Thursday, June 12, 2014

Men's Health Week

It’s Men’s Health Week and this is the time where we need to remind the men in our lives to put their health first. 

Back in 2011, my husband was flying frequently for his job and would always take the window seat so he would not be bothered from others trying to move around him. Who knew this would be the beginning of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).  Later during the year he developed tenderness and redness of the skin in his lower leg. He thought maybe he had bruised it while playing tennis and ignored the symptoms. More time passed and he began to experience flu like symptoms. He went to the neighborhood clinic where they told him to drive straight to the hospital. He developed a clot in his leg from which multiple pulmonary embolisms (PE) detached and entered his lungs (which explains the flu like symptoms).  Thankfully my husband was given a clean bill of health after several days in the hospital.  Now when he boards flights for more than 2 hours he takes blood thinners to prevent any clotting. I hope this story is a reminder to get checked by a healthcare provider if you are experiencing any kind of unusual symptoms.  It could save your life.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition where a blood clot forms in the lower leg. DVT can happen to anyone at any age. According to the CDC (2012), clots can develop in the lower leg as well as the thigh, pelvis, and arms. DVT is preventable and treatable if the symptoms are caught early.  Some of the symptoms include:

  • Swelling
  •   Pain
  •   Tenderness
  •   Redness of the skin

Certain factors can increase the likelihood of someone having DVT and even more for those who have more than one risk factor (CDC, 2012). Some of the risk factors include:

  • Injury to a vein
  • Slow blood flow
  •  Increased estrogen
  • Certain chronic medical illnesses

To see a complete list, please visit

It is estimated that 60,000 to 100,000 of Americans will die each year from DVT/PE (CDC, 2012). 

How do you prevent DVT/PE from occurring?

  • Moving around as much as you can while on flights, car rides, or from sitting for long periods of time
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  •  Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle
  • Following doctors recommendations based on risk factors if any


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism. Retrieved from

Written by: Lauren Fennell

Lauren Fennell is a graduate student in the Health Studies Department at Texas Woman's University. Her health interests include minority health, adolescent health, and maternal health.

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