How Does Taking Care of My Veins Help My Health?
While some superficial vein conditions such as varicose and spider veins may seem like a cosmetic issue, chronic vein conditions pose a risk to your overall health. Specifically, the health of your veins can have a major impact on your heart health — one of the most important organs in your body.
Keep reading to learn how taking care of your veins can help support your overall health from our specialists at Albert Vein Institute.
Common Vein Conditions
Not only is it essential to keep your veins as healthy as possible, but it's also crucial to understand your risks for various vein conditions and speak to your vein specialist to mitigate those risks.
Below are some of the most common vein conditions we treat at Albert Vein Institute, many of which can be hereditary.
Venous ulcers result from progressive valvular dysfunction in the veins that return blood from the legs back to the heart. They usually occur from untreated and advanced abnormalities in the superficial veins that are an inherited condition. Patients initially present with varicose veins and spider veins, but swelling will begin to occur if untreated.
Varicose Veins and Spider Veins
If you notice a patchwork of blue and red veins through your skin, most often located on your legs, this is the most common sign of spider veins. Also known as thread veins, these small veins can appear on your face, thighs, or calves. Varicose veins are larger and raised. Common symptoms of these conditions include:
- Tiredness in the legs
- Feeling as if the legs are heavier
- Swelling in the legs
Pregnancy, obesity, and old age can all increase your risks of developing spider veins. Progesterone is a hormone produced by both men and women, closely related to the menstrual cycle, which prepares the female uterus for pregnancy. Though more common in women, men can still get spider veins.
If a doctor diagnoses you with phlebitis, this means that you have one or more inflamed veins. Phlebitis can be superficial or deep and can lead to serious health concerns if left untreated.
If you have superficial phlebitis, this means that you have an inflamed vein near the surface of your skin. This irritation typically occurs after a blood clot or irritation from a catheter. This condition is usually minor and does not require treatment.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep phlebitis is also known as deep vein thrombosis. DVT is a serious medical condition when a blood clot forms inside a deep vein, typically located on the lower leg or thigh. This condition can happen to any patient at any age and can lead to other severe illnesses, such as pulmonary embolism (sudden blockage in a lung artery) if left untreated.
Common symptoms include:
- Swelling in your foot, legs, or ankle typically on one side.
- Cramping or pain in your leg near the calf, your foot, or ankle.
- The skin near the area that feels warm or turns white or blue.
While anyone can be at risk for developing DVT, risk factors include:
- Patients with slowed blood flow.
- Patients with undiagnosed excessive clotting conditions.
- Patients with a family history of DVT or pulmonary embolisms.
- Traumatic injury or demobilization.
- Knee, hip, and foot surgical procedures where tissue injury is prominent.
Improving Your Vein Health
Whether you have a family history of vein conditions, you currently have a vein condition, or you’re looking to improve your health, these lifestyle changes can help keep your veins healthy.
Make Dietary Changes
The foods we eat have a significant effect on how well our bodies function and how well we feel — the better your diet, the better your health. These dietary changes can help support better vein health:
- Avoid foods with high levels of sodium.
- Eat more foods that are high in fiber.
- Choose foods full of vitamins and minerals.
Get Plenty of Exercise
You can do several activities that can help improve your vein health, keep them healthy, and avoid problems. Some low-impact options to add to your health regiment include:
- Kicking your feet
See Your Vein Specialist
Albert Vein Institute is a nationally accredited IAC vein center of excellence, dedicated to meeting patients' needs in a comfortable and safe atmosphere with state-of-the-medical-arts techniques under the experienced supervision of Dr. James D. Albert.
If you find yourself struggling with vein disease-related issues, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Lone Tree or Colorado Springs offices.