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varicose veins during pregnancy

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy

By | Vein Health

You are expecting a brand new bundle of joy, but what you didn’t expect is another very common side effect, varicose veins during pregnancy. Many women discover that varicose veins form during their pregnancy when they never had them before. While this may seem like an unwelcome development to many women, in most cases, they are not a health risk.

Why do varicose veins form during pregnancy?

While pregnancy isn’t the only cause of varicose veins, it is a prevalent one. A pregnant woman’s body goes through many physical changes that are visible and some not. Here are a few reasons varicose veins might form. 

Blood Volume: As your baby develops inside your body, you will experience increased blood volume. The volume of blood inside your body may increase by up to 20%! More blood coursing through the same number of veins means more work and stress on your vascular system. 

Hormone Changes: Hormonal changes, like extra progesterone, can make your veins softer and more relaxed. This means that blood traveling upward has a harder time, and as more blood starts to get backed up, it can amplify the problem. 

Pressure and Blocked Veins: The pelvic veins coming from your legs can become blocked or put under pressure as the uterus grows. Pressure can cause the veins to enlarge under stress as they work against gravity. 

Are they dangerous?

Generally, no, varicose veins are not dangerous and will begin to improve or disappear after giving birth. It is worth noting, however, that if you get pregnant again they are likely to come back. Like stretch marks, varicose veins can be hereditary and multiple pregnancies may increase their occurrence. Some women report burning or aches in their legs and the veins can be red and swollen. Even though in most cases, varicose veins during pregnancy don’t pose a health risk, you should still bring them up to your doctor. 

Uncommon symptoms include skin breakdown, severe pain, and blood clots. 

Prevention and Natural Relief

It may not be possible to ensure varicose veins do not develop during your pregnancy. You may, however, be able to ward them off or keep them at bay. Try these tips for a more comfortable pregnancy. 

  • Wear compression socks. A doctor can give you a prescription for stronger options than OTC. 
  • Don’t sit for long periods of time, get up and walk around periodically 
  • Put your legs up higher than your hips when resting if possible 
  • Ditch the heels for now if they are your shoe of choice 

Professional Varicose Vein Treatment

If veins persist after pregnancy, cause pain, or in rare cases, have dangerous complications, it may be time for an advanced form of treatment. The good news is, some procedures may be covered by health insurance. You will need to schedule a consultation to identify the problem and determine the correct route of treatment. Some treatments offered at The Vein Centre include radiofrequency, VenaSeal, Varithena, laser, and sclerotherapy. 

If you are experiencing varicose veins during your pregnancy, you may wish to consult a professional. The surgeons at The Vein Centre are board-certified, and each patient’s care is tailored to their needs, health, and goals. Contact us to schedule an appointment. 

How To Choose The Right Vein Doctor

By | Uncategorized

With today’s technology and education, it’s easier more than ever to search for the right treatment for your vein concerns. The question is, are any of these solutions causing more harm than good and how do you know which is best for you? We’ve narrowed down the top things to consider when choosing the right vein doctor for your particular needs.

Almost 35% of Americans suffer from varicose veins according to the Society for Vascular Surgery. It’s no wonder that vein centers are on almost every corner now. As these symptoms become more prominent in patients, the need to address these vascular conditions has become more popular as well. While this may seem like a good thing based on its convenience, often times it’s not.

Whether you suffer from painful venous issues or unsightly spider veins, knowing how to choose the right doctor from the beginning can make all the difference in your treatment plan, and ultimately your health.

4 Things To Consider When Choosing The Right Vein Doctor

 

1. Know The Difference In The 3 Types Of ‘Vein Doctors’.

Physicians who treat veins typically fall into 3 classifications: vascular surgeons, vein specialists, and phlebologists. While each of these can treat veins to some extent, knowing their specialties is vital to choosing the right doctor.

  • Phlebologists have only been around since 2007 and can be certified after a 3-day training course. While some may obtain a board certification, this 3-day course is vastly different from a true board certification and is not an AMBS accredited specialty.
  • Vein specialists are typically ABMS Board Certified cardiologists, interventional radiologists or dermatologists who go through residency to study a particular field in relation to veins.
  • Vascular surgeons have the most extensive knowledge in treating operative and medical cases of vein and vascular issues, including arterial and venous diseases. After medical school, vascular surgeons complete 5-7 years of residency with an additional 2 years of fellowship within the vascular field.

2. Know Your Treatment Options.

Vein clinics vary based on the types of doctor(s) and treatment options available. Unfortunately, it’s become more common than ever for patients to receive unnecessary care for the benefit of the practice, not the patient.

Based on the high volume of patients seeking vein treatments and therapies, there has been an increase in the number of clinics available. Every patient is different and their treatment should be personalized. If a vein clinic has mandatory guidelines to classify your treatment, it’s worth looking into a second opinion before proceeding.

3. Know What To Avoid.

If it seems too good to be true, then there’s a possibility that it is. Typically, when vein clinics offer groupons or lower costs, it’s best to consider the reason behind those specials. A doctor should never recommend treatment based on costs or insurance coverage! In some cases, doctors will lure patient’s in and perform ultrasounds or other therapies that simply aren’t needed.

4. Research Your Doctor Before Your Appointment.

It’s important to know your surgeon’s background and reputation before making an appointment with them. If you weren’t recommended to your doctor via word-of-mouth, doing research is always best.

Here are a few things to pay attention to when researching your vein doctor:

  • How long have they been in practice?
  • Are they board certified from an accredited organization?
  • What does your vein doctor specialize in?
  • Can they offer medical and operative care?
  • Does your vein doctor have positive reviews?

If you’re seeking treatment for unwanted veins, our board certified vascular surgeons would love to consult with you to help you decide your next steps. Here at the Vein Centre, we consider every patient’s care and treatment plan based on their specific needs and goals. Contact us today to schedule a personalized consultation.

An Exercise Guide for Those With Varicose Veins

By | Uncategorized

Varicose veins are often painful and hard to manage, particularly if you like to regularly exercise. The unique strain these veins put on your body can make some exercises out of bounds for you. However, other activities may help manage your pain. The following exercise guide will provide you with the important information you need to exercise with varicose veins safely.

Exercises to Perform with Varicose Veins

Doctors typically ask that patients with varicose veins perform at least a handful of the following routines to provide the most relief and help for your recovery:

  • Swims:  Swims and aquatic therapy can provide low-impact help that lets you move your legs and get the blood flowing without causing excessive pressure.
  • Walks:  Doctors suggest that those with varicose veins take healthy and low-impact walks every day to minimize their pain and pressure.
  • Bike rides: A casual bike ride  no off-road action  can stimulate blood flow in your legs and may help reduce your pain.
  • Yoga: Some types of low-impact yoga may provide relief for your varicose veins  mainly stretches that do not put pressure on your legs or abs.

Adjust your exercise routine to include these simple exercises and tweak their intensity to ensure that you do not experience excessive strain. The moment that you feel sharp pains during a workout, contact your doctor right away, as this may mean something else is wrong with your veins.

Exercises to Avoid with Varicose Veins

While many exercises will help with varicose veins, other exercises are more problematic and may make the situation worse. In particularly, high-impact movements and routines can exacerbate the veins in your legs and worsen their pain. Here are a few exercises you should stay away from if you have varicose veins:

  • Runs and jogs: If you were an active runner before you developed varicose veins, you should cut back on these activities. Both are often too high-impact for most varicose veins, but you may jog on softer surfaces to minimize this problem.
  • Weightlifting: While lifting weights may focus mostly on your chest and arms, the added pressure to your body can spread to your legs. That strain will often reduce the flow of blood out of your legs and may cause blood pooling. This issue could cause vein dilation or even trigger damage to your valves.
  • Leg-focused exercises: Any exercises that put excessive pressure on your legs and your abs may worsen your varicose veins. For example, crunches, squats, and sit-ups can create too much stress in your veins.
  • Some types of yoga: While some styles of yoga help manage varicose vein damage, other types may worsen your pain. For example, prolonged abdominal postures may decrease blood flow to your legs and worsen your varicose vein pain.

If you want to perform these exercises in spite of your doctor’s warning, a pair of compression socks may minimize any pain. These socks will press against your skin and help blood flow more efficiently through your varicose veins. Make sure to wear these stockings if your pain worsens during any type of exercise.

Surgery May Be Your Answer 

As you can see, exercise is a complex process in varicose vein management. So if you find that you cannot perform any exercise due to your varicose veins, please do not hesitate to contact us at The Vein Centre right away to get the help that you need. Our professionals will assess your situation and come up with a treatment method — including surgery — that can help you recover. We look forward to your call.

Varicose Veins: Prevention and Treatment Options

By | Uncategorized

Many people hate the appearance of their varicose veins. These unsightly veins also sometimes cause pain and swelling and can lead to ulcers or blood clots. Taking certain steps limits the risk of developing varicose veins, and many treatment options exist as well.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being obese increases the amount of pressure on your leg veins, which makes varicose veins more likely, especially in those with other risk factors. Some pregnant women develop varicose veins because of the additional weight gained due to pregnancy.

Get Some Exercise

As with many health conditions, exercise helps prevent varicose veins because it improves circulation. For people who sit a lot for their job, getting up and walking around every half hour can help, and for people who have to stand all day, taking a seat for a few minutes every half hour helps limit pressure on the veins that could cause problems.

Wear the Right Clothes

In general, tight clothes limit circulation and increase the risk of issues with circulation. However, people who have experienced spider or varicose veins may want to wear compression stockings to limit the risk of a recurrence. These stockings help increase blood flow from the legs back up to your heart. Wear flats instead of heels.

Elevate the Legs

When sitting, elevate your legs to increase circulation. Don’t cross your legs, as this can have the opposite effect. If lying down, aim to keep the legs at heart level or higher for the best results.

Eat Right

As many people know, getting too much sodium can increase blood pressure, which increases the risk of varicose veins. Limit sodium, increase potassium consumption and try to consume more flavonoids from foods like cocoa, garlic, fruits, and vegetables.

Get Tested If Experiencing Symptoms

Visible twisted and swollen veins merit testing to see if treatment is necessary. Other signs of varicose veins include a heavy feeling in the legs, swelling, muscles cramping at night, or a burning feeling in the legs. Testing may include the use of duplex ultrasound or a blood pressure cuff to investigate blood flow and volume.

Consider Sclerotherapy for Smaller Varicose Veins

When treating smaller varicose veins or spider veins, doctors inject a chemical into the vein that irritates it and causes the sides to stick together. Sclerotherapy results can take as long as 3 to 4 months and multiple treatments for the vein to no longer be visible and swollen.

Laser Therapy Provides Another Alternative

Doctors also sometimes use laser therapy to resolve smaller varicose veins. As with sclerotherapy, laser therapy may require multiple treatments and full results may take up to three months. Lasers cause some discomfort but cause the vein to collapse.

Heat Can Be Used Instead of Lasers

A treatment called radiofrequency ablation involves using local anesthesia, inserting a catheter into the vein and then using radio waves to heat the vein and make it collapse and seal itself closed so blood no longer enters. You need to wear compression stockings for a couple of weeks, and full results could take up to a year.

Doctors May Recommend Ambulatory Phlebectomy for Larger Veins

During this procedure, the doctor makes a small slit and uses a device that looks similar to a crochet hook to remove the varicose vein. Ambulatory phlebectomy provides faster results than many of the other varicose vein treatments, which require waiting for the body to reabsorb the treated vein.

The doctors at The Vein Center can answer any questions you may have about varicose veins or spider veins. Visit the website or call the office to schedule an appointment and get the treatment process started.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Venous Ulcers

By | Vein Health

If you have a sore on your leg that refuses to heal, you may just brush it off as a slow-healing wound. However, a wound that refuses to heal may actually be a venous ulcer. Learn what you need to know about venous ulcers, including symptoms and treatment options.

The Anatomy of a Venous Ulcer

A venous ulcer, also referred to as a stasis ulcer, occurs when the vein in your leg neglects to force the blood in the vein back to your heart. This causes pressure to build up within the vein, eventually resulting in the appearance of a sore on the skin as the blood and fluid leak into the surrounding tissues.

Venous ulcers most commonly appear on the legs, though they can also occur on other areas of the body.

Symptoms of a Venous Ulcer

The earliest symptoms of a venous ulcer include swelling and cramping in the leg. Your leg may feel heavier than normal, and you may have itching or tingling.

Right before the venous ulcer starts to break through your skin, you’ll notice a red, blue, or purple spot underneath the skin similar in appearance to a bruise. This colored spot breaks through the skin, creating a sore that won’t heal on its own. Once the sore appears, expect your pain levels in your leg to intensify.

Causes of a Venous Ulcer

A number of different factors contribute to the formation of a venous ulcer, like a blood clot, trauma to the leg, and inflammation. Most of the causes of a venous ulcer ultimately decrease the body’s ability to effectively pump blood, resulting in poor circulation or the body’s inability to maintain the correct blood pressure.

Damage to the veins interferes with the body’s ability to control the pressure in the veins. Uncontrolled pressure means that the blood may flow in the wrong direction. If your body can’t circulate your blood correctly, blood may build up in your veins.

Treatment Options for a Venous Ulcer

Treatment for a venous ulcer requires a combination of wound care and managing the underlying causes of the ulcer. Once you have an open venous ulcer, you’ll need to take steps to keep it from getting infected. This involves regularly cleaning and dressing the wound.

You should also try to keep the area around the venous ulcer dry; wet skin is softer than dry skin, and the softness makes it easier for the ulcer to grow in size. Regularly wearing compression stockings can keep blood from continuing to pool in the leg. Some patients find that propping the leg up can hasten the healing process.

Your vein specialist may perform surgery on the vein leading to the venous ulcer if conventional treatment options aren’t working, if the ulcer continually reappears, or if the ulcer is large or infected. Surgery focuses on opening the vein so that it has better blood flow.

Other Techniques to Prevent a Venous Ulcer

There are a few things you can do to prevent a venous ulcer from appearing or reappearing. If you smoke, now is the time to stop. Smoking is known to make it harder for your body to heal, and it can affect your body’s ability to circulate your blood.

Take steps to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. This decreases your chances of suffering from conditions that can impede your circulatory system. Regular exercise is another option to promote a healthy circulatory system.

If your body is prone to developing inflammation, your doctor may suggest anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes, such as altering your diet.

Have a problematic vein that needs attention? Contact the Vein Centre today to schedule an appointment.

Varicose Veins

Everything You Need to Know About Sclerotherapy

By | Uncategorized

If you’re self-conscious about the appearance of your varicose or spider veins or find that they cause discomfort, pain, and cramping in your legs, it’s time to explore treatment options. One common treatment method is known as sclerotherapy. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sclerotherapy, including a couple variations of this popular treatment.

Sclerotherapy Explained

Your doctor can treat both varicose and spider veins with sclerotherapy. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a solution directly into your problematic veins. The solution from the injection then causes scar tissue to form in the vein. This scar tissue will reroute the vein’s blood flow to healthy veins, basically starving the troublesome veins of blood.

Without the flow of blood, your body’s surrounding tissues will start to absorb the vein. The vein fades completely over the next few weeks. It may take a few sclerotherapy sessions to achieve your desired results. 

Sclerotherapy Treatment

Your board-certified vascular surgeon will evaluate you to determine what treatment option is right for you. There are different types of injections used in sclerotherapy depending on your evaluation, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Liquid sclerotherapy injections use a liquid solution to penetrate the veins. Other types of sclerotherapy treatments use a foam solution for their injections. The foam solution is similar to the liquid alternatives, but it contains air or another chemical to give the solution a voluminous texture.

There are key differences between liquid and foam sclerotherapy solutions. Liquid injections mix with your blood to trigger the formation of scar tissue. The foam injections remain separate from your blood. The foam displaces your blood so that it can’t flow through your veins. Foam injections also contain less sclerosing agent (the chemical that causes the death of the vein), making them a good option for patients who want to eradicate their veins with minimal chemicals.

While both liquid and foam sclerotherapy solutions are effective at eliminating your veins, one type of solution might be more effective for the types of veins in your legs. Since the foam solution covers a larger surface area, it usually works better for large or long veins. 

The side effects for both types of injections are minimal. It’s common to experience bruising, redness, and soreness around the site of your injection. These side effects usually go away within a few weeks. 

What to Expect

Depending on the placement of your veins, your doctor may use an ultrasound machine to properly locate them for your injections. Most patients find the injections relatively painless, though you might experience a small amount of burning, tingling, or discomfort. The injections often contain a small amount of numbing agent to minimize any pain related to the procedure.

Your doctor will clean the area before administering the injection. Once the solution is in your veins, expect your doctor to massage the area to help distribute the solution.

Most patients are free to resume normal activities after the treatment. Walking and light activity are encouraged because they help prevent the formation of blood clots.

Ready to eliminate pesky veins from your legs? Contact the Vein Centre today to schedule your consultation.

4 Varicose Vein Myths, Debunked

By | Uncategorized

Varicose veins are large, swollen, purple or blue veins that are visible through the skin. While they are most common on the legs, these unsightly veins can develop on the feet and arms, too. In many cases, the veins bulge out of the skin, displaying dark-colored, twisty bumps on the skin’s surface.

Fortunately, help is available if you or a loved one has varicose veins. This guide and your board certified vascular surgeon will help you learn the truth about a few common varicose vein myths.

Varicose Vein Myths


1. Varicose Veins Affect Women Only

Varicose veins affect about 23 percent of the population in the United States. Even though they are more common in women, these veins can affect men, as well. An estimated 22 million women and 11 million men between the ages of 40 and 80 have varicose veins.

2. Standing Too Long Causes Varicose Veins

Most varicose veins develop in the legs simply because of gravity. As blood moves through your veins, it has to work against gravity to return to the heart. If the valves in the veins are weak, blood will leak and pool up in the veins. This excess blood will cause the veins to swell and enlarge, resulting in the visible varicose veins.

Standing on your feet too long places excess pressure on the veins in your leg, which can increase your risk of developing varicose veins. However, standing too long is not the only cause or risk factor.

As you age, your veins get weaker. Therefore, older individuals have a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Also, if you are overweight, the excess weight places more pressure on the veins, which can lead to varicose veins.

If you have a family history of varicose veins, you are more likely to develop these unappealing veins. If you are constantly dehydrated, suffer from lung disease, or sit for long periods of time, blood is more likely to pool in the lower veins, which can lead to varicose veins.

3. Varicose Veins Are Cosmetic Problems Only

Varicose veins can negatively affect your appearance. Many people struggle wearing shorts, shorter-sleeve shirts, and sandals because they do not want others to see the veins. Although they do affect your overall look and self-esteem, varicose veins are not just cosmetic problems.

Without treatment, varicose veins can actually be dangerous in some cases. For example, you may develop hyperpigmentation, which is when blood from the veins leaks into the tissues of your leg. This discolors the skin, but it can also cause severe swelling and pain.

Ulcers, which can be painful and irritating, are also common in patients who have varicose veins. The pooling of blood in the veins can weaken the vein, causing the skin/tissue to break down.

Deep vein thrombosis is one of the most serious problems that can occur if you do not treat varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis occurs is a blood clot forms in the vein, causing a pulling sensation in the legs and painful pinching in the nerves. If the clot travels up towards the heart, deep vein thrombosis can be life-threatening.

4. Treating Varicose Veins Is Painful

Because of the effects and dangers of varicose veins, treatment is wise. Fortunately, you have many pain-free and minimally painful treatment options.

For example, simple changes in your lifestyle may be sufficient for reducing the appearance of your varicose veins. These changes may include wearing compression stockings, exercising, and elevating the legs to strengthen the veins and improve blood flow.

In-office treatments are also available. Endovascular laser therapy uses laser technology to close weak, leaking varicose veins and only causes slight bruising and temporary numbness.

From lifestyle changes to laser treatments, pain-free help is available for your varicose veins. For more information on varicose veins, contact The Vein Centre today.

How to Wear and Care for Compression Stockings

By | Uncategorized

Compression stockings are garments that tightly squeeze the skin for medical purposes, and may be worn for a variety of reasons. For instance, they may be recommended by a doctor after certain kinds of surgery. They may also be recommended by physicians for people who are non-ambulatory for a time. For those who suffer from conditions like varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, a doctor may also recommend the wearing of compression stockings or hosiery.

Compression stockings are generally graded by the amount of compression they provide.

  • 15-20 mmHg stockings are the lowest grade, typically available over the counter. These may come in knee-high, thigh-high, pantyhose or maternity pantyhose styles.
  • 20-30 mmHg stockings are the first medical grade compression stockings. It is the most widely used, providing ample compression without being too strong. These are generally recommended for the treatment of varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling, and after surgery.
  • 30-40 mmHg stockings are stockings that are recommended for more serious symptoms. They are also commonly recommended for those with deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and lymphedema.
  • 40-50 mmHg stockings offer the strongest grade of compression. This level of compression is usually reserved for those with severe venous stasis and lymphedema.

Once your doctor has recommended compression stockings, you’ll generally have a wide variety of styles to choose from to fit your lifestyle. Always wear your compression stockings as the doctor recommends if they are prescribed to you.

How To Use Compression Stockings

Many doctors will recommend that you put on your compression stockings when you first wake up, before swelling has had a chance to occur. It may also be recommended that you wear them prior to long flights or trips in a car where you will be sedentary for a long period.

Before putting on your compression stockings, you will want to lay them out so that they are smooth, and to prevent wrinkles. When pulling them on, make sure to avoid bunching. Do not roll them down, because this may put too much compression in one area. Your doctor will let you know how long you need to wear them, but doctors generally recommend removing them before sleeping. Of course, you’ll also want to remove them while bathing.

When you purchase your compression stockings, they will probably come with a guide about how to wash and care for them. It is best if you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the care of your stockings. Many compression stockings are fine tossed into the washing machine, but some need to be hand washed.

Hand washing is simple. You’ll want to place the stockings into a bucket or tub or sink filled with water at the recommended temperature that already has soap or detergent added. If your stockings need to be soaked, allow them to soak for a time. You will then want to rub the stockings together gently to clean them. Once you have cleaned them, rinse them thoroughly.

After cleaning, you may hang to allow them to air dry. Again, check the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying them using a dryer.

Used properly, compression stockings are an important part of controlling the symptoms of vein diseases like varicose veins. They squeeze the vessels so that blood can flow easier up your legs and prevent the pooling of blood that causes vein issues.

Vein Relief – Why Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis Are A Problem

By | Uncategorized

Cholesterol is vital for health. It’s a part of all of our cells. However, there are actually two kinds of cholesterol in our bodies. When the “bad” variety builds up, it can lead to a condition called atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries”.

 

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is needed to build cells. For the most part, our livers produce all the cholesterol we need. A second source of cholesterol comes in with the foods that we eat, especially with foods derived from animals.

There are two types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and HDL cholesterol (the good kind).

 

How Cholesterol Affects the Veins and Arteries

When your liver produces too much cholesterol and/or your diet contains too much, that extra cholesterol doesn’t get to your cells. Instead, it binds with other substances and deposits itself along the walls of your arteries. This cholesterol can then harden, and there the problems begin.

Once this hardened cholesterol (often called plaque) forms, two things happen. The passage through which your blood flows becomes narrower. This causes less blood flow and higher blood pressure. Secondly, your veins and arteries become less flexible, which also affects blood flow.

When this happens, it is known as a condition called atherosclerosis.

Paradoxically, it would seem that cholesterol would have an easier time settling in your veins, but this condition only happens in arteries. Your arteries are built to handle a lot of pressure going through them at once. This high pressure contributes to plaques. But your veins are a low-pressure system.

This is also demonstrated when a doctor reroutes a bad part of an artery through a vein. Though veins can work as arteries, they do become vulnerable to atherosclerosis once they are connected to the high-pressure parts of your circulatory system.

 

What this Decreased Blood Flow Can Cause

The decreased blood flow means that blood, which is necessary for our organs to receive vital nutrients and oxygen, is no longer flowing effectively. This can cause organs to begin to not work as efficiently, and in some cases, cause a disruption.

In fact, depending on where this plaque buildup occurs, various areas of the body can be affected. We already know that it can cause heart attacks and strokes, but it can also affect the kidneys.

When the arteries leading to and from the heart become clogged and restricted, a heart attack can occur. Through the same process, the arteries that lead to the brain become blocked, a stroke can happen.

Another thing that high cholesterol may cause: Alzheimer’s disease. Having high cholesterol levels may accelerate the formation of certain kinds of plaques called beta-amyloid plaques, which are sticky protein deposits that damage the brain in people with this condition.

Plaque build-up in the arteries leading to the kidneys can decrease kidney function. The primary function of the kidneys is in removing toxins and waste from the body. A decrease in function can lead to chronic kidney disease. Over time, this can lead to a need for dialysis and in some cases, cause death.

Another thing that can happen is peripheral artery disease. This happens when plaque builds up in the arteries that lead to the pelvis. This can lead to numbness, pain, and certain kinds of infection.

High cholesterol can have an enormous effect on your arteries. A restriction in your blood flow can cause numerous problems for your body. So if your doctor detects that you have a problem, get it treated! Treatments can include dietary changes to a healthier diet, more exercise, and prescription medication.

 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cholesterol/effects-on-body#4

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol

https://myharnetthealth.org/cholesterol-affects-more-than-your-heart/

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/atherosclerosis

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/atherosclerosis

Vein Relief – Other Diseases that Affect Arteries and Veins

By | Uncategorized

Veins and arteries are the vessels that carry blood from the heart to your other organs and back again. This network of veins and arteries is called the vascular system. Like other parts of our bodies, it has its own unique diseases. When considering the kinds of diseases and conditions that affect the vascular system, some people immediately think of high cholesterol, spider veins, and varicose veins. Yet, there are many more vascular diseases. Here are just a few.

Erythromelalgia

Erythromelalgia is a rare vascular disorder that affects the feet and, less commonly, the hands. The condition is primarily characterized by intense burning pain in the affected extremities, extreme redness, and increased skin temperature. The condition may be episodic or it may be continuous. It is a rare disorder, affecting approximately 1.3 people per 1,000. Patients may feel this condition is exacerbated by exposure to heat and exercise. Relief is obtained by cooling off the affected extremities. Prescription medication that relieves nerve pain and anti-anxiety drugs may be prescribed to treat this.

Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease is another rare vascular condition. The condition is also known as thromboangiitis obliterans. It primarily affects young or middle-aged male cigarette smokers. The disease is characterized by the narrowing of the veins and arteries of the extremities, resulting in reduced blood flow. The legs are more affected by Buerger’s disease than the hands. Those affected by Buerger’s disease may develop sores and ulcers on the feet and hands. In rare cases, tissue death has occurred. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, but those primarily affected are heavy cigarette smokers. Treatment is to first stop smoking and then treatment becomes supportive. Supportive treatment includes vasodilators, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic medication.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease is caused by the condition atherosclerosis, which refers to the build-up of plaque within the arteries, which restricts blood flow. The most common symptoms of PAD involving the lower extremities include cramping, pain, or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles. The pain occurs generally when walking or climbing stairs, and abates when rested. Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and age are all risk factors for PAD. Many cases of PAD are treated with lifestyle changes and medication.

Coronary Artery Disease

This refers to the build-up of plaques in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack. Another name given to this condition is coronary heart disease. The plaques decrease blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack. Common risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and family history. Obesity may also be a risk factor. Treatment can include a healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and medications to help lower cholesterol when prescribed.

These are just a few of the diseases that can affect the vascular system. While some are rare disorders, others are quite common. Diagnosis is an important part of treatment and most diagnoses can painlessly take place in a doctor’s office. If you believe that you are affected by one of these conditions, it is important that you see your doctor. Your physician may refer you to a vascular specialist.

 

Sources:

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/erythromelalgia/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/buergers-disease/

https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/peripheral-artery-disease/about-peripheral-artery-disease-pad

http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease/coronary-artery-disease

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