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Can Long-Distance Travel be Deadly?

Isaac Eliaz, M.D., L.Ac., M.S.

As the spring season approaches, many people start to plan vacations. If you are going far however, it is important to know the risks involved with long-distance travel. Researchers found that long-distance travel can raise your risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) by as much as three-fold. In addition, risk increases according to the duration of your trip—by 18 percent for every two hours of any kind of travel, and 26 percent for every two hours of air travel—even if you are otherwise healthy.

What is VTE and Why is it so Risky?
Venous thromboembolism is a disorder comprised of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. DVT is marked by abnormal clot formation in the deepest veins in your body, including those in your legs or pelvis. A pulmonary embolism occurs when this clot becomes dislodged and travels to your lungs, blocking the pulmonary artery and resulting in difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate and sometimes even sudden death.

Protect Yourself
Long-distance travelers are at especially high risk for these serious conditions, so it is critical to take every measure to properly protect yourself. If you are traveling far, stay well hydrated and make sure you take the time to move around and stretch your legs whenever you get the chance—both of these simple precautions can help to reduce your risk of VTE.

Quality natural supplements can also help, particularly if your clotting risk is higher than normal due to cancer, stroke, birth control, and major surgery. A Tibetan-based herbal formula shows excellent results for significantly reducing abnormal clotting factors and boosting circulation in patients with peripheral artery disease.

Symptoms
Perhaps the most important precaution you can take, however, is familiarizing yourself with the symptoms of VTE. This knowledge can save your life, should you ever find yourself on the wrong side of these grave statistics. Pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in your legs are red flags that a blood clot may have formed—and sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, and a bloody cough are all warning signs that it may have traveled to your lungs.

If you suspect VTE during or after your next long trip, be sure to seek medical attention immediately. Quick intervention (and proper prevention) is the only way to ensure that you are healthy enough to enjoy many more trips – and all of the long-distance travel they might require – for years to come. For more practical health information, visit www.dreliaz.org.


This entry was posted in Cardiovascular Health, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Dr. Issac Eliaz, Patient Information and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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