Leg Vein Issues Are A Guy Thing, Too!

When you hear about varicose veins, what comes to mind? Your mother? Grandmother? Wife? If that’s the case, you’re not alone. Leg vein problems are typically thought to be a women’s issue, but in reality, the condition affects the genders nearly equally. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, 45%of our patient base is male, with a wide variety of ages represented.

 

People usually think of varicose veins as a purely cosmetic issue, but they cause far more troubles than the gnarled, bulging veins we typically associate with vein disease. Leg vein disease often causes pain, swelling, heaviness, and throbbing that make everyday activities difficult. Left untreated, it can progress to cellulitis, scar tissue, ulcers, bleeding, blood clots, and even deep vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal condition.

 

Varicose veins develop for a variety of reasons, including family history of the condition. Other contributing factors include prolonged sitting or standing, which negatively impacts blood flow, along with smoking, consuming too much sodium, and being overweight. While young people are certainly susceptible to vein disease, the risk increases with age because of the loss of tissue tone and muscle mass, along with a weakening of the venous walls.

 

There are several steps you can take to help alleviate the discomfort of varicose veins, such as:

  • Losing weight
  • Eating more fiber
  • Consuming more vitamin C
  • Drinking more water
  • Watching your salt intake
  • Eating foods rich in rutin, a flavonoid found in asparagus, berries, figs, and other produce

 

Exercise also helps, especially biking and walking. Elevate your legs when resting and avoid crossing your legs while sitting. Compression socks or stockings may also provide some relief.

 

While these tactics are helpful, the only way to rid yourself of varicose veins – and the associated health risks – is to undergo treatment. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since the days of vein-stripping and other scary-sounding procedures. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, our minimally invasive treatments such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy are highly effective and covered by most insurance plans. There’s no scarring and recovery time is minimal, with many patients returning to their normal activities the same day.

 

June is a busy month for the guys – it’s Men’s Health Month and Father’s Day is June 21. Guys, remember – don’t ignore your symptoms that could be related to vein disease. And ladies, think about all the important men in your life and encourage them to get the treatment they deserve – especially if they’ve been complaining about pain and other symptoms.

 

Stop letting painful, swollen legs slow you down. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and read more about other men who’ve taken steps to treat their varicose veins.

Postpartum Varicose Veins: What You Should Know About the Twisted Bulging Veins

The development or worsening of varicose veins during pregnancy is very common. In fact, many people are not aware that the connection between varicose veins and pregnancy is quite significant. About 40 percent of pregnant women suffer from varicose veins during pregnancy. These bulging, twisted veins can cause legs to feel heavy, restless, painful and achy, and can increase your risk of developing blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a vein disease that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of the body.

Pregnancy causes veins in a woman’s body to work harder than normal, leading to the development of varicose veins. Here’s why:

  • The higher levels of progesterone that occur during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to developing varicose veins. This is because increased hormones relax veins and promotes blood to flow in the wrong direction blood, which can result in the formation of varicose veins.
  • The increased volume of blood in your body during pregnancy causes your veins to work harder, resulting in weakened valves that can lead to pooling of blood within the veins.
  • The pressure of an enlarged uterus on the pelvic veins can obstruct the veins from draining into lower extremities and lead to the backflow of blood, resulting in varicose veins.
  • Family history of vein disease can increase your risk of getting varicose veins during pregnancy.

The good news is that for some women, varicose veins tend to improve after pregnancy when progesterone levels return to normal. But for other women, varicose veins can persist after childbirth. No matter what category you fall into, varicose veins can worsen with successive pregnancies. This can put pregnant women with varicose veins at a higher risk of developing blood clots, including a DVT.

A study by the journal JAMA found that among adults with varicose veins, there is a significant risk of developing a DVT. A DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. If left untreated, a DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism, which is when a blood clot gets wedged into an artery in your lungs. This is a life-threatening condition.

The great news is that thanks to modern technology, treating varicose veins in between pregnancies can significantly lower a woman’s risk of developing a blood clot, or a DVT, during and after pregnancy. This procedure, called endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), is minimally invasive, eliminates the need for surgery and has little-to-no downtime. In fact, patients can begin walking immediately after the procedure and return to normal activities the very next day.

If you are planning to become pregnant and have varicose veins or experienced them during a prior pregnancy, contact Dr. Rimas Gilvydis with Northern Illinois Vein Clinic to see if EVLA is the right solution for you. We accept insurance from most major providers and EVLA is covered by most plans.

Our team has performed more than 20,000 successful laser vein treatments. We are known for our reputation for excellence in vein care and for always providing the highest-quality, individualized care with the best possible outcomes for our patients.