A cardiologist has suggested having frequent drinks (non-alcoholic) whilst travelling can help prevent blood clots forming. The reasoning behind his advice is that you will need to go to the loo more frequently and therefore have to get up and move! Drinking will also prevent dehydration which can be risk factor for formation of blood clots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), when blood clots form in the legs – usually the thigh or calf – affects over 1,000 Britons every year. The clot can travel from the leg and block veins and may cause a heart attack.
Whether sitting down for long periods on a plane or in the car, the risk of blood clots increases significantly once you have been sitting down for 2 hours. So this is a timely piece of advice when many of us will be setting off on our annual holidays.
Although DVT can occur for no apparent reason, some people may be at higher risk:
- overweight or obese
- a smoker
- dehydrated (if your urine is dark in colour you are probably dehydrated)
- over 60 – particularly if you have a condition that restricts your mobility
- Oestrogen based medications such as contraceptive Pill and HRT
- if you are recovering from an operation
There are few warning signs of an impending DVT so prevention is vital:
- Get up and move around frequently – stopping every 2 hours if you are travelling by car and get out for a walk around to stretch your legs. (see the ChiroMoves DVD for some easy 5 minute stretches: click on this link to amazon.co.uk:
- Massage your legs especially the calves
- Wear compression socks which are available from all pharmacies and online