a heating pad, attend a hot shower, take a bath.
- Physical activity on the indicated 5 (10) days is prohibited, after -can be smoothly entered under the supervision of a physician. However, this will be only the usual movement around the apartment or outside (slightly), it is likely the inclusion of medical gymnastics for the lower extremities.
- Is it possible to quickly cure deep vein thrombophlebitis at home? Only in case the impaired blood flow has not shifted to the hip area. While vascular problems affect only the area below the knee, doctors may prescribe outpatient therapy. In other situations, the patient must be moved to a hospital.
- Even in home treatment, not folk remedies are used, but pharmaceutical medicines, which have several goals. Firstly, it is necessary to prevent the movement of a blood clot, secondly, it is necessary to reduce blood viscosity, and thirdly, blood circulation should be affected.
- Both on an outpatient basis and in a hospital, phlebotonics, painkillers, angioprotectors are prescribed to the patient. Specific drugs are selected by the doctor, focusing on the picture of the disease. In addition to oral medication, heparin injections and the implantation of a cava filter that catches blood clots in the inferior vena cava are performed.
- Consider that with thrombophlebitis, it is necessary to change the diet and to introduce blood-thinning products into it (grapefruits, garlic, artichoke, apple cider vinegar), and also to reduce the proportion of vitamins C and K entering the body.
- As for thrombolytics, they are prescribed only at the initial stage, because when the condition of the veins deteriorates, the dissolution of the thrombus is reversed and provokes fragmentation of the blood clot and pulmonary thromboembolism. Instead of thrombolytics, a procedure can be prescribed for the introduction of a substance through the catheter, which dissolves large blood clots.
- Surgical intervention is the last way to get rid of thrombophlebitis, if the blood clots become motile or the vein is compressed by the lymph node or neoplasm. The operation is performed by a vascular surgeon, a patient is monitored by a phlebologist.
Doctors warn that self-medication of thrombophlebitis is a danger to the health and life of the patient, since it increases the likelihood of separation of a blood clot and blockage of the pulmonary artery, leading to disability or death. It is strictly forbidden to take any action before a thorough examination to obtain a complete picture of the disease.
As a preventive measure that reduces the likelihood of thrombophlebitis and other problems of a vascular nature, experts advise not to keep the legs in one position for a long time (both vertical and horizontal), to restore the physical functions of physical therapy in bed rest, to normalize the water balance to maintain the correct blood viscosity . If you have the first symptoms of varicose veins, you should consult a doctor before the pathology develops into thrombophlebitis and thromboembolism.