What is Vein Disease Exactly?

Vein disease is a very misunderstood medical condition for many reasons. Mainly, most people just don’t know what the heck it really is and how it can affect your overall health and well being if it goes unchecked and untreated. So to fully understand what vein disease is, its backstory is the best place to start.

Pump it up.

Our veins are one of three important vessels that comprise the 60,000-mile superhighway called the circulatory system. The veins job is to return oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart where it can be re-oxygenated and ready to run the cycle all over again.

Low pressure. High expectations.

The venous system is a low pressure one, so as deoxygenated blood makes its way through the two main superficial leg veins – the great saphenous vein (located in the inner thigh area) and the small saphenous vein (runs down the back of the calf) – it relies on the muscle contraction in the legs to help it defy gravity and circulate back towards the heart.

Vein disease happens when pressure within the vein walls causes them to stretch and enlarge to a point that the vein’s valves are not able to open and shut properly. This malfunction of the vein valves, along with gravitational pull, causes blood to flow insufficiently and even flow backwards. The vein has become forever damaged and vein disease sets in.

So how do the veins get this way, anyway?

Genetics – It’s all in the family. Heredity is the #1 reason people develop vein disease.

Gender – women are more prone to developing vein disease than men due to the release of female hormones during ovulation and pregnancy and diminished during menopause. These hormonal fluctuations cause the vein walls to relax

Age – It’s not just our skin that gets droopy as we age. Our veins tend to lose their elasticity too.

Excess Weight – puts increased pressure on veins

Standing or sitting for long periods – cuts off or decreases circulation, causing blood to “pool” in an area. This puts pressure on the veins

Injury – Serious trauma can damage the vein

The Great Progression. 

Once a vein becomes insufficient in its ability to pump blood upwards, the signs of vein disease kick in. Feelings of tiredness, achiness, restlessness, jumpiness, and more become noticeable; spider veins and varicose veins may appear; and over time, conditions become more chronic and debilitating, leading to skin discoloration, a variety of skin conditions such as venous dermatitis and even leg ulcers – the most advanced form of vein disease.

The Progression Ends Here. 

Vein disease is easily detected with an ultrasound. And image-guided vein treatments with a board-certified vein specialist can end the progression of the disease. You don’t have to suffer with the affects of vein disease. Now that you know what it is, do something today to take back your health and well-being. Make a call to 281-565-0033 and schedule your vein consultation and screening. The vein specialists at Hamilton Vein Center can help.

(photo courtesy of St. Johns Medical Group)