As specialists in vein disease treatment in Texas, we are often asked by patients whether vein disease can be prevented. As much as we’d love to answer with an unqualified “Yes,” the prevention of vein disease is all about managing one’s risk factors, so the real answer is a mix of “Yes” and “No.”
The “No” answer has to do with three of the major risk factors for developing vein disease that we cannot do a lot about – gender, age, and heredity. For a number of reasons, women are more likely to develop vein disease than men – the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy and menopause are factors that are largely out of our control. Similarly, vein disease is more prevalent in those over the age of 50, and there is not a great deal we can do to suddenly become younger. And finally, vein disease is to some extent hereditary, so if your parents, grandparents, or other close relatives have had it, you are much more likely to develop it yourself. The “Yes” answer, however, is more hopeful, because there are a number of risk factors for vein disease that are within our control, and that can be reduced.
What are the risk factors for vein disease that we can do something about?
You can eliminate one of the biggest risk factors for serious vein disease – not knowing that you have it – by getting a venous health screening from your local Flower Mound vein specialist. These screenings take only about an hour, and are painless and non-invasive, but can determine the precise state of your vein health. Most people who have vein disease don’t know they have it, and thus they allow it to keep developing and impairing not only their circulatory systems, but also their overall state of health. At the same time, not knowing that they are at risk, they often continue with behaviors that make their conditions worse, and increase their risk of developing other diseases. If you are overweight or obese (more than 20 pounds over your ideal weight), every extra pound increases pressure on your veins, and thus increases your likelihood of developing vein disease. So losing weight can significantly reduce your risk. If you smoke cigarettes, one of the most significant ways you can reduce your risk of developing vein disease is to STOP. As a “perk,” stopping smoking also will lower your blood pressure within 20 minutes, decrease your risk of heart attack within 24 hours, and cut your risk of heart attack in half within a year.
There is another controllable risk factor for vein disease that kills more people worldwide every year than smoking
That risky behavior is inactivity. Sitting too much and failing to get enough regular exercise has been identified by researchers as a major risk factor not only for vein disease, but for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. At Flower Mound Vein Center, we work with our patients to help them develop more active lifestyles that can help to keep them healthy. For example, if your job requires you to sit for long periods of them, you can reduce this risk by taking “mini-breaks” throughout the day to restore circulation to your legs and reduce the chances of developing chronic venous insufficiency or the more dangerous deep vein thrombosis.
The first step is the most important – learn your risk factors and work to reduce them
If you are interested in reducing your risk of developing vein disease, don’t put that all-important first step. Call Flower Mound vascular doctor, Dr. Robert A. Handley at 972-410-5757 to schedule a venous health screening. In that initial consultation, the best vein doctor in Texas can tell you what your vein disease risk factors are, and how to reduce them. And remember, learning that you are at high risk of developing vein disease does not mean that you’ll get it – just knowing the results of your screening can enable you to take steps that can prevent it from occurring. For more information about vein disease prevention and treatment, visit our website at flowermoundveins.com/.