Don’t Let Your Legs Go Untreated

High blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are very common and when people recognize symptoms of these conditions, they seek a physician and undergo treatment.  Venous disorders are also extremely common.  In fact statistics show one in three American over the age of 45 are affected by venous disease.  It is just a shame that only 4% of those are being treated.

Perhaps it is because they fail to recognize the signs of venous disease.  Let’s review a few of the venous diseases and their ramifications:


Spider veins are not only unattractive, but can signal problems to come

Spider veins are small varicose dilations of the veins in the skin and do not seem to be very important.  They are a bit unsightly, but can signal a need to wear compression stockings to prevent large varicose veins.

 Varicose veins - unsightly veins which can cause serious health issues

Varicose veins – Ropy looking veins which, if left untreated, are a health issue that can lead to much more  serious problems.


Chronic venous insufficiency – Swelling, discoloring of the skin

When varicose veins develop, the valves in the veins become incompetent and can no longer function to return blood to the heart. This causes very high pressure and congestion in the lower leg area. This condition is called venous insufficiency. It can become chronic and has very serious consequences.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Obstruction of a deep vein by a blood clot with the risk of the blood clot breaking loose and becoming a pulmonary embolism.

When a deep vein has incompetent valves, the blood circulation is hampered and a clot can form near the valve. The clot is called a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Part of the DVT can break loose and pass through the heart to the lungs, block the pulmonary artery and result in a pulmonary embolism.


Stasis dermatitis – inflammatory skin disease occurring on the lower extremities

Stasis dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disease that occurs on the lower extremities in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.  Stasis dermatitis is usually the earliest cutaneous manifestation of venous insufficiency, and it may be a precursor to more problematic conditions, such as venous leg ulceration and lymphedema.


Venous stasis ulcer – in most severe cases of chronic venous insufficiency

A chronically insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue develops. Fluid accumulates in the tissue and weeps on the skin and in a worse case scenario the tissue dies and an ulcer of the lower leg forms. This can take months under a physician or wound care specialist to heal.

This is but a very brief summery of a few leg diseases that can lead to serious health problems.  We will cover them in depth in later news letters.  Please wear your compression stockings.  They do you no good in your dresser drawer. If you are aware of a friend or loved one who has leg diseases such as these, please send a copy of this or a link to our blog and ask them to seek council with a physician. Their physician is their best source of information. They should talk to their doctor about any symptoms or problems they are experiencing.

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