Blood travels through veins to get from your cells back to your heart. When blood is in the veins of your legs, the contraction of your leg muscles helps the blood flow against gravity to the heart. During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases to support the baby, but blood flow between the legs and pelvis decreases. This causes pressure to build up in the veins, forcing them to expand outward. The result is large, often visible, varicose veins. Watch this video for the full scoop on pregnancy and varicose veins, via:
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Varicose veins, often thought of as a cosmetic problem, are actually a sign of an underlying disorder of the circulatory system. Vein disease occurs when veins have trouble carrying blood from your body back to your heart. The main cause is heredity. You are at higher than average risk if your mother or grandmother — or even someone on your father’s side — suffers from serious vein problems. Also, due to pregnancy, women are more often affected than men.
Symptoms of vein disease may seem harmless at first but can develop into serious problems if left untreated. In the beginning, many people experience leg “heaviness”, which is sometimes disregarded and attributed to stress or exhaustion. However, experiencing continual “heaviness” should be taken seriously. Other symptoms include pain or tenderness along the course of a vein, itching or burning sensations and “restless” leg syndrome, typically occurring at night as the muscles tend to contract to push blood back toward the heart. Aching, swelling, muscle cramps, exercise intolerance, bulging veins, blue veins and enlarged veins are other symptoms that can occur. Patients typically experience relief of symptoms when walking or elevating their legs.
Even though these symptoms can sometimes be tolerated or brushed off, they should be taken seriously. They can progressively get worse and turn into bigger problems if treatment is not sought.
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. You may also want to consider being evaluated by a vein specialist. For more information on varicose veins and treatment options visit www.renoveinclinic.com.
How sitting all day at your desk can compromise vein health and overall well being.
Sure, you’ve probably heard how getting up and moving every once and a while is key if you have a desk job. However in an article by Huffington Post Healthy Living, it can be more detrimental than you think.
According to the article, “Prolonged sitting has been shown to disrupt metabolic function resulting in increased plasma triglyceride levels, decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and decreased insulin sensitivity.”
While there may not be much we can do about changing they way we work, the article did offer some helpful tools people can use to stay more active in the workplace:
. Standing desks- some are even able to adjust to sitting and standing heights
. Take an office walk every few hours to get your heart rate up and blood pumping.
. Yes, a treadmill desk actually exists so you can type and walk simultaneously. —
. Yoga ball chairs are a great way to engage your core as you work
. Consider proposing active meetings. Instead of a conference room, suggest a walk around the office or outside to get moving, talking and thinking.
Sure you know what they look like, those unsightly twisting swollen cords that are sometimes purple. You may know what they feel like, achy, swollen and extremely sensitive. You definitely know you don’t want them, but have you ever wondered what happens in the body to cause them?
Veins contain a series of one way valves formed at various distances to keep blood returning to the heart in an effective manner. For a vein to become varicose means the valve leaflets that prevent the blood from flowing backward aren’t working properly. The blood then flows backward and enlarges the vein by actually increasing the pressure within the vein itself. This causes swelling that forms the visibly bulging veins.
As we walk the leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart, against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves can’t keep the flow toward the heart in check. This allows blood to flow backwards and the veins enlarge even more. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subjected to higher pressure when standing.
Sure, varicose veins can be unsightly, but they can also be painful and dangerous. The dilated veins cause stretching of the tiny sensory nerve endings, resulting in symptoms like burning, itching, heaviness, fatigue, “restless leg”, and nighttime leg cramps. Sometimes they look like cords twisting and bulging at the surface of the skin because they are raised and swollen. The most common place to have varicose veins is the on the inside of the leg and thigh.
There are many factors that contribute to a person developing varicose veins. First and foremost is the presence of a history of them in family members. They are enhanced by age, hormonal changes, pregnancy, obesity, sun exposure, trauma, and jobs that require prolonged standing (toll booth operator, checker, blackjack dealer).
Over time, varicose veins can get worse. The veins will get more prominent and swollen because blood starts to pool. This can occasionally lead to blood clots in the dilated segments. Unfortunately, once the veins become prominent or develop complications, it is very unlikely that the condition will resolve without treatment. Dr. Merchant and Dr. Daake can diagnose varicose veins in a simple physical examination and develop a treatment plan to give you exceptional results.