Weight Gain and Vein Disease: How are the two related?

June 6, 2017

vein disease and weight gainVenous insufficiency and chronic venous disease are two conditions you have heard about in your consultation with Dr. Jimenez and likely during your visit with the cardiologist. Vein disease develops within the body based on external and internal stresses that affect the way in which one-way (upward) venous blood flow drives blood from the lower legs and organs to the heart. All of this venous blood moves against gravity and that action itself can be difficult if the veins are stressed, stretched and incapable of carrying excess blood. Years of patient care and clinical studies focused on vascular health make a distinct connection between weight gain and vein disease. But how are weight gain and venous disease related?

Veins, Valves and Their Function

At Vein Center of Florida, our goal is to share as much about vein care with you as possible, so you know what to expect and how to solve the problem. Vein disease, as mentioned above, starts with a variety of factors that contribute to the inability of veins in the lower sector of your body to push your blood from your legs to your heart. Venous valves keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. However, inefficient valve function results in excess blood waiting to circulate up from one part of the vein to the next, causing these veins expand. Expansion of the vein walls causes stretching, and that stretching continues until the vein is no longer able to resist and relax to its normal state, resulting in bulging visible veins. Bulging varicose veins are a sure fire way to tell this is happening to you.

Symptoms of Vein Disease:

  • Pain in the legs or heaviness
  • Tired/heavy legs
  • Discoloration in the ankles and calves (redness or dark tinge)
  • Tightness in the legs
  • Varicose vein formation
  • Fluid buildup or pedal edema
  • Pain relief upon elevation or position change
  • Tenderness
  • Restless legs
  • Ulcer formation
  • Itching or burning skin

While these symptoms of vein disease are common indicators, they’re not always present, and it’s a good idea to have a vein screening at some point in your mid-thirties at the earliest.

A Few Extra Pounds Can Affect Vein Health

Inactivity and extended periods of standing or sitting are a considerable issue no matter your size, however, adding excess weight and applying additional pounds of pressure on the body can cause serious exertion on the veins and their valves. If you’re already prone to vein insufficiency based on your family history, you want to make sure that you’re covering all of your bases and lowering your weight.

We think of the veins as pressurized tubes that work hard to move blood upward but the pressure in these veins can vary based on our position and how much weight pushes down on the lower half of your body at any given time from weight gain. Walking decreases the pressure on our veins because the calves help the leg veins pump; adding more weight, makes this mechanism ineffective. More pressure from above means more pressure is needed to move your blood. To lower the pressure in the legs and pelvic area, a reduced weight will improve the symptoms but long term awareness, activity and care are necessary.

A few types of vein conditions you may hear about in consultation with Dr. Jimenez include:

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Chronic venous insufficiency worldwide is a very common problem whether it’s the result of pregnancy, genetics, race, sex or immobility. Weight gain may initiate the process of vein pain and discomfort, often followed by restless legs and problems with movement if left unchecked. So if you’re feeling some of these things now, you may have chronic venous insufficiency which may symptomatically progress as you age.

  • Leaking Valves and Stressed Veins (Varicose Veins)

Overstretched and stressed veins, often purple and deep green, become prominent in the legs after significant weight gain and genetic factors. Varicose veins are stressed superficial veins prevalent in men and women over the age of 60, but they may occur in much younger individuals, especially with a family history. Women are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins than men, although they are very common in both sexes.

Activity, weight maintenance, and a nutritious diet can help to minimize the risk of developing significant venous disease, however, everyone should be educated about vein disease as early as possible. Call The Vein Center of Florida today at 800-910-VEIN for more information on vein disease and to schedule your vein screening.

Vein Health 101

March 14, 2017

Vein Disorder TreatmentYou may not think much about your veins – until one of those bulging varicose veins suddenly appears on your lower leg. While it may seem like that vein came out of nowhere, there was an entire process that went on inside your veins to contribute to its development. To understand varicose veins, it is helpful to know how the veins function and what can go wrong inside of them to make those swollen vessels form. Check out these basics on vein health from the team at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin.

What are Veins?

Veins are the vessels that move blood back to the heart. The arteries take the blood to all of the tissue and organs of the body, providing essential oxygen and nutrients the body needs to function. The veins then return deoxygenated blood back to the heart so the process can start all over again.

Unlike the arteries, the veins don’t have help from the pumping heart to get blood where it needs to go. Instead, they contain small valves that move the blood in a single direction. Muscle contractions throughout the body also help blood to continue pumping through the veins efficiently.

Types of Veins

Since our primary goal is to understand varicose veins, we will focus on the veins in the leg. There are three basic types of leg veins:

Deep veins are found near the center of the leg and are typically the largest type of veins. These veins carry blood from the smaller veins directly back to the heart. These are also the veins that are most vulnerable to blood clot formation, a condition known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT.

Superficial veins are those found closer to the skin’s surface. These veins are responsible for bringing blood from the outer skin and tissue to the main veins in the center of the leg. They are also the veins that are most likely to become visible as spider or varicose veins.

Perforator veins connect deep veins and superficial veins.

Vein disorders of the superficial veins are typically the ones that lead to the development of spider and varicose veins. Fortunately, there are many superficial veins in the body, which means if one becomes damaged, blood can be redirected to healthy veins nearby.

When Things Go Wrong

Varicose veins are frequently caused by an underlying vein disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when those small valves inside the vessel become damaged or wear out over time. The damage is more common in the lower leg veins because these vessels have to work much harder to move blood all the way up the leg to the heart. The valves in these veins are more likely to wear out because of all the pressure that is placed on them over a lifetime.

There are steps you can take to protect those hard-working lower leg veins and lower your risk for CVI and varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight avoids excessive stress on the veins, while regular exercise gives flexing calf muscles the opportunity to support the veins. It is also a good idea to avoid prolonged periods of sitting and standing, since this also places excessive strain on the vein.

Treating Vein Disorders

If CVI and varicose veins do appear, there are minimally-invasive treatment options to address the conditions. These treatments primarily focus on eliminating damaged veins so blood naturally redirects to healthy veins in the vicinity. Dr. Jimenez and the staff at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin have numerous options in vein treatments that allow them to tailor your procedure to your precise needs.

Don’t suffer with CVI and varicose veins. To find out which treatment is right for you, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

5 Reasons to Treat Your Varicose Veins

January 15, 2017

5 Reasons to Treat Varicose VeinsYour varicose veins may be unsightly enough to keep you out of shorts and bathing suits, but is it really worth the time, effort and money to treat them? This is a debate many varicose vein sufferers have as they contemplate eliminating the swollen vessels completely or simply learning to live with them. While a comprehensive assessment can ultimately tell you whether vein treatment would be beneficial, the staff at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin has a number of good reasons to consider vein treatment even before your examination takes place.

It’s More than Cosmetic

Varicose veins are often more than a simple cosmetic concern. These bulging vessels are often an outward sign of an underlying vein condition known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition occurs when small valves inside the vessels stop working properly, which allows blood to back up into the vein instead of flowing in a single direction to the heart. When CVI is left unchecked, it can worsen over time. This is why vein treatment sooner, rather than later, may be recommended to stop CVI before significant symptoms develop.

You Have Pain

Varicose veins can be more than unattractive, they can also be painful. You might feel heaviness or aching in your legs, particularly at the end of the day. The pain may also keep you from participating in some of the active pastimes you have always enjoyed. You may discover that elevating your legs for a period of time in the evening relieves the pain and pressure – often a sign that CVI is present. Some sufferers also experience swelling of the lower extremity, which further exacerbates the discomfort.

Your Skin is Changing

Increased pressure inside of varicose veins can do more than damage the vessel itself. The damage can also spread to surrounding tissue, which may become evident on the skin’s surface. You may begin to notice the skin around the vein becomes irritated and itchy. Over time the skin’s color and texture may begin to change as tissue damage leads to a brown, leathery appearance. If the cause of the skin change is not treated, large, open sores known as venous ulcers can form from even the smallest nick or cut to the skin.

Your Veins are Interfering with Your Sleep

Some varicose vein sufferers find out those bothersome vessels start to act up as soon as they are ready to retire for the night. Once in bed, you might experience cramping of the legs that can be intense at time. You may also notice a restless feeling in the legs that gives you the irresistible urge to move them. Known as restless leg syndrome, this condition can be severe enough in some individuals to actually prohibit them from getting a good night’s rest.

Procedures are Quick and Comfortable

Despite the embarrassment and even physical discomfort, some varicose vein sufferers simply won’t pursue treatment because they believe any procedure to treat their veins will take them out of commission for a period of time. While that has been true in the past when surgical treatments were the only solution, today’s non-surgical procedures can be performed quickly and almost painlessly. Treatments can be done using local anesthetic and patients are usually back to activities the same day or the day after their procedure.

Don’t suffer with unattractive varicose veins that are interfering with your comfort and your quality of life. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-8346 and find out how we can help you say goodbye to those bulging veins for good.

Women and Varicose Veins

December 15, 2016

Women and Varicose Veins

Women and Varicose VeinsVaricose veins plague both men and women, but women seem to suffer from these swollen vessels much more frequently. There are a number of reasons why women are more vulnerable to varicose veins than men overall. The good news is that if you do experience a few varicose veins over time, there are plenty of effective treatment options to eradicate the unsightly vessels and uncomfortable symptoms that often accompany them.

What causes varicose veins?

Most varicose veins are actually a visible sign of a vein disorder known as venous insufficiency. This condition develops when veins stop working properly, allowing blood to reflux back in the vessel rather than moving in a single direction back to the heart. The extra blood in the vein leads to weakening and swelling of the vessel. Eventually, a varicose vein appears on the surface of the skin.

Venous insufficiency does not go away or improve on its own. Like any medical condition, this disorder must be properly treated to ensure the disorder is sufficiently addressed and no further complications arise. Venous insufficiency tends to occur more often in women than men for a number of reasons. Understanding risk factors will help you to understand why the female population is more prone to this disorder.

Risk Factors

There are a number of reasons why some people are more prone to venous insufficiency than others:

  • Genetics – when your parents have varicose veins, you risk increases significantly
  • Age – the condition is more common in adults over the age of 50
  • Weight – added pounds tend to put more pressure on those lower leg veins
  • Lack of Exercise – flexing of the calf muscle helps move blood back up the body
  • Occupation – If your work requires long periods of sitting or standing, your risk may be higher

There are also risk factors that are common to women, which makes this disorder more prevalent among the female population.

The Female Factor

The American College of Phlebology estimates that as many as half of all women suffer the cosmetic embarrassment of varicose veins and many also experience uncomfortable physical symptoms associated with venous insufficiency. That is four times more women than men that experience these conditions. One of the primary reasons women are more vulnerable is estrogen, a hormone in the female body that tends to relax vein walls.

This function is important during pregnancy to accommodate the increased blood flow in a woman’s body during those nine months. In addition to the hormonal factor, the increasing size of the uterus during pregnancy stresses a woman’s hard-working lower leg veins, making them more vulnerable to damage. This is why many women see varicose veins form during pregnancy. In some cases, the veins disappear after the baby arrives, but other women see those bulging vessels linger long after their pregnancy.

Women may also have a higher risk for varicose veins if they tend to wear high heels frequently. This type of shoe prevents the calf muscle from flexing properly when you walk. Since the flexed calf muscle helps to push blood through the lower leg veins, when it doesn’t work properly, the veins have to work that much harder. This can also make them more prone to damage and varicosity.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, women have a number of treatment options for varicose veins available at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin. We offer state-of-the-art procedures to eliminate swollen veins and their uncomfortable symptoms with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. To learn more, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

What’s the Relationship between Spider and Varicose Veins?

November 18, 2016

between-spider-and-varicose-veinsSpider and varicose veins have one distinctly common characteristic – they can be unsightly enough to cause significant embarrassment. In addition to their cosmetic concern, do these visible veins share any common factors? The answer to that question depends on where the veins are located and what underlying cause might be contributing to their appearance.

 

 

What are Spider Veins?

Spider veins are visible vessels that frequently appear on the legs. However, these veins can also appear on the arms, face and abdomen. The networks of red, blue or purple of lines can often resemble a spider’s vein, which is where they get their name. There are a variety of factors that might contribute to the formation of spider veins:

  • Excessive exposure to UV rays
  • Trauma to the skin
  • Hormonal fluctuations
  • Some medications or medical conditions
  • Weight gain or a sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history of spider veins

These veins are not typically accompanied by physical symptoms. However, some patients with spider veins do experience the following side effects:

  • Pain or heaviness in the legs, especially at the end of the day
  • Swelling of the lower leg, ankle and foot
  • Cramping or restless legs when you try to rest at night
  • Fatigue in the legs after long periods of standing or sitting

What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are usually larger than spider veins and typically appear on the lower legs. These veins may also be discolored and may actually protrude above the surface of the skin. In some cases, they resemble flesh-colored, ropey vines that twist up the lower legs.

In addition to their unsightly appearance, varicose veins can cause similar symptoms to those listed above. Left untreated, they can also lead to discoloration of the skin and the formation of open sores around the ankles. Known as venous ulcers, these sores can become quite large and difficult to treat.

The Primary Cause of Varicose Veins

While spider veins can have a number of causes, varicose veins are most frequently the visible result of an underlying vein condition known as chronic venous insufficiency. This condition occurs when tiny valves inside the veins that are responsible for keeping blood flowing in a single direction stop working properly. This allows blood to reflux back into the veins, leading to swelling and varicosity.

The Role of Spider Veins

When spider veins appear near varicose veins, or are accompanied by the same symptoms, they can be a product of venous insufficiency as well. When this is the case, both spider and varicose veins are likely to get worse, rather than better, if they are left untreated. The good news is there are effective treatments for both spider and varicose veins that will address the underlying condition to eliminate both the appearance of the veins and their uncomfortable symptoms.

Seeking Treatment for Visible Veins

At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer treatment options for both spider and varicose veins. We can tailor our treatment options to your specific condition and concerns to ensure the best possible results from your procedure. All of our treatments are minimally-invasive, which means you can return home the same day as your procedure and usually resume your regular schedule the same day or the next day.

Don’t suffer the embarrassment or physical discomfort of spider or varicose veins any longer. We can help you eliminate the appearance of your veins and their painful symptoms. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

Top Mistakes in Treating Varicose Veins

October 13, 2016

Vein treatment Center Florida Vein treatments today typically offer very good results. These procedures are much better than the surgical procedures of the past, boasting high success rates with minimal discomfort and downtime involved. However, mistakes can happen during the assessment and treatment of vein disorders that can impact the effectiveness of your procedure. To protect yourself, it is a good idea to learn what these mistakes are and how to prevent them when you seek your own vein treatment.

Failing to Take Vein Disease Seriously

Unfortunately, many doctors that do not specialize in vein diseases fail to take these disorders seriously. If your physician brushes your concerns off as a “cosmetic” issue or a “normal” byproduct of aging, seek another opinion. While some visible veins are indeed mostly cosmetic, others can be a visible sign of an underlying condition that will only worsen if it is left unchecked. The only way to know the difference is to do a full vein evaluation that will pinpoint the source of the problem.

Incomplete Assessment of Vein Disorder

When you do schedule a vein assessment, select a physician with state-of-the-art ultrasound technology that can provide the best information about the blood flow inside the vessels. It is best to find a physician that does their own examinations, rather than outsourcing the job to a radiology clinic. This ensures the test is properly done, the results are accurately determined and the best treatment will be recommended.

Treating the Wrong Veins

Physicians that do not specialize in vein treatments may focus on treating the visible veins first, without determining whether underlying “feeder” veins also need to be eradicated. Unfortunately, if just the visible veins are treated, they are likely to return over time since the underlying problem continues to exist. An experienced vein specialist will know to check all the veins in the affected area so the appropriate veins are addressed.

Using the Wrong Treatment

There are any number of vein treatments available today, allowing physicians to tailor the treatment to the specific needs of each patient. Unfortunately, this also means inexperienced physicians might offer the wrong treatment for a specific condition, which will not prove as effective for the patient.

It is particularly important to watch out for physicians that want to perform a more invasive surgical procedure, rather than one of the less invasive procedures available today. In addition to involving more discomfort and downtime, surgical procedures are not generally as effective as the less invasive procedures available today.

Failure to Follow Up after Treatment

Even effective treatments need to be followed up to ensure they worked as they were supposed to. Experienced vein doctors always schedule a follow-up appointment with a patient to ensure the procedure was effective and there were no side effects associated with the procedure. At this appointment, the physician is also likely to give the patient advice on steps they might take to prevent future varicose veins from forming. The follow-up is a crucial part of the entire vein treatment process.

Dr. Jimenez at the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin has years of experience diagnosing and treating vein disorders of all kinds. He is committed to meeting with his patients at every appointment, from their initial consultation to their final follow-up. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Jimenez, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346.

3 Myths About Varicose Veins

August 1, 2016

3 Myths About Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a common problem that affects as many as half of all adults over the age of 50. Despite their prevalence, not everyone that suffers with these bulging vessels understands what the condition is all about. To help you separate the fact from the fiction, check out these three common myths about varicose veins and the truth behind them.

 

Myth #1: Varicose veins are nothing but ugly, swollen vessels.

While it may be true that varicose veins are unsightly, they are also a visible symptom of an underlying vein condition. Varicose veins often occur as a result of a disorder known as chronic venous insufficiency or CVI. This condition develops when tiny valves inside the veins stop working properly, allowing blood to reflux and pool inside the vessel. The results is a weakened, swollen vein that becomes varicose over time.

When CVI is the reason behind your varicose veins, it is also important to know that the condition can worsen if it is left unchecked. You might begin to develop symptoms along with your varicose veins, such as pain and swelling of the lower leg. Skin changes can also occur, due to the increased pressure inside the veins. If the condition is not treated, you may find some of those skin changes, including discoloration and thickening, may become permanent.

 

Myth #2: Only little old ladies get varicose veins.

When you think about varicose veins, does your grandmother come to your mind? While those swollen vessels are a common bane to the senior female set, this group is certainly not the only one to struggle with this condition. In fact, varicose veins can happen to anyone. Some of the factors that might increase your risk for varicose veins include:

 

  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Family or personal history of blood-clotting disorders
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Significant weight gain
  • Long periods of sitting (such as on a plane) or standing
  • Pregnancy
  • Leg trauma that caused damage to the veins

 

If you have any of these risk factors, the best approach is to take preventative steps as soon as possible. If you are sedentary or have gained weight, develop a daily exercise plan that will get the muscles moving and the veins working more efficiently. If your job requires long periods of sitting or standing, make sure to take regular breaks to exercise the legs and get the blood pumping. You can also talk to your doctor about whether compression stockings – special socks that promote healthy blood flow in the lower legs – might be a good choice for you.

 

Myth #3: There is nothing you can do about your varicose veins.

Despite their unattractive appearance and even their discomfort, many varicose vein sufferers are resigned to the fact they will have to live with their bulging vessels forever. This could not be further from the truth. Today, there are many minimally-invasive vein treatments that effectively eliminate varicose veins and their painful symptoms.

At the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer a variety of vein treatments that allow us to tailor your procedure to your specific condition. Choice of treatment often depends on the size of the varicose veins and their location. With state-of-the-art technology and tried-and-true treatment options, we can help you get rid of those uncomfortable veins without putting a major crimp in your daily routine.

Varicose veins are not something you simply must suffer with. Contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin today at 800-910-8346 to find out which vein treatment is the right one for you.

Why Varicose Veins are More than a Cosmetic Issue

August 14, 2015

Varicose Vein Treatment Center Florida

Varicose veins are bulging, twisting lines that usually appear on the lower legs. There is no doubt these veins can become quite unsightly, making some sufferers self-conscious about appearing in public in shorts or bathing suits. However, the problems with varicose veins can go much deeper than their cosmetic appearance for some individuals, requiring treatment to not only eliminate their look, but uncomfortable symptoms and potential complications as well.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Some varicose vein sufferers will find the discomfort of their veins moves beyond embarrassment over their appearance. Symptoms can appear over time, which might include any or all of the following:

  • Leg heaviness or fatigue, particularly at the end of the day
  • Aching or swelling of the lower legs, ankles and feet
  • Cramping or restless legs at night when you lie down to sleep
  • Throbbing or aching pain during or after activity
  • Itching or irritation of the skin around the affected vein
  • Changes to skin color or texture around the affected vein

The Underlying Cause

To understand the reason behind the symptoms, you need to know about the most common underlying cause of varicose veins. Venous insufficiency is a condition that affects the tiny valves inside the veins that are responsible for keeping blood flowing in a single direction to the heart. Over time, these valves can become damaged or wear out, which leads to blood pooling inside of the vessels.

The problem tends to be most pronounced in the vessels of the lower legs, because these veins have the challenging task of moving blood against gravity and the body’s own weight to pump it back up to the heart. When blood pools in the lower extremities, it can lead to swelling of the vessels and the appearance of varicose veins. It can also lead to many of the uncomfortable symptoms listed above.

Possible Complications

Venous insufficiency is a condition that can grow worse over time if it is left unchecked. Complications of venous insufficiency might include a higher risk of blood clot formation in the vessels of the lower leg. A painful condition known as phlebitis or inflammation of the vessel can also develop. Some sufferers might see significant skin changes that lead to the formation of painful open sores around the ankle. Known as venous ulcers, these chronic wounds can be very difficult to treat.


Fortunately, symptoms can be relieved and complications can be prevented through a variety of treatment options today. At Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we offer minimally-invasive procedures that eliminate unsightly, uncomfortable veins without a major disruption to your daily schedule. To learn more about your treatment options, contact the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 800-910-VEIN.