Tag Archives: varicose veins

mental health vein health connectionMost people agree that physical health and mental health are linked. That is evidenced by the fact that living with chronic illnesses including venous disease can negatively impact yout mental wellness. The converse is also true: poor mental health takes a toll on your physical health, making underlying problems worse.

Really, anything that decreases your energy can lead to fatigue, inactivity, and weight gain, beginning a cycle of illness that then increases your risk of complications of vein disease. These complications can include painful bulging varicose veins, heavy, aching, swollen legs, night cramps, bleeding veins, skin changes including ulcers, and superficial and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

But it is not all bad news. As long as you are open to understanding the interconnectivity of your mind and body, you will be more empowered to make the effort to get proper care and to make the necessary changes in order to have a better quality of life. Even a modest improvement can make a difference in your overall health and well-being.

Poor Mental Health Impacts on Vein Health

As we mentioned previously, stress and poor mental health can have deleterious effects on the body causing:

  • Low energy
  • Inactivity
  • Weight gain
  • Reduced immunity
  • Insufficient sleep

And as it turns our, most of these are well-documented risk factors for developing varicose veins and blood clots in the legs. Symptoms of these conditions include:

  • Heavy, fatigued, sore legs
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Night cramps
  • Leg swelling and pain
  • Bulging varicose veins and spider veins
  • Difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time
  • Skin changes in color and texture
  • Ulcerated skin

Of course, if your mental health ever diminishes to the point that you can no longer care for yourself, you need to seek professional psychiatric care. There is nothing wrong with getting the help you need, especially when your life depends on it.

Mental Health Self-Care

That leaves us with the ways to take care of your mental health. This has become especially difficult during the pandemic. But the more of these you can incorporate, the better off you will be:

  • Doing things that keep your mind sharp, like puzzles, or learning about a subject that fascinates you.

  • Reading books or watching movies that inspire you and fuel your mind.

  • Practicing self-compassion and acceptance.

  • Engaging in activities that help you acknowledge and express your feelings on a regular basis.

  • Putting time and energy into building and maintaining relationships with others.

Taking care of yourself not only physically but also mentally is extremely important. Take time to reflect on some of the things you can do to improve your health today!

For more self-care strategies, see https://www.verywellmind.com/self-care-strategies-overall-stress-reduction-3144729.

varicose veins in pregnancy
Varicose veins are common in pregnancy.

Varicose veins are not alien features in the human body; in fact, they are more common than we know especially among pregnant women. Varicose veins are veins that are large and swollen and are located around the feet and leg region. They occur as a result of poor functionality of the veins which in turn reduces the effectiveness of blood flow.

The varicose veins are usually a harmless feature experienced during pregnancy. The veins that are affected are the large inferior vena cava that carries blood back to the heart. The varicose veins can be uncomfortable, itchy, painful and unpleasant to the eye. In very severe cases a rupture of the vein may occur or varicose ulcers may develop on the skin. Hemorrhoids are also a type of varicose veins.

To understand the reason why varicose veins occur we must know that a normal healthy leg vein has just a valve that only allows passage of blood back to the heart. When these one-way valves cease to function at par, varicose veins occur. This then causes the blood not returned to the heart to accumulate in the veins and leads to the stretching of the walls of the veins. It also causes the veins to twist and bulge to the extent that they can be seen through the skin.

Varicose veins are common in pregnancy because there is more blood production in the course of pregnancy and this helps your baby grow. In the growth process of your baby, the uterus continues to expand to accommodate the baby and puts pressure on the veins in the leg region. This then leads to the partial blockage of the valve that allows blood to be returned to the heart. It is this accumulated pool of blood that gives you swollen legs and varicose veins.

Varicose veins are not just unsightly blemishes under the skin. That is because not treating varicose veins can lead to a host of serious medical conditions. Most patients with varicose veins. In most cases, patients who report symptoms of itchiness, fatigue, pain and discomfort in the legs, and swelling of the skin will only get worse if the patient chooses to delay seeing a medical professional. In extreme cases, however, there is a potential to develop the life-threatening conditions below.

Hyperpigmentation


The discoloration known as hyperpigmentation results when excess blood leaks into the tissues of the leg. Symptoms include painful swelling and inflammation as parts of their skin become dark.

Lipodermosclerosis

The tissues of the leg can become firm and heavy when they are left inflamed for a long period of time. In these cases, the patient may experience a feeling that their legs are becoming increasingly tender. At that point, it may become difficult to move or relax. This condition of stiffening or hardening of the leg tissues is known as Lipodermosclerosis.

Venous Leg Ulcer


Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a condition similar to varicose veins that occurs when blood pools in the superficial and deep leg veins.  Over time, CVI can result in the breakdown of areas of the skin to reveal the flesh underneath, signaling the formation of venous leg ulcers. Tending to get larger over time, venous leg ulcers cause pain and discomfort in the legs.

Spontaneous Bleeding


As above, varicose veins can break down the walls of the skin over time, bringing the varicose veins closer to the surface. When this happens, the slightest scratch or scrape can lead to excessive blood loss. Patients may experience significant blood loss if the condition goes untreated, even if they do not experience much pain associated with these minor injuries.

Superficial Thrombophlebitis


The weakening of the veins and decreased blood flow can also cause inflammation of the veins just beneath the surface of the skin. Called Superficial thrombophlebitis, a range of symptoms occur, including redness of the skin, an increasing tenderness of the vein, as well as ongoing pain or swelling of the legs.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep Vein Thrombosis is the by far most serious condition related to untreated varicose veins. Patients with DVT describe a pulling sensation in the legs, stemming from a blood clot, followed by a feeling as if their nerves are being pinched. Increased redness and swelling in the legs continue, as the danger of the blood clot traveling further up the body becomes potentially life-threatening.

As you can see, neglected varicose veins can have major implications for your health. Whether your varicose veins are mild or severe, the sooner you seek treatment, the better. Click here to schedule your free vein screening today!

vein center varicose vein itchWe all know that varicose veins can be painful and unsightly, in addition to causing discomfort and making your legs feel bloated and heavy. But did you also know that they can also make your skin itch? It is true. So what causes the itching, and what can be done about it? Read on to find out the answer.

Histamine Response

Since varicose veins are generally located close to the skin’s surface, your body’s response to them is to produce histamine–the same hormone that is released when the skin has an allergic reaction. You see, these veins have valves that are damaged, which means that they have trouble directing blood back toward the heart. And because these veins are not working the way they are supposed to, your body, by way of your skin, goes into overdrive trying to fix them. Thus, your brain interprets the histamine response as an itch.

The Urge to Scratch

The most common reaction to an itch is of course to scratch. But that can actually make your condition worse, by traumatizing the vein. A vicious cycle then starts, in which the more you scratch, the more damage you do, and the more histamine your body sends to the rescue. You guessed it, more itchiness.

Controling Your Itchy Varicose Veins

So, first off, if you want to control your itchy varicose veins, you have to avoid scratching them. No matter how hard that may seem, that is the simplest way to keep the irritation under control. Beyond that, addressing the underlying problem becomes paramount.

Seeing a Varicose Vein Specialist

A vein specialist diagnoses your condition and gives you strategies that will help with the discomfort. He or she may tell you to exercise, wear compression stockings, and keep your feet elevated while you are resting or lying down. They can also recommend long-term solutions like radio-frequency ablation or sclerotherapy. Call Grand Junction Vein Center right away to set up an appointment and get on the path to vein wellness.

Varicose veins bleeding is one complication that can arise if left untreated for too long.

Undoubtedly, varicose veins can be very painful and most people are embarrassed by their appearance. In addition to pain, other symptoms may include itching, redness, and dryness of the affected areas. Cramps, excessive bleeding, and slow healing are complications of the condition. Yes, you read it right; bleeding is one of the complications of varicose veins. Have you ever wondered why varicose vein bleeds?

Let us dig this little deeper for you and tell you everything about varicose vein bleeding.

Varicose veins are weaker and less efficient than healthy veins. Because they can’t effectively pump blood upwards, blood pools in the leg, placing more pressure on the veins and causing them to become larger and more fragile. As a result, varicose and spider veins are prone to sudden rupture, causing spontaneous bleeding.

Because varicose veins are just below the surface, a slight injury to the skin overlying the vein can cause bleeding as well. Just scratching the legs too hard or brushing up against furniture can be enough to cause a break. This bleeding can occur at any time, but it’s more likely to happen during a warm shower when the veins are more dilated. Patients also report bleeding incidents occurring at night.

What to Expect from a Bleeding Varicose Vein

Because veins contain more blood than capillaries, the varicose vein bleeding isn’t like pricking your finger — the volume can actually be surprisingly high. In fact, patients sometimes think they have ruptured an artery, as the blood may pulsate from the vein.

Varicose vein bleeding is typically sudden, too, catching patients off guard and upending activities. This can be disconcerting, especially if it happens in public.

How to Treat Varicose Vein Bleeding

Typically, minor bleeds can be resolved by applying gentle pressure. If possible, you should sit or lay down so that the leg is higher than the heart. But if the bleeding doesn’t stop or seems severe, you should immediately call or go to the emergency room.

For some patients, varicose vein bleeding can actually become dangerous. Patients on blood thinners and older patients – who have thinner, more delicate skin – are especially susceptible to blood loss. Pregnant women must be especially cautious, as bleeding can quickly lead to serious medical situations.

After receiving medical care, your doctor may recommend you stay off your feet to keep the wound from reopening. Avoid touching or removing the scab, as this can retrigger bleeding.

Treat Your Veins to Prevent Bleeding

The only sure way to avoid spontaneous varicose vein bleeding is to have your veins treated by a professional. Don’t wait until you find yourself in an embarrassing or even dangerous situation.

If you or someone you know has experienced bleeding from a superficial varicose vein, it is important to see a vein specialist.  Prevention is key; through appropriate diagnosis and treatment, sudden bleeding from a bulging varicose or spider vein can be avoided.

man with varicose veinsWe focus so much on varicose veins in women, but the fact is, men get them, too. Actually, approximately 45 percent of men get varicose veins at some point in their lives.

However, varicose veins are more common in women. This is because of the hormone progesterone, which can contribute to the development of varicose and spider veins. Men produce this hormone in smaller quantities.

Other factors that can increase one’s risk of developing varicose and spider veins are, in no particular order:

Age (the risk increases with age)
Family history
Obesity
Standing or sitting for long periods
Pregnancy

Varicose veins often appear as enlarged veins that are bluish or purplish in color. They may even be bulging and twisted.

Other signs and symptoms of varicose veins include:

Itchiness around the affected site
Feeling of heaviness on the legs
A throbbing sensation on the lower extremities
Worsening pain after sitting or standing for a long time

If you have tried elevating your legs, wearing compression stockings, and exercise do not relieve your tired and achy legs, you may need to seek medical treatment. At Grand Junction Vein Center, we can evaluate your condition and present options. Call us today!

varicose veins preventionA varicose vein is a medical condition and anyone who doesn’t suffer the condition himself must have, at least seen someone who does. Though varicose veins do not always constitute a problem, which requires urgent medical attention, but they can be quite depressing. Varicose veins often present as twisted and enlarged veins close to the skin, discoloring the part of the skin where they occur and sometimes causing pain and discomfort.
People with varicose veins are often advised to do simple preventive measures to lessen the discomfort. Some of these measures are listed below:

Wearing Compression Stockings

Doctors often recommend compression stockings to improve the blood circulation, it stops varicose veins from getting worse, and reduce pain or discomfort. Self-care measures start by wearing compression stockings. When worn all day, compression stockings squeeze the legs and help the veins and leg muscles to move blood. The amount of compression usually varies the type and brand. Fortunately, there are many types and brands of stockings to choose from. Patients can now choose the most comfortable ones.
Before buying compression stockings, keep in mind that they should fit properly. Determining the right fit is easy. You or a companion can measure your legs to get the right size that fits, by using tape

Regular Exercise

Of course, there are also traditional common-sense approaches to preventing varicose veins. One is regular exercise. Exercise, such as walking and bike riding promotes proper blood circulation. Thus, walking/bike riding regularly improves blood flow and prevents overtaxing of the veins.

Proper Diet

Excessive weight puts unnecessary pressure on the veins; losing weight may also help prevent varicose veins. A low-salt, high fiber diet prevents swelling of the veins resulting from water retention and constipation.

Low-heeled Shoes

You may also consider switching your high heels for low-heeled shoes. Low-heeled shoes work calf muscles, which in turn is good for the veins because blood circulation is improved. Tight clothing and undergarments are not advisable because they impede blood circulation.

Elevate Your Legs

Elevating your legs daily above the level of the heart improves venous circulation. Do this by lying down with your legs resting on three or four pillows.

Proper Postures for Good Circulation

Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Change positions frequently to encourage good circulation. Change your position at least every 30 minutes. When sitting down, avoid crossing your legs. The position only worsens circulation problems.

If you don’t have varicose veins yet but are overweight, try to lose the extra pounds. Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop varicose veins. As mentioned above, exercise activities that work the leg muscles will be beneficial. These can be in the form of walking or jogging. These activities help pump blood towards the heart.

Pretty much all of the measures that prevent varicose veins are easy to perform and are common activities that can be done daily. Practicing these good habits not only helps prevent varicose veins, but they also contribute to your general well-being as well. So put on your low-heeled shoes and start walking.

Varicose veins can be painful and lead to other complications, if not treated.

Varicose Veins in Grand Junction

Varicose veins in Grand Junction occur when the veins on your legs and feet become swollen or enlarged due to blood cluttering in that specific area. Known to be incredibly painful, varicose veins can include bleeding or inflammation, resulting in grueling bluish lumps and bulges around the affected area. The main cause for the occurrence of varicose veins is a blockage in the valves of the veins, resulting in blood pooling or blood moving in the wrong direction in the body. While some may face lesser levels of pain as the varicose vein simply forms under the skin as a bluish line instead of the normal green colored veins, others will face serious consequences if not treated.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Our arteries usually pass blood through its original point from the heart to circulate around the body with the help of the veins. This blood normally travels through the body in a one-way valve that is formed within the veins. However, the valves might weaken over time as the walls of the veins start to loosen up and become tensile, leading to blood being allowed to flow backward. This results in blood amassing at certain spaces within the body which causes the swelling and bruising of the skin.

Varicose veins usually end up manifesting in the legs or feet as the blood which flows backward is limited in its course due to the work of gravity. Therefore, it normally accumulates within the area of the legs, and thus, remains far away from affecting the heart – as such an occurrence will signify a serious concern for your health.

The condition of varicose veins is prevalently identified within a certain group of people due to a few risk potentials they pose. The following presents the factors that commonly relate to the occurrence of varicose veins:

Gender

Because of their hormonal changes, women are more commonly diagnosed with varicose veins than their gender counterparts. Pregnancy, pre-menstruation, periods and menopause entail certain hormonal changes which enforce the vein walls to loosen up. The chances of varicose veins affecting females double when hormone treatment pills are brought into the mix as these tamper largely with the basic functionality of the body.

Age

As people get older, their bodies tend to relax more. Therefore, it becomes natural for their valves to become weaker causing a reversal in their blood flow direction. When this blood turns back on its course and pools into one place, varicose veins become transparent on their bodies.

Pregnancy

Females going through pregnancy find varicose veins to be the standard consequence of the exponential change in their blood circulation. While the protection and support of the fetus causes the increase in blood, it can also lead to the horrible side effect of enlarged veins, which later translates into varicose veins.

In addition to the large inflow of blood and greater pressure on the blood circulation system of the body, women also suffer from changes in their hormone levels which results in the blood walls to loosen up further. Varicose veins can also occur in women during pregnancy from the accumulation of pressure in the veins in their pelvic area which is common before childbirth. Ideally, varicose veins do not last long after the pregnancy but in certain cases, there may be remnants of scars and even a few swollen areas.

Other Risk Factors

Being obese adds more pressure to your veins, causing certain tears along its walls that would weaken it. Likewise, if pressure cumulates within a certain area of the body from either standing or sitting for a long period of time, a higher potential of varicose veins can occur. Furthermore, genetics play a big part in the possibility of one suffering from varicose veins as it is also a hereditary problem.

Complications from Varicose Veins


Due to the blockage of proper blood flow, varicose veins can pose a great threat to your body. However, such occurrences happen rather rarely and will take several years from the first appearance of varicose veins to truly take effect.

Blood Clots

From the accumulation of blood, blood clots might surface underneath your skin. This occurs specifically when the veins that lie completely under your skin become swollen up, causing a bulging of the skin that turns into a rather painful ordeal for sufferers. This happening is medically denoted as thrombophlebitis, which indicates an inflammation of the veins in your leg.

Ulcers

Ulcers typically emerge around the affected area of a varicose vein, usually around the ankles. You can identify this when your skin develops a discoloration which precedes the formation of an ulcer.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Blood circulation is the main method through which your body moves oxygen and nutrients all around it. Therefore, when the formation of varicose veins deters blood circulation, your body exchanges these crucial elements less efficiently, resulting in a disruption known as chronic venous insufficiency. This condition also results from different issues such as varicose eczema, which leads to your skin turning red and scaly, and lipodermatosclerosis which causes an unnatural hardening of your skin.

Types of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can culminate in different variations. Here are all the types of varicose veins that can occur:

Saphenous varicose veins

With the usual veins in the human body being distinguished as either a deep vein or a superficial vein, varicose veins develop inside the superficial veins which typically comprise of a very limited portion of the blood flow that runs through the legs. Here, varicose veins often form within a specific type of vein which is called the saphenous veins. The saphenous vein can be differentiated as the greater saphenous vein or the lesser saphenous vein, where the former is a vein that connects from the ankle to the femoral vein and the latter moves through Achilles tendon and runs to a deep vein connected with the back of the knees.

Branch Type Varicose Vein

This varicose vein becomes visible in the areas below the knees and it normally takes place inside one single saphenous vein. These normally take a rather knobbly appearance which can be unappealing to look at.

Reticular Varicose Vein

These varicose veins come across the body through a red swelling with a very large diameter. Normally, these particular veins are grouped together into a network of varicose veins.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Visible symptoms will surface soon enough for you to understand that something is wrong. While the fundamental symptoms of varicose veins are swelling and misshaped veins, you may also suffer from severe pain and heaviness in your affected area. The following are a list of effects to your body from the formation of a superficial varicose vein:

Discoloration

You will experience visible discoloration following an occurrence of varicose veins. Usually, the affected veins will turn into a vivid dark purple or bluish color which will signify the onset of a varicose vein issue.

Aching and Feeling of Heaviness

For those who stand up for a long period of time will face profound aching and heaviness in their ankles of feet. There may also be a consequential swelling around the aching area as well.

Itching

You might also encounter significant and perhaps unbearable itching over one or more of your veins. This can follow with a burning or throbbing sensation as well, all of which are common indicators of a varicose vein.

When Should You Call a Doctor?

There are different home remedies for varicose veins but ideally, if you do see a varicose vein gradually forming on your body, it is best to consult with a doctor. Sometimes, varicose veins do not carry pain and thus only occur through discoloration. You might not feel inclined to visit a doctor from the lack of pain, but it is recommended that you still do since this discoloration can quickly turn into gradual pain. However, here are some instances that will mandate a doctor visitation for treatment of your varicose vein:

Worsening Symptoms

The symptoms highlighted above can come in at a moderate level of pain, for which you might suppose a medical check-up isn’t required. However, if these symptoms turn unbearable and you can discern visible changes to your body from greater discoloration, flaky skin and constant bleeding, you absolutely need to visit a doctor. This is because the varicose vein has the potential to turn into a stasis dermatitis which will inevitably cause skin infections and leg ulcers.

Red Varicose Veins

If your varicose vein turns into a red figure that feels warm and sensitive to touch, you might be set in for a possible blood clot to occur. Therefore, you are required to go to a doctor for further information and treatment.

Injury to the Varicose Vein

Varicose veins are prone to bleeding from the slightest cut or bruise, and this particular type of bleeding cannot be restricted or controlled. Therefore, an injury to your varicose vein will need a specialist to operate and treat the problem before it poses a greater risk to your health.

Treatment of Varicose Veins in Grand Junction


Varicose veins that surface only through discoloration and do not entail any level of pain, will not require treatment unless for cosmetic purposes. It is still recommended, however, for your doctor to do a physical exam and prescribe a treatment for you to follow. Here are some of the treatments available for varicose veins:

Compression Stockings

Your doctor will ask you to go through a test before giving you a compression stocking that relieves your discomfort from suffering a varicose vein. Through a Doppler investigation, your doctor will check for your blood circulation where a faulty vein wall. Blocked blood circulation will mandate a compression stocking for you to use.

You may purchase this particular stocking at either a pharmacy or a medical store. It works by squeezing your legs in order to improve blood circulation. The compression stockings will usually feel tighter in the area of your Achilles tendon and ankles due to the lesser saphenous vein being connected to a deep vein which carries blood to the heart. Therefore, this stocking is designed specifically to encourage blood circulation to your heart. In addition to this, the compression stocking also works to improve other symptoms, such as pain and swelling.

Endovenous Laser Vein Treatment

This specific form of treatment includes light energy being passed directly into the vein through a laser beam which will lead the surficial discoloration to disappear. You will have a catheter injected inside your vein from which an ultrasound will be performed to locate the perfect position to treat the varicose vein.

The laser works to heat up the vein and fix the vein wall by sealing it up. The ultrasound helps in the manner of locating all the perforations inside the vein that need to be fixed. Therefore, this treatment ensures a complete mending of the walls for your body to regain its normal blood circulation and completely remove the varicose vein.

Surgical Removal

A process called ligation and stripping can also be conducted to repair the area affected by a varicose vein. This method is done under the effect of general anesthesia and thus, you will hardly face any pain from the removal. Through small incisions, the surgeon identifies and seals the broken vein walls to restore the body of its normal veins.

This method of treatment is rather painful with its side-effects as you will experience pain, bruising and even bleeding from the incision. The main reason behind this is that the surgery only repairs the veins at the surficial level and thus, the veins which are located deep underneath your skin will face breakages. Therefore, it is recommended to wear compression socks for better results following the treatment of your varicose vein.

Grand Junction Vein Center

At Grand Junction Vein Center, we specialize in minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins in Grand Junction, including the Venefit™ procedure and Sclerotherapy. We will discuss these and other options with you during your free vein screening.

 

For more information about conditions related to varicose veins in Grand Junction and surrounding areas, please visit The American Vein and Lymphatic Society. See also Healthy Veins, a site sponsored by AVLS, for further valuable information as well.

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Grand Junction Vein Center

2373 G Road #280
Grand Junction, Colorado. 81505
On the second floor of the Canyonview Medical Plaza
Tel: 970-242-VEIN (8346)