Going over the results of a vein screening or a meeting with a vein specialist can be stressful, especially if you find out that you are suffering from vein disease. Because you don’t see your veins it can be difficult to understand their role in your daily life and the possible consequences of their dysfunction. If you can understand what happens to your circulatory system if vein disease is present, it is much easier to take steps to reduce your risk or find the right kind of treatment. Read on for a simple explanation of what is happening in your body when circulation problems arise.
What do New York residents need to know about vein disease?
Each type of blood vessel has a specific role in your body’s circulatory system. For example, arteries bring oxygenated blood from the heart to the places in your body where it is needed. Your veins are responsible for returning “used” blood back to the heart. To do this, your veins make use of muscle contractions to help pump blood where it needs to go. In order to make sure blood moves towards the heart instead of back to your extremities, your veins have a number of tiny one-way valves. When these valves open, blood is able to flow towards your heart, but when they close blood cannot flow backwards.
If you are experiencing vein disease, something is preventing your veins from effectively moving blood from your extremities back to your heart. During one of such conditions called venous insufficiency, the “used” venous blood instead of going upstream to the heart, is pooling downstream back into the leg. The above is caused by the widening of the involved vein, due to which the valves are not be able to reach each other, which in turn allows blood to leak in between. Such backflow of the venous blood causes varicose veins, as well as many other symptoms and even complications of venous insufficiency, including infection, trophic ulcers, thrombophlebitis, bleeding and even formation of malignant lesions.
There are a number of factors that may cause you to develop venous insufficiency. Among these factors only genetic predisposition is one so-called “non-modifiable” risk factor. The other ones, modifiable factors, include prolonged continuous exposure to elements increasing pressure in the veins of the lower extremities. Some of them are prolonged standing or any other type of decreased mobility over prolonged time, increased weight or height, multiple pregnancies, habitual heavy lifting, chronic constipation and many others.
I am at risk for vein disease – what do I do?
You are at risk for vein disease, if you have genetic predisposition to its development. In this case, you need to identify your “modifiable” risk factors and work on reducing them. For example, if you are overweight, it would be important to engage yourself in multimodal weight management program under guidance of certified healthcare practitioners of many specialties, but not to look for a quick fix. If your work requires prolonged periods of standing, see what you can do to change it, keeping in mind that it is “standing” and not “walking” what affects the veins. Consider consulting with a vein doctor such a Dr. Lev Khitin to help you come up with more strategies to better address your vein health.
Here at the New York Vein Treatment Center, we understand that education is an important component of vein care. If you would like to learn more about the symptoms, causes, or treatments for any type of vein disease, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Manhattan office. We look forward to speaking with you!