Venous disease is a significantly under-diagnosed condition affecting nearly 25 million Americans.
In healthy individuals, veins have one-way valves that help move blood up the leg and back to the heart. When your muscles contract, the valves open and allow blood to move back to your heart. When your muscles relax, the valves shut to prevent the blood from flowing backward. When the valves do not work properly, blood flows back and pool in the legs. This pooling can cause a range of symptoms from mild to severe. When this happens, it is referred to as chronic venous disease.
There are several factors that can cause venous disease. The most common causes are:
- Heredity – venous disease runs in families
- Normal aging process (generally between the ages of 30-70
- Multiple pregnancies
- Obesity / sedentary lifestyle
- Professions that require prolonged sitting or standing
Generally, people think of swollen, unsightly, rope-like vessels when they think of varicose veins. But often, there are symptoms that are present before the actual appearance of these unsightly vessels. Some of the symptoms include:
- Leg pain
- Swelling that is worse at the end of the day
- Bulging veins
- Stasis dermatitis (skin discoloration related to venous insufficiency)