What Causes Venous Disease?
The 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 blood back towards the heart. In order to overcome the force of gravity, veins are structured with one-way valves that allows blood flow to move northward 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 either the expansion or deterioration 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 vein resulting in a host of complications.
The cause for varicose veins or why the valves in your veins weaken is not fully understood as some people can develop the condition for no apparent reason.
The following are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins or venous insufficiency:
- This condition is extremely common and often missed diagnosed, affecting nearly 25% of women and 15% of men.
- If either your mother or father have suffered from this condition, there is roughly a 60% chance you will develop the disease process, if both parents were affected, your risk increases to an 89% chance of developing venous disease.
- Standing Occupations
Prolonged standing or sitting should be avoided as it will worsen your symptoms. If you have a standing profession or if you find yourself standing for an extended amount of time, shift your weight from leg to leg. When sitting for more than 30 minutes, try to elevate your legs above heart level to improve circulation. The use of compression hose can be applied for temporary relief of symptoms but does not treat venous disease.