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Athletes and Blood Clots: What Fitness Buffs Need to Know

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Whether you’re intensely training for the Olympics or you’re an avid runner and cyclist who does it for fun and exercise, being an athlete generally means you’re healthy and fit. Few would suspect that athletes and blood clots mesh, since most often blood clots are associated with people who are on bed rest, obese or live a sedentary lifestyle. But athletes also have a high risk of developing clots and venous disease. Detecting and treating the problem early on can literally save your life, and being proactive makes all the difference. Learn about the connection between athletes and blood clots, including valuable information about prevention, detection and treatment of venous disease in Middle Georgia.

Athletes And Blood Clots: The Causes

When blood flow is slow, blood clots can form as blood platelets and plasma thickens forming the nidus for a clot. This can happen when you have low blood pressure, are on bed rest due to an injury or after surgery, or on a long flight where moving around isn’t permitted. If a clot forms in the leg veins, which is often the case, it can cause what is called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). This alone is problematic leading to long term leg issues; however, the real concern is when the clot travels to the heart, lungs or brain, causing heart attacks, pulmonary embolism (PE) or a stroke.

If you live an active lifestyle, dehydration in addition to injuries and surgeries that require extended bed rest can increase your risk of developing DVT and other venous disease. Some very athletic patients have low blood pressure, which increases the risk. Finally, a genetic predisposition, certain medications and your lifestyle “off the field” can affect your likelihood of developing blood clots.

Over 18,000 Procedures Performed

Dr. Kenneth Harper, founder of Vein Specialists of the South, has evaluated more than 22,000 patients and performed over 18,000 procedures since 2000. Dr. Harper is a leader in comprehensive vein care, having focused on diagnosis and treatments for varicose veins, spider veins, venous ulcers, and leg swelling since 1997.

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