phlebitis treatment at home
PHLEBITIS AND THROMBOPHLEBITIS (Milk Leg)
SYMPTOMS of phlebitis
Reddening and cord-like swelling of the vein, increased pulse rate, slight fever, and pain accompanying the movement of the afflicted area
The affected vein can be felt and feels harder than normal veins. It may appear as the reddish line under the skin, possibly accompanied by pain, localized swelling, and tender to the touch.
Pain, warmth, and swelling, with possible bluish discoloration of the skin of the limb it is in. Sometimes there is fever and chills. The pain frequently feels like a deep soreness that intensifies when standing or walking and lessens when sitting or, especially, when the legs are elevated. Very often the deep vein in the thigh is involved.
CAUSES of phlebitis
Phlebitis is the inflammation of a vein wall, usually, occurs in the legs, and occurs more often in women than men. It can be a complication of varicose veins It can be caused by childbirth, infections resulting from injuries to the veins, and operations. Infections in the legs, feet, and toes must be given immediate attention (especially if a fungal origin is involved).
There are two types of thrombophlebitis
The first is superficial thrombophlebitis, which affects a subcutaneous vein near the surface of the skin. This is not serious, and many experience it. But if there is widespread vein involvement, the lymphatic vessels may also become inflamed, and fluids may collect.
The superficial type can result from infection, lack of exercise, standing for long periods, infection, and intravenous drug use.
Obesity, varicose veins, pregnancy, allergies, environmental chemicals, injury, and smoking can increase the risk.
Deep thrombophlebitis, also known as deep venous thrombosis (DVT), is more serious. It affects muscular veins far below the surface, which are much larger, and can often come after confinement. The reduced blood flow can produce chronic venous insufficiency, evinced by pigmentation, skin rash, or ulceration. But sometimes there are no symptoms. The risk of DVT rapidly increases after the age of 40 and triples with the passing of each decade after it.
Even though the person remains in bed until the swelling subsides, it will return slightly when he gets out of bed. Very little standing or exercise should be permitted while any swelling persists.
If the opening in the vein, in the thigh, is narrowed too much by phlebitis (and nearly always if it is entirely clogged), varicose veins will appear lower down on the leg.
Blood clots can be very dangerous. The origin of a clot is unknown. But it can form, following an injury to the inside lining of a blood vessel. This initiates clotting, which is part of the repair process. Blood platelets clump together to protect the injured area. Fibrinogen arrives and entraps blood cells, plasma, and more platelets, which make a blood clot to protect the weakened wall.
If clot forms, it can break off and travel to a vital organ. Massage or rubbing may cause part of the clot to be dislodged and pass to other parts of the body, especially the lungs, causing serious damage or death. If there is any possibility that the person might have blood clots, he should not receive massage.
TREATMENT HOME REMEDIES
- If a swollen, painful vein does not disappear within 2 weeks, consult a physician.
- Include niacin in the diet. This B vitamin helps prevent clotting. Vitamin C helps strengthen the walls of veins and arteries. Vitamin E dilates blood vessels, reducing the formation of varicose veins and phlebitis.
- Eat a good nourishing diet of fruits, vegetables, raw nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
- Do not eat fried, salty, processed foods; dairy products; or hydrogenated vegetable oils. Do not eat meat.
- A high-protein diet increases blood-clotting factors.
- Use enough fiber in the diet, so you do not have to strain at the stool. Straining increases venous pressure on the legs.
- Maintain a low-fat diet and drink enough water.
- It is now known that food allergies can be involved. Search them out and eliminate them.
- Get regular moderate exercise. This is important. Walking is the best. Regular exercise increases the body's ability to dissolve clots.
- Avoid dangling the feet. Pressure against the popliteal vessels may cause obstruction of blood flow. Do not cross your legs.
- Deep breathing or singing helps empty out the large veins, thus increasing venous circulation.
- Quit tobacco. If you smoke, and seem to keep having recurring phlebitis, you may have Buerger's disease Its symptoms are severe pain and blood clots, usually in the legs. Smoking constricts the blood vessels.
Superficial phlebitis inflammation generally is reduced within 7-10 days, but it may be 3-6 weeks for the problem to be entirely gone. It can be treated by elevating the leg and applying warm, moist heat to the area.
It is not necessary to rest in bed; but, every so often, rest with the leg 6-10 inches above the heart. This speeds the healing process.
- Take alternating hot and cold sitz baths or apply alternating hot and cold compresses.
- Lie on a slant board with your feet higher than your head for 15 minutes a day, especially if you stand on your feet a lot.
- Do not wear anything tight about the waist, or bands on the legs.
- If you have to travel a distance by car, stop and walk around every so often. Do not let the circulation become sluggish. When it enters a low-flow state, that can lead to a clot.
Beware of "economy class syndrome."
A remarkable number of people who fly in the cramped economy class seats of jets develop thrombophlebitis. You are confined to your seat more on planes than in cars or boats. So request an aisle seat and get up every 30 minutes and walk up and down the aisles.
- Wherever you may be, do not sit more than an hour at a time, without getting up and walking around.
- Better yet, every hour exercises the legs for 2 minutes, as if you are riding a bike (lifting the legs), and breathe deep, in and out, 15 times.
- Walking barefoot improves venous blood flow.
- If they help you feel better, use elastic stockings (anti-embolism stockings).
- Do not squat (sit back on your heels), except momentarily.
- If you have a history of phlebitis or blood clots, do not take the birth control pill. It will increase the likelihood of deep vein thrombophlebitis by 3-4 times.
- Once you have had phlebitis or clots of any type, you can have it again. Surgery or prolonged bed rests increase the likelihood that you will have another attack. Keep that in
- mind when you consider elective surgery.
- Fasting decreases blood coagulation and can be beneficial when needed.
If you have to lie in bed for a time, move your legs every so often, to increase circulation. Elevate the foot of your bed several inches, to reduce venous pressure in your legs. This also reduces edema and pain. Do not use pillows under the legs, for doing so elevates the knee above the digestive organs and reduces circulation.
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