No one goes through life without some health risk. Even the healthiest among us can have a family tree riddled with disease.
If you’re reading this, you’ve likely discovered that you identify with one or more of the risk factors for chronic vein insufficiency — and you’ve also made a very important first step.
Many never consider their own risk factors until it’s too late, and in the case of chronic vein insufficiency, early detection is paramount.
Chronic vein insufficiency occurs when the veins in your legs don’t allow blood to flow back up to your heart. The valves in your veins malfunction or weaken and cause blood to flow backward, which can cause blood to pool in your legs.
The condition isn’t life-threatening but can be painful and lead to skin changes, varicose veins, and leg ulcers.
We know how vein health issues can impact your well-being, so our team of vascular surgery experts at Advanced Vascular Solutions is here to stand in the gap and help you mitigate your risk for vein problems in the future.
Who can get chronic vein insufficiency?
You may already know you’re at an increased risk for chronic vein insufficiency, but it’s still important to know all of the possible contributing factors.
Because it involves weak, damaged valves, anything that affects your leg vein health can cause you to develop chronic vein insufficiency, including:
- Being overweight
- Being pregnant
- Having a previous leg injury, surgery, or blood clot
- High blood pressure in legs due to sitting or standing for long periods
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Swelling and inflammation of a vein close to your skin (phlebitis)
A family history of the condition can also make you more likely to be affected than others.
But recognizing your risk is just phase one. The next step is to join forces with our specialists and create an action plan. Here are some things you can start doing today to get out in front of chronic vein insufficiency.
Invest in compression garments
Your veins need all the help they can go to work against gravity and push blood back toward your heart. You can support them by wearing compression stockings or socks designed to apply gentle pressure on certain parts of your legs and feet to promote blood flow.
There are many options available, so talk to us about our preferred brands and designs.
Sometimes, chronic vein insufficiency stems from a problem you have no control over. However, more often than not, your vein health hinges on your habits.
Obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking are just some of those bad habits that wreak havoc on your vascular health. So, we recommend making some adjustments to your routine.
Start by getting more exercise. Choose the stairs over the elevator, go for a walk after dinner, or head to the gym and ride the stationary bike for a while. These healthier habits help you lose weight, strengthen and tone the muscles in your legs, and encourage blood flow.
If you need help quitting smoking, talk to us, and we can get you the help you need.
Keep your legs elevated
Standing or sitting for long periods can worsen the pooling of blood in your leg veins. Take a break and move your legs when you’re standing, and kick them up (way up above your heart, if you can) when you’re seated or lying down.
Also, we recommend that you avoid crossing your legs. Crossing your legs gives your leg veins another obstacle to navigate.
Keep it comfy
Tight jeans and high heels may be the look these days, but they can restrict blood flow and make your leg veins work much harder than they have to. Choose vein health over fashion, and find clothes that give your veins room to breathe.
Check your diet
Sodium causes your body to retain water, and excess fluid in your legs can trigger swelling and additional pressure in your already overburdened legs. You can cut back on sodium in your diet by:
- Buying fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned
- Choosing packaged foods labeled low or no sodium
- Checking labels and making sure your meals are under 600 mg of sodium
- Eating fresh meat instead of cured, salted, smoked, or processed meat
Often, your grocery store has a registered dietician on staff or at least a list of low-sodium options, and a worker can direct you to the healthiest options based on your dietary needs. We can also refer you to a personal dietician if you’d like more one-on-one guidance.
When cooking at home or eating out, skip adding salt to your meals and consider eating smaller portions of plain food.
The threat of vein problems is scary and unsettling, but you don’t have to accept your risk as a diagnosis. Call or click to schedule a consultation with us today. We proudly serve patients in the Melbourne and Sebastian, Florida area.