The most common vein disorders are varicose veins and its smaller version, spider veins. If you have spider veins or varicose veins, chances are that you have at least one family member who also has this vein disorder.
Spider veins are small, thin blood vessels that can be seen on the skin as bluish or greenish lines. Varicose veins are larger blood vessels that can form visible bulges. Both tend to be noticeable mostly on the legs.
If a patient has damaged or insufficient vein walls, this can hinder the circulatory system. This can cause stretching and twisting of the veins, increased swelling, sluggish blood flow, and potential blood clot formation.
A person’s genes control the development of bodily tissues, and they can also influence a person’s susceptibility to developing venous diseases and conditions. Genetics, lifestyle, and other factors can play a role in the development of vein diseases.
How Genetics Influences Vein Disease
Genetic factors can increase the chances of developing various vein conditions. Specific genes can make a person’s veins more prone to stretching and permanent deformation. Genes can compromise vein valves by altering their structure, preventing them from closing properly.
Genes also affect the properties of a person’s blood. Some individuals have blood that is thicker and tends to clot more easily than others. Blood clots can interfere with blood flow through veins and prevent valves from functioning correctly; a clot can also dislodge and land in a lung or in the brain, which can cause a pulmonary embolism or a stroke, respectively.
However, research is still ongoing as to how genes may give rise to vein disease. Some people have genes that promote varicose veins but might not have the condition themselves.
Therefore, while genetics plays a role in promoting vein disease, it is not the only determinant. Environment and lifestyle also have a major influence on whether someone is susceptible to varicose veins or another type of vein disease, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
How Do You Get Varicose Veins?
Veins transport de-oxygenated blood – blood that has already been utilized by cells throughout the body for its oxygen – from the limbs and other organs and tissues back toward the heart. This process keeps the blood in circulation, flowing properly and in the correct direction.
The heart then pumps, providing the action needed to drive the blood through the blood vessels in the body. However, any friction in the vessel walls tends to slow down the circulation of blood. To prevent backflow (blood going in the wrong direction), veins have internal valves that ensure that blood can only flow forward.
In the case of spider veins and varicose veins, the vein walls – which are thin and flexible – start to stretch out. This causes the veins to enlarge. The extra pressure exerted by the blood in the veins can then wear out the internal valves; damaged valves may allow blood to flow backward, potentially causing blood to pool and veins to bulge.
Who Can Treat My Vein Disease?
If you are seeking treatment for spider veins, varicose veins, blood clots, DVT, stroke, or other vascular issue, consult the professionals right here in Houston, Texas.
Contact us at The Vein Institute & MediSpa by calling (281) 312-0208 or set an appointment online now. We look forward to serving you!