Quit Smoking for DVT Prevention

Quit Smoking for DVT PreventionYou’ve heard it time and time again, but it’s a point that bears repeating: smoking is a dangerous habit. If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health—there is incontrovertible evidence that smoking can lead to a number of dangerous health problems, and not just those that concern your lungs. In addition to lung cancer and emphysema, smoking may increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in Atlanta or Marietta.

The Link between Smoking and DVT

Deep vein thrombosis refers to the formation of blood clots in the deep veins of your legs, which can become dangerous when they break free and travel to the heart, lungs or brain. There are many things about smoking that can increase your risk of developing DVT:

  • Nicotine narrows the arteries and veins, increasing your blood pressure.
  • Carbon monoxide inhalation decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood, forcing your heart to beat faster.
  • Higher cholesterol levels cause plaque to build up on the blood vessel walls, constricting blood flow even more. This plaque can also break free and block flow through the blood vessel.

Because of these effects, quitting smoking can dramatically reduce your risk of developing DVT and many other conditions. Though the benefits will not be immediate, circulation typically improves within a year after quitting—plaque buildup in the blood vessels will not reverse, but will slow greatly.

If you’re a smoker, you know that quitting is easier said than done. Still, it’s never too late to kick the habit—regardless of how long you’ve smoked quitting can have a hugely positive impact on your health.

Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for help with quitting. Your vein specialist may be able to point you in the direction of strategies that help, while these tips may also be useful:

  • Write down your reasons. There may be many, but putting them on paper can help you see just how important it is to stop. From health and hygiene to setting an example for your kids or grandkids, think of what’s most important to you about quitting.
  • Go slow. Ease your way into it and take things one step at a time. Remember: even cutting back is a big step towards ending your habit entirely. If quitting cold turkey hasn’t worked, gradually reduce your smoking each day until you can make the habit nonexistent. Products like nicotine patches and gum are helpful for many.
  • Get help. As awareness for the health damage caused by smoking grows, so too does the number and quality of resources available to help you quit. Consult with Dr. Perry for advice on the best method to help you kick the smoking habit.

There are many compelling reasons to quit smoking, and risk of DVT is one of them. What else has helped you quit smoking in Atlanta or Marietta? Tell us in the comments below!

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