Living With Deep Vein Thrombosis
If you've had a deep vein blood clot, you're at
greater risk for another one. During treatment and after, it's important
- Take steps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
(See "How Can Deep Vein Thrombosis Be
- Check your legs for signs and symptoms of DVT.
These include swollen areas, pain or tenderness, increased warmth in swollen or
painful areas, or red or discolored skin on the legs.
- Contact your doctor right away if you have signs
and symptoms of DVT.
Ongoing Health Care Needs
Medicines that thin your blood and prevent blood
clots are used to treat DVT. These medicines can thin your blood too much and
cause bleeding (sometimes inside the body). This side effect can be life
Bleeding may occur in the digestive system or the
brain. Signs and symptoms of bleeding in the digestive system include:
- Bright red vomit or vomit that looks like coffee
- Bright red blood in your stools or black, tarry
- Pain in your abdomen
Signs and symptoms of bleeding in the brain
- Severe pain in your head
- Sudden changes in your vision
- Sudden loss of movement in your arms or legs
- Memory loss or confusion
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, get
treatment right away.
You also should seek treatment right away if you
have a lot of bleeding after a fall or injury. This could be a sign that your
DVT medicines have thinned your blood too much.
Talk to your doctor before taking any medicines
other than your DVT medicines. This includes over-the-counter medicines.
Aspirin, for example, also can thin your blood. Taking two medicines that thin
your blood may raise your risk for bleeding.
Ask your doctor about how your diet affects these
medicines. Foods that contain vitamin K can change how warfarin (a
blood-thinning medicine used to treat DVT) works. Vitamin K is found in green,
leafy vegetables and some oils, like canola and soybean oil. Your doctor can
help you plan a balanced and healthy diet.
Discuss with your doctor whether drinking alcohol
will interfere with your medicines. Your doctor can tell you what amount of
alcohol is safe for you.