According to statistical data, approximately 33 percent of individuals over the age of 45 suffer from some form of venous disorder. When left untreated, these health problems can have serious consequences. One such issue is reduced blood flow, which can lead to peripheral nerve damage and the development of ulcerations and infections in the lower extremities.
Another potential effect of untreated venous disorders is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), wherein a blood clot forms in a vein. This dramatically increases the risk of heart attack, pulmonary embolism and ischemic stroke. Fortunately, there are a number of conservative methods for supporting venous health.
Walking is critical for not only good venous health but also preventing venous disorders from worsening. Due to the distance between the legs and heart, blood is not returned from the lower extremities as easily as it arrives there. The act of walking causes the leg muscles to contract around the veins, thereby helping to pump blood and fluids back up toward the heart.
Unfortunately, walking isn’t as effective for people who already have poor venous health. For this reason, compression stockings are often recommended. These special socks employ graduated degrees of compression at different parts of the legs to help force blood and fluids back upward. Compression is usually highest at the foot, where blood circulation is lowest, and the level of compression decreases on the higher parts of the legs.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight
We’ve all heard that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of numerous health problems. However, few people are aware that a healthy weight is also important for venous health. Carrying around extra body weight exerts greater pressure on the veins in the lower extremities, causing the valves in the veins to malfunction or become damaged. By staying at a normal weight for your height and frame, you can help ensure better overall venous health.
As stated previously, blood and fluids have a harder time returning from the legs than they do getting there. Aside from using compression stockings and walking frequently, you can also try keeping your legs elevated while sitting. In this position, gravity aids the flow of blood and fluids out of the legs.
Smoking is perhaps one of the biggest offenders of venous health. It causes blood vessels to contract, hindering blood flow. Furthermore, the oxidative damage from smoking wreaks havoc on the endothelium, or lining of the blood vessels, causing inflammation, narrowing and damage to the valves. It even increases the risk of DVT by elevating blood levels of chemicals known as clotting factors.
It’s estimated that around 74 percent of people consistently fail to drink enough water. Naturally, being dehydrated is going to cause blood to become thicker, and the body will have greater difficulty moving it through the veins. It’s generally suggested to consume at least eight glasses of water per day, but this varies by a person’s diet and unique needs. More experts are beginning to recommend consuming enough water that your urine appears very light yellow.
At South Texas Vein Institute in Edinburg, we specialize in vein treatments. In addition to offering conservative treatment options, we can also provide laser treatment, laser ablation, and Sclerotherapy and RFA treatments. Our medical team will work with you to determine the safest and most effective treatment plan for your needs.