A sudden pain in the legs, feeling of heat and redness. These symptoms associated with some other signs may indicate that you are facing a disease: thrombosis.
Thrombosis is the formation of clots —partial or total—that form in blood vessels, limiting the normal flow of blood in that region. It is estimated that the disease results in the death of 1 in 4 people in the world and presents 180 thousand new cases annually in Brazil, according to data from the International Society of Thrombosis and Hemostasis.
Thrombi, or clots, can manifest in different ways. In the arteries, which are responsible for transporting oxygenated blood from the lungs to the tissues, they are usually more serious. “Arterial thromboses present a high risk of amputation of the affected limb. Treatment must be immediate”, explains vascular surgeon Brenno Seabra Netto, from Rede Meridional/Kora Saúde.
Venous thrombosis presents with clots in the veins, compromising part of the circulation that transports the blood that has already left the oxygen in the tissues, back to the lungs for a new cycle of oxygenation. “In these, there are complications such as pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal”, says the doctor.
Regardless of the type of thrombosis, it is important to be aware of the signs of the disease.:
- Leg pain, especially in the calf;
- Persistent swelling;
- Increase in temperature in the legs;
- Color change in the region;
- Difficulty in locomotion.
According to vascular surgeon Aline Lamaita, a member of the Brazilian Society of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, attention should be redoubled by those who have individual factors that exacerbate the risks of thrombosis.
“Obesity, smoking, use of hormones and birth control pills, people with a greater predisposition to blood clotting, pregnant women, the elderly, disabled people, varicose veins and cancer are risk factors”, says the doctor.
Immobility and sedentary lifestyle are also pointed out by Seabra Netto as the main causes of thrombosis. “Therefore, patients who are bedridden or immobilized due to major surgery are at greater risk than others.”
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION
If you notice any of the symptoms, the most important thing is to seek medical attention to prevent the disease from evolving into a pulmonary embolism, for example. Treatment of thrombosis usually includes the use of anticoagulant drugs.
“These are drugs that will help to reduce blood viscosity and clot dissolution, thus preventing it from growing and advancing to other regions, in addition to preventing new thrombosis conditions”, explains Aline Lamaita.
In most cases, drug treatment is able to resolve the disease. However, the problem can return, especially in people with a predisposition to thrombosis. Thus, it is important that care is taken to prevent the problem.
“Some measures aimed at improving circulation can help prevent thrombosis. The recommended thing then is to stop smoking, consume plenty of water, adopt a balanced diet, perform physical exercises regularly and avoid spending a lot of time in the same position, whether during work hours or on long trips, getting up every hour to move around. a little”, guides the doctor.
According to Lamaita, the use of elastic stockings can also be indicated, as they compress blood vessels, improving venous return and, consequently, preventing vascular problems such as varicose veins and thrombosis.
“The most important thing, however, is that the patient sees a vascular surgeon regularly, especially if you have predisposition or individual aggravations associated with the disease. Only he will be able to monitor the situation, make a correct diagnosis and, if necessary, indicate a treatment”, he concludes.
THROMBOSIS AND COVID
“Some research has already given strong indications that Covid is a vascular disease and its complications are a result, precisely, of injuries caused to blood vessels, both in occlusions and in inflammatory processes. And this, in fact, increases the risk of thrombosis”, explains vascular doctor Gustavo Marcatto.
But how can infection with the new coronavirus cause thrombosis?
According to the doctor, recent studies in this area show that the virus causes an inflammatory process in the circulation, as the body tries, in a disorderly way, to fight the invader. Coagulation starts to happen excessively to ‘heal the wound left by the virus’. “The inflammation caused by Covid-19 stimulates the formation of clots, the cause of thrombosis, when the veins are affected by obstructions”, he explains.
“With the pandemic, we are seeing an increase in deep vein thrombosis and in other places in the body such as the lung. Some people even lose their hearing, all because of the thrombosis caused by Covid”
The doctor also reports that there are cases of deafness or ringing in the ear in people who have had the disease, which is related to thrombosis in the artery that is in the nerve of the ear. “This nerve loses its irrigation and can no longer work, causing the patient to lose hearing as a result”, he adds.
With the vaccination against Covid-19, many people were afraid of developing thrombosis. According to Gustavo Marcatto, the risk exists in relation to the vaccine, however, according to the World Thrombosis Association, it is small and the vaccine is essential for the prevention of the virus. To date, the specific reason why thrombosis occurs because of the vaccine is unknown.
“In clinical practice, we observed that there are cases that may have been triggered directly by the vaccine. It is not frequent and not as serious as the complications of the virus, so vaccination is recommended. Those who have additional risk factors should undergo a doctor to make a specific evaluation”, guides.
It is worth remembering that patients who already have comorbidities, such as obesity, smoking, are at greater risk of developing this thrombosis caused by Covid-19.
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