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Varicose Veins Are Actually a Symptom of High Blood Pressure in Veins

Varicose Veins Are Actually a Symptom of High Blood Pressure in Veins

Posted on September 24, 2013 by Dr. Stephen Rivard

That's right! In fac,t all of the symptoms of varicose veins are really caused by venous hypertension (or venous insufficiency) which is actually high blood pressure inside the veins (not to be confused with arterial high blood pressure). This "venous high blood pressure" (venous hypertension) is created when the pressure in the veins builds to the point where the veins valves break. 

All veins have many one-way valves that pump the blood from your extremities back to your heart.  The vein valves have a harder job than the arteries that pump blood from the heart and work with gravity to flow downward, whereas the vein values use a squeezing action to pump it back up.  This occurs when we are standing on our feet or using our muscles during exercise by forcing the blood upward as our muscles flex.  For example, as we walk the blood in our feet gets pressed into our calf-muscle, which then flexes squeezing the blood inside the muscle to continue moving up the body eventually making its way back to the heart.

However, due to the various factors that can contribute to varicose veins roughly 1 out of every 4 individuals will have vein values that eventually break, most likely in the legs. Over time more vein valves break and the pressure builds and intensifies causing the vein walls to stretch.

Venous Hyptertension

This pressure pulls the vein valves apart until the person develops venous hypertension (venous high blood pressure). When our valves do not work, the backward flow called "reflux" causes a pooling of blood that does not have the valves to pump it back to the heart.

So you see, varicose veins are not the problem! They are really a symptom of a more serious condition chronic venous hypertension or venous high blood pressure.When venous hypertension occurs, the pressure in branch veins, connected to the larger veins, also begins to rise and their valves break in a cascading fashion. If these branches bulge through the skin in a bumpy or rope-like way, they are known as varicose veins.

It is important to remember that vein disease is real disease; it's actually high blood pressure in the venous system. And just like arterial high blood pressure, it requires medical intervention now  whether or not you have pain!


For more information, download our Patient Guide!

DOWNLOAD A Patient's Guide to Treating Varicose & Spider Veins


Seeking Relief from a Board Certified Vein Specialist 

At Illinois Vein Specialists, we care just as much about the medicine and the specialized practice of Phlebology (the treatment of vein and lymphatic disease) as we do our patients. We focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois.

We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins — find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic physician.

Tagged venous hypertension, venous insufficiency, high blood pressure, venous high blood pressure


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