Your body uses a complex system of arteries and veins to carry blood throughout your body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to your organs and muscles, while veins return blood back to your heart and lungs for reoxygenation.
When veins get damaged, blood flow back to your heart is hindered. Vein conditions affect nearly 25% of Americans and can lead to serious conditions like blood clots and chronic venous hypertension. Chronic venous hypertension occurs when there’s increased pressure inside your veins. The term chronic venous hypertension is a medical term for what is more descriptively called chronic venous insufficiency. Chronic venous reflux disease is another term you may find used to describe this pathological state of the venous system. For many people this manifests as varicose veins of the legs. The less obvious ones will have symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency but no visible varicose veins. Chronic venous insufficiency describes a pathology of major veins of the body which are not visible to the naked eye. Visible varicose veins are merely one of the signs of chronic venous hypertension.
If you suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (chronic venous hypertension, chronic venous reflux disease), your veins weaken over time. This makes it harder for your blood to flow back to your heart. As a result, blood can collect in the veins of the legs and lead to pain, leg cramping skin discoloration and lower leg and ankle ulcers among other symptoms and signs.
At MD Vein & Skin Specialists, Clement Banda, MD, diagnoses and treats chronic venous hypertension and other vein conditions to help your body stay healthy. An expert in treating vein conditions, Dr. Banda is here to help you understand the leading risk factors for chronic venous hypertension.
Your veins deteriorate as you get older. Chronic venous insufficiency is most common in women beginning in their 40s and men beginning in later decades of life.
Women are more likely to suffer from venous diseases than men. This is due in part to weight distribution and in part to pregnancy. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are at increased risk. Pregnancy stimulates increased blood flow and pressure to the abdomen and causes leg veins to enlarge.
In addition to hormonal changes, veins undergo changes during pregnancy that make women more susceptible to chronic venous hypertension. Indeed lots of women describe varicose veins which first appeared with a pregnancy.
If you’re overweight or obese, the extra weight puts more pressure on your organs, muscles, and blood vessels. Your veins have to work harder to move blood through your body, and this can increase the pressure in your veins. Sometimes, veins can be compressed in the abdomen or pelvis, increasing your risk for developing chronic venous hypertension.
Having a job that requires you to be on your feet for long periods can weaken veins and make it more likely that you’ll develop varicose veins. Sitting too long, such as at a desk job, without moving around isn’t the answer, either — it carries a similar risk. Living a sedentary lifestyle without regular exercise can also put you at heightened risk of chronic venous hypertension.
If you think you’re at risk for developing chronic venous or you have obvious varicose veins, make an appointment with Dr. Banda. He performs full exams and ultrasounds to take a look at your veins and assess your symptoms.
Finding a treatment plan is important to keep your veins healthy and prevent the development of more serious conditions like stasis dermatitis (thick darkened or chronically red skin of the ankles and lower legs) and venous leg ulceration. For many vein conditions, a number of conservative treatments can prevent or slow down dame to veins and prevent or lessen symptoms such as pain and cramping of the legs.
Dr. Banda might recommend compression socks or garments to help support veins and promote healthy blood flow. Elevating your legs while lying down and avoiding prolonged periods of sitting or standing are also helpful. Following a regular exercise routine like walking or running keeps veins healthy as well.
Serving patients in Columbia, Maryland, and surrounding communities, Dr. Banda can help you stay healthy and enjoy your life. Call our office or book your initial consultation online today to learn more about your risk for chronic venous hypertension.