What Causes Venous Disease?
Your vascular system is comprised of the heart, arteries and veins. Arteries are the vessels that supply blood from your heart to your lower extremities and veins are the vessels that return that same blood back towards the heart. To work against the force of gravity, veins are structured with one-way valves that allows blood flow to move upwards towards the heart, which prevents blood from falling down the venous system (reflux). For patients suffering from venous disease, these valves have failed to function properly due to either the deterioration or expansion of these venous valve walls over time which allows part of the blood flow to fall down the venous system causing blood to pool in the veins, which can result in a host of complications. The ultimate cause for varicose veins or why the valves in your veins weaken is not fully understood since some individuals can develop this condition for no apparent reason.
The following are risk factors that can increase your likelihood for developing venous insufficiency or varicose veins:
- If either of your parents have experienced this condition, these is about a 60% chance you will also develop the disease process. If both your mother and father were affected, your risk increases to an 89% chance of suffering from venous disease.
- This condition is very common and frequently misdiagnosed. It affects nearly 25% of women and 15% of men.
- Standing Occupations
Avoid prolonged standing or sitting if possible, as it will worsen your symptoms. If you have a profession that requires standing for long periods of time, shift your weight from leg to leg. When sitting for more than half an hour, you can improve circulation by elevating your legs above heart level. The use of compression hose does not treat venous disease, but it can be applied for temporary relief of symptoms.