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|Travelers and Poor Blood Circulation
Is there a simple solution to a very serious medical problem?
For many travelers, the answer is maybe. If travelers would take
the necessary steps, it could help prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
(DVT). The main reason they don't is because not everybody knows
what DVT is, and they do not know what to do that might help
prevent it. If they have some knowledge about DVT, they probably
have the attitude that "It can't happen to me."
Let's start with the basics. Poor Blood Circulation is a lack of
blood flow to the organs and muscles in the body. Blood is what
carries the oxygen and nutrients to all organs and muscles in
your body. We need both to survive and function. Also, blood is
suppose to cleanse the body from the carbon dioxide and the
wastes produced. Poor blood circulation means a shortage of
delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and a
highly ineffective cleansing process.
It indicates on the Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) website at
dvt.net that: "Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT is a blood clot that
can form in your legs and sometimes move to your lungs, where it
could be fatal."..."DVT is a condition resulting from the
formation of a blood clot (thrombus) inside a deep vein,
commonly located in the calf or thigh. DVT occurs when the blood
clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in
the vein. Complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people a
year in the United States which is more than AIDS and breast
Also on the DVT website there is a special warning specifically
for Travelers. It states:
"Prolonged sitting during air travels slows down circulation and
increases the blood's propensity to clot. In addition, tightly
packed seating and long periods of immobility can contribute to
an increased risk of DVT.
Even in young, healthy travelers, long stretches of time spent
in cramped seats of an aircraft with very low humidity may set
the stage for the formation of a blood clot in the lower leg."
When you are traveling in a car, it is pretty easy to just stop
regularly at the Rest Stops to get out, stretch, walk or run for
a while. Trains and buses usually have a little more individual
space to move around than on commercial airlines where most
people fly coach. That is why it is sometimes referred to as
"economy class syndrome" which is misleading terminology because
it implies that people who fly in first class with a little more
leg room do not have anything to worry about. That is not true.
Conditions in an airplane make the risk of DVT greater than in
cars, trains and buses because a thrombus (blood clot) is more
likely to happen in a condition when blood is thick. This is the
side effect of the thin air inside the aircraft cabin.
But whatever your choice of transportation, do not just "plant"
yourself in the seat and then sit there for several hours in the
same position without moving at all. The exact cause of DVT is
not very clear, but prolonged immobility and dehydration can
increase the risk.
Eventhough you may be squeezed in and confined in very tight
area you need to do the best that you can, as much as you can,
for as long as you can, to keep your blood circulating.
These are some suggestions that might help you:
1. You should drink a sufficient amount of water everyday. (not
just when you are traveling, but everyday) Carry some
own drinking water with you.
2. Avoid high consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeine
drinks like coffee and tea. Air in a plane is very dry and the
temperature is warmer than you may normally have it at home. It
is therefore important to remain hydrated during long flights by
increasing your intake of water and fruit juices.
3. If you know that your traveling will involve you sitting for
a long period of time in a tight, crammed area like an airplane,
then just before and right after your trip do some type of
aerobic exercise like swimming, running, fast walking, cycling
4. Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes when traveling. Even
if you are required to dress in professional business clothes,
both men and women should avoid wearing tight fitting business
suits. Between the local clothing stores in your area, catalog
shopping by mail order and the internet, with a little effort on
your part, you can find loose comfortable clothes made with some
type stretch material that will make you look professional and
also qualify as appropriate business attire, but most
importantly it will allow you to have better blood circulation.
Because of the change in atmospheric pressure in an airplane,
parts of your body can expand due to increase gas, so you should
allow room for this type of expansion by wearing loose fitting
5. During the flight stand up and stretch, stand on one leg and
shake the other one vigorously and then vice versa, raise your
arms over your head up and down a few times, take off your
shoes, squeeze and release your toes a few times, do whatever
you can, as much as you can, for as long as you can to move your
body around, especially your arms and legs. If possible walk
down the aisle even if only once during a long flight. At the
very least, if you really cannot stand up at all for whatever
reason, then from your sitting position raise and lower your
legs and arms a few times and shake both of your feet.
6. Do not cross your legs because it restricts the blood flow.
7. There are 2 things that you should ask your doctor about:
First is to ask your doctor if you should wear support stockings
that are specifically made for the purpose of better blood
circulation. The second is to also ask your doctor if you should
take aspirin for thinning your blood. These 2 suggestions may
not be appropriate for everybody, so it is better that you check
with your medical professional.
These suggestions cannot cure DVT if you already have it, and
many people who have DVT do not even know it because the
symptoms are sometimes difficult to detect. There is no
guarantee that any of these suggestions will prevent DVT. So if
you have any symptoms of pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling,
swelling, skin color turning blue or purple, then ask your
doctor as soon as possible because it might be a result of Poor
Blood Circulation. You should get professional medical attention
early before your condition gets any worse. Remember, the
complications from DVT could be fatal.
About the author:
Stephanie Gibbs created http://www.travelcheaphotline.com to
educate people about Travel Safety for crime prevention and
provide solutions with a FREE Travel Safety List available to be
printed right off the website. It also promotes fun & amazing
offers for people with low limited budgets.