Here at the Vein Clinic, we get a lot of concerned patients. One question we’ve heard quite often is if vein issues, such as varicose veins in legs, indicate problems with the heart. While we can understand how this concern could come about, it’s actually nothing to worry about. Here’s why you can rest easy about your heart health if you have varicose veins.
Veins Vs. Arteries
Veins carry deoxygenated blood from various organs in our bodies back to our heart, while arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to various organs. The biggest differences between veins and arteries (besides the fact that one system carries blood to the heart, and the other away from the heart) is that vein walls are less elastic and that they also contain valves, which prevent the backwards flow of blood.
What Varicose Veins Actually Mean
Varicose veins do not indicate a problem with your heart because they actually have nothing to do with your heart (except that they carry blood back to your major organ). The bulging, sometimes often painful, veins in your legs or other areas are actually a symptom of improper valve functioning inside your veins. That’s really it. Several factors can cause your valves to stop functioning correctly, from heredity, to inactivity, to poor diet. A heart problem is not a factor in vein issues or vice versa.
Artery issues, on the other hand, can be a major indicator of heart problems. Coronary artery disease, or more often called, heart disease, is caused by poor artery health. Often, people who have heart disease suffer from narrowed arteries due to plaque buildup. These arteries aren’t able to supply as much oxygenated blood to organs as quickly as healthy arteries should. If your doctor thinks you might be at risk of this, he or she will often recommend a stress test to see how well your arteries react to exercise.
So, if you suffer from vein issues like varicose veins or spider veins, it does not necessarily mean you have anything wrong with your heart. If you’re concerned, it’s always best to speak with your general practitioner, as some people may suffer from several diseases at the same time.
If you’re tired of dealing with annoying varicose veins, the Vein Clinic of Greater Kansas City can provide you with the most technologically advanced treatments. Call us today at 913-541-3377 to schedule a consultation.