Cause of Venous Disease
Causes of swollen legs and other venous disease issues
Venous disease affects more than 25 million Americans today. It is caused when the walls of the veins become weak or damaged. In a healthy individual, veins have one-way valves that work within the circulatory system to pump blood back up to the heart.
In a normal circulatory system, the blood flows to and from the heart by way of arteries and veins. Arteries take oxygen rich blood away from the heart and veins return blood to the heart. As muscles contract, the blood is squeezed forward in the veins. When muscles relax, the valves shut to prevent blood from flowing backwards. When an abnormal circulatory problem exists in the body, and the blood from the legs cannot efficiently return to the heart, the condition is known as venous insufficiency.
More specifically, when the vein walls become weak or diseased, a faulty or weak valve can exist within the vein. This prevents the valve from directing the blood flow upwards and against the pull of gravity. When a valve fails to function correctly and not close correctly, there is a reflux of blood in a negative direction. This leads to a pooling of the blood or backward flow and can cause a variety of vein complications such as chronic vein disease, which includes varicose and spider veins, reticular veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots, superficial phlebitis and chronic venous insufficiency.
Heredity is one of the single most important causes of venous disease, however other factors can influence vein disease including pregnancy (especially multiple pregnancies), age, gender, obesity, lack of exercise, and jobs requiring long periods of standing. There are many conditions including varicose and spider veins, vascular conditions which may require surgery.