I've experienced several periods of depression throughout my adult life, and while prescription drugs have proved helpful, I've been keen to explore drug-free ways to manage and treat my depression. I started this blog to share my personal experience battling this illness and the alternative treatment options I've tried, including dietary supplements, talking therapies, meditation, relaxation exercises, massage and acupuncture. I also post about current research on the effectiveness of holistic therapies at treating depression, and the blog contains guest posts written by others with depression who have tried drug-free treatments. I hope you find the information on this blog useful.
Deep vein thrombosis is a medical term that strikes fear in the hearts of people everywhere. While many associate it with long-haul flying and the contraceptive pill, inactivity and the post-operative recovery period are far bigger risks. While it's rare that your vascular surgeon will involve themselves with removing a clot, they do have a strong interest in clot prevention and there are a few steps you can take to help.
Quit smoking, now
Although the medical world is certain that smoking causes your blood vessels to narrow, the direct relationship between smoking and postoperative DVTs is less clear. However, the evidence for an increase in a substance that causes clotting—fibrinogen— when you smoke is growing. If you're a smoker, put down the cigarettes. In addition to reducing your risk of a clot, it will speed up the recovery period and reduce scarring.
Communicate with your hospital's pain team
The World Health Organisation has a few recommendations when it comes to addressing patient pain, which they refer to as a pain ladder. Clinicians use this ladder to determine what level of pain relief they provide and in order for them to do that they'll need an honest appraisal of your pain levels. When you help your hospital's pain team manage your pain, you're more likely to get up and move around following your surgery. In doing so, you'll reduce the risk of clots, which are more likely when you lie down too much during the recovery period.
Lose weight if advised to do so
If your surgery isn't imminent and your surgeon is discussing the possibility of losing weight, try to adhere to their recommendations. Although scientists aren't sure why those with a BMI higher than 30 are more likely to experience a DVT than those of a normal weight. Once you lose weight, your body's chemistry alters and you're less likely to experience a clot. If you're struggling with weight loss, ask your vascular surgeon if they can refer you to a dietician or recommend a weight loss programme that will help.
Whether your surgery is just around the corner or you have months to go, implementing these strategies sooner rather than later is beneficial. Other factors you may wish to consider include informing your vascular surgeon of the medications you're taking, discussing your family history of clotting disorders if there is one, and staying active in the build up to the surgery. When working alongside your medical team, you can promote healthier outcomes.Share
20 June 2017