Diseases

Phlebitis

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  • Picture 1 of 11

  • How to keep your veins fit!

    Varicose veins, spider veins, thromboses - sick veins are not just an aesthetic problem. How to keep your veins fit!
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  • Make your legs restless!

    There's a simple rule to keep your legs in shape, the 3L-3S rule: walking and lying rather than sitting and standing. So always keep your leg muscles moving, for example, by cycling, walking, running, swimming or leg-gymnastics. The focus should be on the training of endurance.
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  • Flat instead of high

    It is best not to wear high heels, even if they look so beautiful. Better is comfortable, flat footwear.
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  • Circle toes

    It is not always possible to avoid sitting or standing for a long time, for example with people having an office job or those who have to sit in long conferences. The following applies: Activate your venous pump. For example, move your toes regularly up and down or claw them - stimulating blood circulation and muscle tone. Also, do not sit cross-legged.
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  • Legs on the table!

    Store your legs more often. This works both while sitting and lying down - this may also be your desk. The blood does not accumulate and can flow back into the body.
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  • Kneipp helps

    Shower your legs regularly cool off (cold fountains, alternating showers). Start with your feet and bring the cold stream of water up to your thigh. The cool water promotes circulation and strengthens the elasticity of the veins.
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  • Get out of the hot tub

    Avoid too much heat and tropical heat. Avoid using hours of sunbathing, hot water bottles and hot tub baths. The vessels dilate, the blood "sags" in the legs and is more difficult to transport back to the heart.
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  • Shoes away!

    Throw your (maybe too tight) footwear into the corner and walk barefoot as often as you can. So the feet have more freedom and are better supplied with blood.
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  • Bacon gone

    Reduce your overweight, if you are too fat - preferably through a high-fiber diet. Because every kilo more is an additional burden on the legs. The return of the venous blood to the heart becomes more and more laborious with increasing body weight and increased accumulation of fat in the abdomen - venous diseases are favored.
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  • Drink a lot

    Do you drink much! Recommended are about two liters of fluid a day - in heat or athletic effort more. Good thirst quenchers are water, fruit juice spritzers or unsweetened tea.
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  • Fly and run

    A trip to Asia takes several hours - bad for the legs, which are usually still trapped in the front seat. The blood builds up in the legs, in the worst case, it can lead to a life-threatening thrombosis. Here, foot exercises, lots of drinking and special travel socks reduce the risk of thrombosis.


  • By Ingrid Müller Chemist, medical journalist
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Phlebitis: causes and risk factors

A phlebitis can have different causes. Often, slowed blood flow is a cause of thrombophlebitis, for example, in people with varicose veins, Here the vein wall is morbidly dilated so that the blood in the affected vein docks back. As a result, the so-called platelets, which play an important role in the blood coagulation, easily clump together - it creates a blood clot that further inhibits blood flow. As a result, there are inflammatory reactions in the vein wall. In addition, the risk of phlebitis increases due to prolonged standing or sitting as blood flow is restricted.

Often, too mechanical causes involved in the development of phlebitis. It can occur, for example, if the vein is compressed for a long time due to tight clothing, tight garter cuffs or hard chair edges.

After surgery, prolonged bed-rest or taking hormonal contraceptives (such as the pill) - especially in connection with smoking - the coagulation readiness of the blood increases. Therefore they are considered as risk factors for thrombophlebitis.

Also a so-called indwelling catheters is a common cause of phlebitis. This short, flexible plastic tube brings the doctor usually in a vein on the arm or hand, rarely on the head. As a rule, the venous catheter remains there for several days. It serves as a vascular access for drugs or infusions and is mainly used in hospitals. If the vein wall is injured when inserting the venous catheter or bacteria enter the vein via it, this can lead to phlebitis. The same applies to a blood sample or if the doctor injects a drug into the vein.

A special form of thrombophlebitis is the so-called thrombophlebitis migrans ("migrare", Latin: wander). This phlebitis appears again and again in different parts of the body, apparently for no apparent reason. In some cases, this form of phlebitis may indicate a malignant disease, but sometimes no cause can be found.

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Phlebitis: examinations and diagnosis

To diagnose the phlebitis, the doctor first asks about the medical history (Anamnese). He asks, for example, whether previously has already occurred a phlebitis, or if there is a varicose vein disease. Also, information about taking certain medications, such as the pill, are important to the doctor.

As part of the physical examination the doctor looks at the affected limb. He often recognizes a superficial phlebitis at first sight. The affected vein is characterized as a red, thickened strand on the skin surface. Careful scanning of this area causes pain.

Usually there is also one Ultrasound examination (sonography) the inflamed vein. In a phlebitis, the vessel wall is visibly thickened. Using a so-called Doppler sonography, the blood flow within the vessel can be displayed in color. This allows the physician to detect flow obstacles such as a blood clot.

If there is a suspicion of deep venous thrombosis, further examinations are usually necessary for the diagnosis. These include, among other things, a blood test and possibly an imaging vascular imaging by means of computed tomography or magnetic resonance tomography (CT or MR phlebography).

What do my lab values ​​mean?

Phlebitis: treatment

The treatment of phlebitis depends on its type and severity. In case of superficial thrombophlebitis, the doctor advises first to inflamed area cool, In many cases, he also puts on a compression bandage. In the case of phlebitis, most people also find it pain-relieving when they lift their legs up. However, unless the doctor speaks against it, you do not have to keep to bed rest and may move as usual.

Helpful against the pain and the inflammation are drugs from the group of so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as the active ingredient diclofenac. The product is applied in ointment form to the inflamed vein, but it is also available in tablet form for oral use. In a recent thrombophlebitis, the doctor sometimes also removes the blood clot via one or more Punctures in the vein (Incision). Bacterial infections in phlebitis can be treated with antibiotics.

In some cases, when a phlebitis occurs, a blood clot forms near a branch into a deeper vein. In this case, medicines are used which inhibit blood coagulation, for example heparin.

If varicose veins are the starting point for phlebitis, their treatment may be followed in the second step.

For the treatment of deep vein thrombosis is usually a hospitalization necessary. Here, the treatment aims primarily to prevent pulmonary embolism. Doctors administer anti-coagulant drugs.

Phlebitis: Prevention

You can not prevent phlebitis, but there are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of phlebitis. Also includes:

  • Let's treat varicose veins.
  • Avoid standing for long periods or sitting; If this is not possible, do foot exercises to stimulate blood flow in the legs.
  • Stop smoking - especially for women taking the pill.
  • Do not wear clothes that are too tight or tight, especially on the legs.
  • Drink enough water. Dehydration thickens the blood, increasing the risk of blood clots.

Venous catheters should no longer remain in the vessel as necessary. If you are wearing it, watch for changes to the vein and tell your doctor immediately.

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