When our veins are healthy, they do their work so unnoticeably that we hardly give them a second thought. It’s easy to never think about the job that veins have in our circulatory system – that is, until something goes wrong with them. The disconcerting visual symptoms of bulging vein problems certainly call our attention, and the heavy fatigue that often accompanies varicose veins is wholly preoccupying.
Varicose vein doctor Dr. Robert Handley of Flower Mound Vein Center in Flower Mound, TX has years of experience explaining the importance of healthy veins to his clients. In order to understand how to achieve and maintain vein health, it’s important to understand the role they play in the body.
Vein basics from a Flower Mound, TX expert
The center powerhouse of our circulatory system is the heart, which regulates the flow of blood throughout the body. When blood passes through the heart and lungs, it is infused with fresh oxygen. It is then sent out towards our extremities through the arteries, carrying the oxygen our system needs to function correctly. Once this oxygen has been expended, the blood must return to the heart and lungs to be charged up once more. The return journey takes place through the veins.
Veins are composed of a series of walls and valves that control the flow of the blood within. When veins are healthy, these elements are able to efficiently circulate blood back towards the heart and lungs, even when, as in our legs, they must fight against the pull of gravity.
When veins become diseased, however, the valves and walls weaken, resulting in inefficient circulation of blood. The twisted discolorations that are the trademark visual symptom of varicose veins and spider veins are surface signs that blood has pooled within the vein, which no longer has the strength to push the blood back upwards to the heart. This pooled blood can be a serious health risk, with the possibility of developing clots, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Maintaining vein health
Although much of susceptibility to needing vein disease treatment has been linked to heredity, there are certain behaviors that increase your risk of vein disease as well. The valves and walls of our veins are designed to carry only so much pressure, and any behavior that increases that pressure can lead to them going varicose.
One of the best ways you can take care of your veins is by taking care of your general health – that is, by exercising and eating right. Maintaining an appropriate weight for your build means that you aren’t exerting unnecessary pressure on your veins, making them less likely to develop problems.
Smoking in conjunction with taking hormone therapy or birth control pills has been linked to being at higher risk of developing vein problems. These behaviors introduce unnatural hormones into your body, which can cause the vein walls to slacken more than they would otherwise.
You should also be mindful of sitting or standing in just one position for extended periods of time. Our bodies are constructed to be in motion, not at rest, and some modern professions require an unnatural immobility that can reduce circulation in your legs. If your job calls for you to maintain one position for a long time, think about ways to give your legs a break every few hours.
Find out more from the experts
Investing time in learning about vein health is a good idea for anyone concerned with circulatory problems. A visit to a varicose vein center like Flower Mound Vein Center can help you start living in a way that supports your veins and the important work they do for you. If you live in the Plano, TX or Dallas, Texas area, an appointment with Dr. Handley and his team of spider vein specialists can help you get started.