Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Once you receive treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), you need to watch your diet and watch for signs of excessive bleeding, as well as take steps to prevent another DVT. Some things you can do include:

  • Check in with your doctor regularly to see if your treatment needs to be modified. If you're taking warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), you'll need a blood test to see how well your blood is clotting.
  • Take your blood thinners as directed. If you've had DVT, you'll be on blood thinners for at least three to six months.
  • Watch for excessive bleeding, which can be a side effect of taking blood thinners. Talk to your doctor about activities that could cause you to bruise or get cut, as even a minor injury could become serious if you're taking blood thinners.
  • Move. If you've been on bed rest because of surgery or other factors, the sooner you get moving, the less likely blood clots will develop.
  • Wear compression stockings to help prevent blood clots in the legs if your doctor recommends them.

Prevention

Measures to prevent deep vein thrombosis include:

  • Avoid sitting still. If you have had surgery or have been on bed rest for other reasons, try to get moving as soon as possible. If you're sitting for a while, don't cross your legs, which can hamper blood flow. If you're traveling a long distance by car, stop every hour or so and walk around.

    If you're on a plane, stand or walk occasionally. If you can't do that, exercise your lower legs. Try raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor, then raising your toes with your heels are on the floor.

  • Make lifestyle changes. Lose weight and quit smoking.
  • Exercise. Regular exercise lowers your risk of blood clots, which is especially important for people who sit a lot or travel frequently.