What are the Consequences of Venous Disease?

What are the consequences of Venous Disease?  
Healthy blood circulation is an essential element to virtually every other normal function your body performs. After all, you can't breathe, digest food, or even move without blood flowing to your heart. This also means that when problems occur in your veins, your overall health can be compromised. Here's what you should know about how diseases affecting your veins, also known as venous diseases, could impact you. 

What is Venous Disease?
Veins are a part of your circulatory system that are responsible for carrying blood all around your body and transporting it back to your heart. They are essentially hollow tubes with thin walls and special flaps inside them called valves. These valves open as the muscles in your body contract, which allows blood to flow through them. These valves open and close to allow blood to flow in the desired direction when your muscles are relaxed. When the valves or walls of your veins become damaged, blood can begin to collect in them or even flow in the opposite direction that is intended, this is due to venous disease. This can cause a variety of health concerns ranging from cosmetic to life-threatening.

Types of Venous Disease
Venous diseases affect millions of people every year. Some of the most common types of venous disease include:
  • Varicose veins and spider veins: These veins are located near the surface of the skin and can appear to bulge or look twisted. They develop when valves that are weak or damaged let blood flow backward and pool in one area, usually the legs.
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis: This may occur near the surface of the skin in response to a blood clot developing in the blood vessel such as a varicose vein. It is not serious, however, can cause pain and redness at the site.
  • Ulcers: These are sores or wounds that won't heal or continue to recur. They are typically found on the inner part of the leg above the ankle.  They are caused by poor blood circulation in the veins.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT):  This occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, including the arms and legs. If the blood clot breaks free it could travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. While DVT does not always produce symptoms, it can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Symptoms of Venous Diseases
As with many other cardiovascular diseases, venous diseases can present a wide range of symptoms depending on the type of disease and the person who has it. While some people may not experience any symptoms at all, others may notice these signes of veous disease: 
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Heaviness of the lower extremity
  • Lower extremity restlessness
What are the possible consequences if Venous Disease goes untreated?
Because venous diseases do not  always produce noticeable warning signs or symptoms, you may be worried about what could happen if you do not have symptoms.  Fortunately, many venous diseases are not considered life-threatening. While certain conditions may impact the way your body looks aesthetically, such as varicose veins, or may cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as swelling, it is rare for most venous diseases to lead to fatal health problems. The most common complication from venous disease is a lower quality of life due to symptoms.

If you've been diagnosed with a venous disease or are interested in protecting your vein health, there are practical steps you can take to manage and prevent symptoms. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and managing your weight can help keep your cardiovascular system in good condition, including your veins. The trusted team at the Vascular Institute of the Rockies can  help diagnose, treat, and prevent venous diseases and their consequences.  Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

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