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Causes and symptoms of thrombophlebitis and thrombosis
Causes and symptoms of thrombophlebitis and thrombosis

These two serious diseases are characterized by the fact that in the process of a person's life they form blood clots in the lumens of venous vessels, thereby changing the movement of blood in them. Therefore, it is important when diagnosing pathologies such as thrombophlebitis and thrombosis, the difference in symptoms.

What is called thrombophlebitis?

Thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory process that takes place in the walls of blood vessels and leads to the formation of blood clots in the venous lumen. It can be localized in the lower extremities, upper, cervical and thoracic regions of the body. In the system of the human body, there is a network of veins that are located immediately below the surface of the skin and below, in deeper layers.

Based on this, phlebothrombosis is distinguished:

  • deep veins of the lower extremities;
  • superficial veins.

The reasons why phlebothrombosis can occur can be as follows:

  • hereditary disposition to thrombus formation and thrombophilia conditions;
  • trauma to the walls of veins and blood vessels by chemical, pharmacological or microbial factors, and as a result - their inflammation;
  • varicose veins, which reduces the speed of blood flow through the veins, leading to congestion;
  • any surgical intervention;
  • diseases of the lungs and cardiovascular system;
  • forced states of immobility;
  • an infection brought into the hematopoietic system.

Symptoms most often make themselves felt when the disease has already spread to sufficiently large areas in the body.

In the initial stages, it almost does not manifest itself in any way. The main danger is that a blood clot can come off at any time and move freely through the veins. It is impossible to predict where he will go.

The most dangerous thing in this case is the ingress of a blood clot into the vessels of the lungs, which can lead to blockage of the respiratory arteries. In addition, the danger also lies in the fact that a blood clot can grow and block the main vein, which will lead to chronic venous insufficiency and significantly complicate treatment.

In addition, there are a number of circumstances that may contribute to the development of this disease:

  • diabetes mellitus of all types;
  • oncological diseases;
  • obesity of all degrees;
  • the use of hormonal drugs and contraceptives;
  • taking steroid drugs;
  • herbs;
  • pregnancy or menopause;
  • benign neoplasms in the pelvic organs.

The fact that the inflammatory process has begun in the vascular system may be evidenced by the following main symptoms of phlebothrombosis:

  • slight swelling of the legs;
  • calf pain;
  • burning sensation and heaviness in the legs;
  • slight redness of the skin;
  • visible expansion of the subcutaneous vessels;

With these symptoms, most often they do not turn to specialists for help. They visit the clinic when more serious symptoms appear - severe swelling, bluish skin tone, or in a completely neglected condition with already blackened legs. Then the treatment process becomes much more complicated and increases in time.

What is called thrombosis?

Thrombosis of the veins of the lower extremities is a serious disease, which is quite insidious, because its course is almost asymptomatic.

This is a kind of malfunction in the process of the system of blood and lymphatic vessels, which causes various disturbances in blood flow.

This disease is essentially the next stage in the development of thrombophlebitis. Its main danger lies in the fact that it affects the deep veins of the body. Namely, these veins directly communicate with the heart and pulmonary arteries.

Most often, the place of localization of pathology is the calf muscles of the legs. And according to the observations of specialists, the left leg is usually susceptible to this disease.

There are also a number of factors that can contribute to the development of this disease:

  • surgical interventions of varying degrees of complexity;
  • trauma;
  • pregnancy and childbirth;
  • various allergic reactions;
  • purulent and septic diseases.

In this disease, blood clots form in the veins, which begins to interfere with normal blood circulation. Such clots are able to completely close the lumen of the vein and, in the end, come off. In those places where there was a blockage due to a violation of blood circulation, tissue may begin to die off.

When a blood clot breaks off from a vessel, it can reach the heart, lungs or other organs, causing a stroke, heart attack or thromboembolism, all of which is fraught with paralysis or death.

The symptoms of this venous disorder are mostly asymptomatic, and this is where the danger lies.

However, there are a number of signs, paying attention to which you can take the necessary measures in time.

  • change in skin tone at the location of the clot;
  • swelling of the legs. It can be located on the lower leg, ankle, thigh, or over the entire leg;
  • short-term pain;
  • feeling of stiffness;
  • severity;
  • feeling of fullness of muscles;

When the disease progresses to the maximum, these symptoms gradually become brighter and more acute. The provocateur is stagnation in the vein, below the site of thrombus formation.

If the vein is completely closed, the swelling will increase even more, completely disrupting the normal metabolism. This can lead to gangrene.

What is the difference between thrombosis and thrombophlebitis?

There is a big difference between these two diseases, especially if you analyze each of them separately.

Thrombosis is characterized by:

  • damage to venous vessels that are close to the surface of the skin;
  • arbitrary development, regardless of inflammation or damage to the vessel;
  • the primary violation of the composition of the blood, leading to the formation of a blood clot - increased coagulability;
  • easy swelling;
  • weak pain due to physical exertion;
  • numerous formation of blood clots with minor inflammatory processes;
  • spontaneous pain;

Due to the mild severity of symptoms, they most often seek medical help at a critical stage.

Thrombophlebitis is characterized by:

  • damage to the vessels of deep tissues;
  • development in case of damage to the venous wall of the inflammatory process in it. Because of this, a blood clot begins to form. Varicose veins may be a harbinger of this;
  • danger to blood vessels, which are most exposed to various loads;
  • sharp painful manifestations during walking or strong physical exertion;
  • a feeling of fullness and heaviness in the limbs;
  • changes in the skin to a bluish tint, severe skin elongation;
  • an increase in temperature in the affected limbs or throughout the body up to 39 degrees;
  • inflammatory processes that prevail over the formation of blood clots in the vessels;
  • swelling, significantly reducing the ability to move;
  • pronounced, protruding vessels on the legs;
  • the likelihood of no pulse in the arteries of the extremities;
  • complaints of general weakness with deterioration in health;
  • chills;
  • frequent headaches;

The pathogenesis of the course of these two diseases is in many ways similar and even interrelated, especially the process of blood clots formation on the mucous membranes of blood vessels. But the main difference is which veins are affected by this disease - superficial or deep. Otherwise, there are no significant differences in these diseases.

The walls of the vessels become inflamed and a blood clot forms, which clogs the vessel, gradually causing additional inflammation. To establish what is still primary and what is secondary is actually impossible.

It is, perhaps, important that a disease that affects superficial veins can eventually switch to deep ones, but it can happen exactly the opposite.

One way or another, this will lead to a significant risk to a person's life. It is necessary to listen carefully to your feelings and, at the slightest suspicion, consult a phlebologist in order to prevent critical conditions.

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