As far as long term cardiovascular health is concerned, there’s been a lot of fanfare over the years about clogged arteries and how they can negatively impact your lifespan.
The downside of this extreme focus on arteries is that veins have been pushed aside and in my personal opinion neglected. An artery carries blood away from the heart towards the body to supply oxygenated blood while veins return the blood once the oxygen has been given away for it to be reoxygenated by the heart. Neither is more important than the other because if one system failed the other wouldn’t be able to operate a full capacity.
So, that’s why having healthy veins is just as important as having healthy arteries. Not convinced? Here’s what happens when you neglect your vein health:
Vericose And Spider Veins
Veins are unique from arteries in that they have specialized valves in them meant to prevent the backflow of blood. When these valves become damaged over time, they don’t work as they should and blood begins to pool. This is what causes varicose veins. At the end of the day varicose veins are mainly a cosmetic issue, but the fact that blood is pooling at the parts of your veins specifically intended to avoid blood pooling isn’t a good indicator for your overall health.
Spider veins on the other hand can be extremely painful and are caused through a similar fashion as varicose veins, but are much more insidious. Spider veins are extremely visible and are symptomatic of large amounts of blood pooling at the valves in the veins meant to prevent backflow.
The amount of blood that pools is significantly larger than in varicose veins, which means that a significant amount of blood is not returned to the heart to be oxygenated and recirculated throughout the body. This puts much more strain on the cardiovascular system to produce more blood to replace what is being lost to each spider vein, and with each subsequent circulatory cycle there is a risk that more blood will be lost to these spider veins.
What These Conditions Can Cause
While everybody knows that a clogged artery can result in a heart attack, what exactly are the health implications from clogged veins? Well, they are actually numerous and range from a nuisance to fatal. Varicose veins as well as spider veins can result in conditions such as leg pain, a throbbing in the leg, swelling of the feet, or even stranger conditions like restless leg syndrome. When your veins aren’t working at peak efficiency, there is a much higher amount of stress placed on your cardiovascular system.
While it might not seem like a big issue in the short term, over the long term this means that you might suffer serious health problems later in life. Your veins shouldn’t be neglected in favor of your arteries or other parts of your heart just because they get all of the spotlight in the mainstream media. The best way to care of your veins is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a proper diet and lots of exercise. Best of luck to you!