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Are Your Veins at Risk?

By Dr. Samuel P. Martin

Are your veins at risk? You could be suffering from vein disease without even knowing it. One out of three people over the age of 45 has some form of vein disease.

Vein disease occurs when veins have trouble carrying blood from your legs back to your heart. Healthy veins have one-way valves to ensure blood flows in one direction, toward the heart. When valves fail or leak, the blood flows backward, causing a reflux of blood that pools in the veins. The increased pressure from the pooling of the blood stretches the vein, which can result in varicose veins.

Risk factors that contribute to vein disease include a family history of vein disease, pregnancy, being overweight, prolonged standing or sitting, hormones, advanced age, injury to the vein and clots in the superficial or deep vein system.

What can i do for healthier legs? 

Veins are controlled, never completely cured. However, there are steps that you can take to improve your overall leg health:

l. Exercise daily: Exercise that uses the muscles of the legs help your veins pump blood. The calf pump pushes blood back to the heart and every step lowers the pressure in the legs.

2. Maintain a healthy weight and diet: Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins. Foods high in salt can cause water retention and increase swelling.

3. Elevate your feet: Elevating your feet can prevent the pooling of blood in your legs.

4. Maintain healthy skin: Keep your skin lubricated with lotion or baby oil gel to prevent dryness or itching.

5. Wear elastic compression everyday: These stockings are specifically made for treating vein disease as they assist in supporting the vein walls. They provide graduated pressure on the leg, with the greatest pressure being at the ankle where it helps to pump the blood up the leg. As a result, blood flow is increased which helps reduce swelling, fatigue, pain and possible clots in the legs. It is critical for the stockings to be measured and medical grade.

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