leg-discomfortAccording to Dr. Jonathan Calure of Maryland Vein Professionals in Columbia, Maryland, 30% of the population will experience vein disease at some point in their lives. Those afflicted may see and notice the signs and symptoms of varicose veins, including swelling and aching of the legs, throbbing, or other similar discomfort. Women experience vein pain two times more often than men and if a woman has experienced pregnancy this ratio increases 3:1 in comparison. Vein treatment options have progressed greatly in the past 10 to 20 years from the limited treatments available prior to the early 2000s.

My personal health story includes the diagnosis of what was causing the swelling and pain in my legs. Dr. Calure and his team did a great job explaining the need for treatment of my vein disease and because I feel this is such an important health issue, Dr. Calure agreed to join me on an episode of A Bridge to Wholeness podcast to discuss the importance of healthy veins to prevent further complications. If you think you may be suffering with the signs and symptoms of leg discomfort be sure to listen to the full podcast episode.

Understanding Vein Disease

Something important to understand about vein disease is that it is a chronic condition. While it won’t ever go away there are numerous things available today to manage and bring relief to your legs. Veins run through your body as the highway carrying blood to your muscles and vital organs. The basic problem when you have vein disease is gravity. Gravity keeps blood flowing down your legs to your ankles and feet but fails to allow the full quantity to continue on its circulatory path. Here is where the wearing of compression stockings is used to compress the foot, ankle, knee, or thigh to encourage the blood to flow back toward the heart and your center core.

As one ages it puts wear and tear on the vein valves. When the blood backs up in the leg this feels like pressure and for some the appearance of spider veins can be seen or felt in lumpy, bumpy patches on the leg. Compression used to be the only, and limited treatment option, but today’s medicine includes the use of vein surgery as well as out-patient techniques requiring non-invasive approaches such as radiofrequency energy to ablate the damaged vein source.

Learn from My Experience

As a nurse, part of my job is to educate so I’ll share my own experience in seeking out relief from the chronic condition of vein disease. When you know what to anticipate, it makes seeking out treatment much easier and serves as a conversation catalyst to ask questions about your own health and wellness.

For women, one of the first signs of vein disease may occur during pregnancy with bumpy vein symptoms. After the pregnancy the veins appear to return to normal and symptoms go away but at this point some vein damage has already taken place. Commonly, signs of damage may not surface again until middle age.

When you make an appointment to evaluate the health of your veins, you can expect to meet with a sonographer who will perform a CT scan on your legs in search of any signs of blood clots or vein issues. If possible, seek out an appointment with a vein specialist because the ultrasound tech will be observant for blood clots and signs of other vein anomalies. Catching these anomalies in advance allows your medical team to be proactive with your health care to prevent and halt any problems, rather than being reactive once something is troubling you greatly and has caused more damage.

The ultrasound is not an uncomfortable procedure. The ultrasound tech will place a clear gel on your leg to begin the scan. Several “pictures” of your veins are taken and once the scan is complete, you will know whether or not a surgical procedure is necessary to treat the vein issue.

If you are suffering from any of the signs and symptoms of possible vein disease, it may be time to make an appointment to see a vein specialist. Be proactive and treat your legs to a hug.

Jennifer L. Crisp, RN, is the founder of A Bridge To Wholeness. Jennifer believes strongly in both traditional western medicine and contemporary health practices as she understands the importance of client-centered care beyond conventional medicine. A Bridge to Wholeness invites traditional and alternative practitioners to get connected (bridging the gap) so your client/patient can experience enhanced benefits and care from these connections. Prior to launching this organization, she worked in a community hospital as a cardiac nurse and has been an entrepreneur since 2011. To take the Intersection of Wellness quiz and get a free report of your results visit the website at www.abridgetowholeness.com.

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