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Venous disorders, more than cosmetic

In industrial societies, characterized by prosperity and abundance and increasing life expectancy, so called 'national diseases' are becoming a rising danger.

In industrial societies, characterized by prosperity and abundance and increasing life expectancy, so called 'national diseases' are becoming a rising danger.

The most common of diseases are heart and circulation problems as well as vein disorders. International studies prove that anyone can be hit by vascular diseases, starting at an early age. The earlier the venous disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the prospects are for the treatment success.

Better known as venous insufficiency, vein disorders are a widespread disease that goes unrecognized. It is a condition in which the veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart. (Nine out of 10 adults are affected; one in five women and one in six men.)

Venous insufficiency is caused by problems in one or more deeper leg veins.

Normally, valves in your veins keep your blood flowing back towards the heart so it does not collect in one place. But the valves in varicose veins are either damaged or missing. This causes the veins to remain filled with blood, especially when you are standing. The condition may also be caused by a blockage in a vein from a clot.

Risk factors for venous insufficiency may include some of the following:

• History of deep vein thrombosis in the legs

• Age

• Being female (related to levels of the hormone progesterone)

• Being tall

• Genetic factors

• Obesity

• Birth control pills

• Smoking

• Pregnancy

• Prolonged sitting or standing


• Dull aching, heaviness, swelling or cramping in legs

• Itching and tingling of the skin

• Pain that gets worse when standing

• Pain that gets better when legs are raised

People with chronic venous insufficiency may also have:

• Redness of the legs and ankles

• Skin color changes around the ankles

• Varicose veins on the surface (superficial)

• Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles

• Ulcers on the legs and ankles


Take early symptoms and risk factors seriously — talk with your doctor. He or she may recommend that you take the following steps to help manage venous insufficiency:

• Use medical compression stockings to decrease chronic swelling (a prescription for medical compression stockings is required).

• A healthy diet and lifestyle.

• Avoid long periods of sitting or standing. Even moving your legs slightly will help the blood in your veins return to your heart.

• Care for wounds aggressively if any skin breakdown or infection occurs.

Surgery or noninvasive treatments for varicose veins may also be recommended by your doctor.

Don't take risks with your health. Make sure that you pay the attention to your legs which they deserve — at the first sign of problems. After all, your health determines the quality of your life!

Wellness coach Laura Good runs Balanced Body Integrated Healing, a Mobile Certified Compression Therapy Fitter. Go to for more information.

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