Did you know an average adult’s blood vessels, including arteries, veins, and capillaries, would stretch to 100,000 miles long outside the body? Your veins help carry blood back to your heart and have valves to make sure your blood only flows in one direction.
Considering this, there are a lot of veins in your body that play a vital role in allowing blood to flow to your heart. It’s important to know what can go wrong with these veins. Keep reading, and we will walk you through vein disorders and how they can affect you.
What Are Veins?
Veins are blood vessels that take blood from different parts of your body back to your heart. The blood circulates throughout your body to give cells nutrients.
Veins rely on muscle contractions to help bring blood back to your heart. There are four types of veins: pulmonary, systemic, superficial, and deep veins.
Each type of vein carries blood from different parts of the body to different parts of the heart.
- Pulmonary: These veins bring blood from your lungs to the left atrium of your heart
- Systemic: This type of vein brings blood from the rest of your body to the right atrium of your heart
- Superficial: These are by the surface of your skin and not associated with a specific artery
- Deep: These veins are rooted in your muscle tissue and correspond with the artery that has the same name—for example, the coronary arteries and veins.
Issues in veins most commonly occur because of a blood clot or vein defect. We are going to discuss vein disorders and their symptoms.
Common Vein Disorders
There are multiple vein disorders. This can make it hard to figure out which one you have, even based on the symptoms.
We are going to walk through the common vein diseases and disorders to give you an understanding of the different types. We also want to make sure that you know when to seek immediate medical attention.
Common vein diseases and disorders include:
Peripheral Venous Disease:
Veins have valves inside of them that help moves blood toward your heart. If the valves become damaged, they may not close, and blood may start to flow in both directions. Your veins may bulge and look like ropes under your skin, which can cause blood clots.
Symptoms include heavy legs, pain, and discoloration of the skin.
Treatments include compression socks, and if symptoms become more serious or painful, contacting your doctor.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency:
This type of vein disorder comes from a blood clot or issues with venous drainage. The main problem is that your valves don’t allow for blood to go to your heart. Symptoms show when blood pools form in your legs instead of flowing back to your heart.
Symptoms include swelling in your lower legs and ankles after you stand, itchy or flakey skin on your legs and feet, cramping, new or worsening of varicose veins, skin discoloration, tired and achiness, and ulcers or wounds on your legs.
Preventative measures you can take for venous insufficiency are exercise, healthy eating, and maintaining of your weight. You can also take antibiotics to treat infections, and wear compression socks.
These are very large, at 3 millimeters in diameter. Blood pools in the veins and eventually gathers, which is why your veins have a hefty appearance bulging out of your legs.
These are usually a cosmetic concern but can cause discomfort, and serious complications can lead to venous insufficiency.
Symptoms include itching, leg pain, achiness, cramping, swelling, and blood clots in the swollen veins.
You can take measures at home to make sure there aren’t serious complications. These include not standing or sitting for a long time, keeping your legs elevated, and wearing compression socks.
There is a less intense version of varicose veins called spider veins that appear just under your skin when blood pools together. This condition is treated cosmetically and isn’t harmful.
Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT:
DVT is when blood clots form in the lower leg or thigh. There may not be noticeable symptoms, but it can lead to a serious condition where blood clots break and travel to your lungs. When the blood goes into your lungs, it can cause a blockage.
It’s called a pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms for DVT include swelling, pain, and redness of your skin. Complications can appear as chest pain, coughing, having trouble breathing, coughing up blood, feeling dizzy and faint, increased heart rate, and excessive sweating.
You should seek medical help or call 911 immediately if you feel any of these symptoms. Treatments range from elevating your feet to compression socks.
If you have more serious symptoms and a condition, your doctor might suggest getting blood-thinning medicine, a catheter that brings medicine into a blood clot, and dissolves it. You may also need surgery.
Phlebitis happens when your veins are swollen. This usually happens in your arms and legs.
It becomes superficial when it affects a vein close to your skin’s surface. A small trauma can cause superficial phlebitis in your veins. For example, if you have an IV catheter and then remove it.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and red, itchy skin. This generally doesn’t lead to a serious health issue. If the swelling leads to infection, you may get a fever.
If it’s not serious, treatments your doctor may recommend include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, blood thinners, and compression stockings. If it’s more serious, surgery might be the only option that strips or removes the vein.
If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, contact us for a free consultation and we can walk you through your symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment strategy.
Contact Your Doctor Today
The variety of vein disorders with similar symptoms can make it difficult to tell which you have. It’s essential to contact your doctor for any vein issues so you are correctly diagnosed. That way, you can talk through the different treatment options for your disorder.
You will find the best solution for you and your body. Just don’t wait on it.
Look into what your symptoms are pointing to or schedule a free consultation here!