At Sun Vein & Vascular in Dallas, TX, we meet a lot of people who have a lot of questions about their vein health. We don’t typically give much thought to how our vascular system works. We usually don’t have to. The arteries and blood vessels just naturally do their thing. Their thing is to carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, including the extremities. This is handled by our arteries. Their thing is also to carry blood back to the heart from faraway places like the feet. This is handled by the blood vessels. Because the arteries are like a hose that sends blood out, they have no special mechanisms like the blood vessels do. The blood vessels have one-way valves that close after each heartbeat to prevent venous reflux, or the backward movement of blood.
Chronic vein disease or chronic venous insufficiency is a term used to describe a number of symptoms related to the backward movement of blood. These symptoms include:
- Spider veins and varicose veins
- Leg swelling and aching or pain
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Discoloration of the skin around an affected vein
- Restless leg syndrome
- Leg cramps
- Leg ulcers
- Vascular Malformations
Why Do Some Valves Go Bad?
People who have spider veins, varicose veins, and other unpleasant symptoms like to know why. We can understand wanting to know. Behind that quest for knowledge is usually a desire to know how to prevent new vein problems from occurring. Vein disease is not caused by a single factor. There are several that contribute to it. The two major factors identified through research include hormones and heredity.
- Most cases of vein disease occur in women. The reason why seems to be variances in levels of progesterone. This hormone affects the muscles and connective tissue during a woman’s monthly cycle and also when she is pregnant. Progesterone relaxes these tissues in preparation for menstruation or childbirth. Its effect on the veins is that it can weaken valves, resulting in reflux.
- Research indicates that if a person has vein problems in their immediate family, they have an increased risk of developing chronic vein disease, too. When one parent has a vein problem, a child has a 33% chance of one, as well. If both parents have vein problems, it is nearly impossible for the child to avoid them during their adult years.
In addition to these unavoidable factors, vein problems are influenced by the following factors over which you have some control:
- Prolonged standing
- Sitting with legs crossed
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Leg injury
- Abdominal pressure caused by health conditions such as liver damage or heart failure
It would be nice if we could prevent vein problems. For now, we have advantageous vein treatments that can eliminate unpleasant symptoms. To learn more about the vein treatments available in our friendly office, contact us at (214) 556-8880.