It is our primary duty to take care of our health. Being healthy means having a healthy mind, heart, and everything that makes up our body, including our veins. Veins are responsible for carrying blood from the body toward the heart. Without these veins, our blood will not circulate well which will affect our total functioning.
However, there are various threats that our veins may encounter. These are called venous diseases or impairments and disorders that may affect our venous system.
What are Venous Diseases?
Our body is composed of a network of veins that can be compared to the branches of a tree. There are small and larger veins. Veins carry blood from the rest of the body to the heart. However, increased pressure and other risk factors tend to weaken our veins which lead to venous disease or also called as venous reflux.
According to Vein Health Care Center, approximately half of the U.S. population are affected by venous diseases. Venous disease can manifest physically like varicose veins, but some forms of venous diseases do not have visible signs. It can affect both men and women of all ages.
Common Types of Venous Diseases
A venous disease takes a lot of forms, however, it can be categorized into two broad categories: thrombosis and insufficiency.
Thrombosis happens when there is a blood clot formation in the venous system. This phenomenon is called thrombus. The blood clot will affect the blood flow, disabling veins to carry blood to the heart.
Blood clots that appear in the superficial or skin-deep veins are often associated with inflammation or phlebitis. These are effects of underlying disorders, most especially cancers. The combination of the clot and inflammation is called Superficial Thrombophlebitis. In this case, the vein may be swollen and may feel warm and tender. However, this is not very dangerous. Physicians treat its symptoms by application of moist and heat, anti-inflammatory medications and leg elevation.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Blood clots that are formed in the veins deep within the leg part are more difficult to diagnose. This condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis is characterized by leg pain and swelling. It may be a result of a normal blood clotting or of a specific event, including surgery or cancer. Without treatment, it will lead to pulmonary embolism which is characterized by shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and fever. Almost 200,000 of American die of Pulmonary Embolism every year.
Vein insufficiency refers to the infraction in the blood flow activity because of the abnormality in the vein wall which leads to inadequate venous drainage. It can be classified into superficial and deep venous insufficiency.
The superficial venous insufficiency is characterized by varicose veins which manifest externally. Varicose veins are snake-like formations just beneath our skin.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
On the other hand, chronic venous insufficiency is caused when there is an inadequacy in the drainage from the veins deep within the limbs. It is characterized by leg pain, swelling, skin discoloration and coarsening of skin texture.