A Family Affair: Learning about chronic venous disease and varicose veins

With chronic venous disease, easy-to-spot signs and symptoms may indicate a serious health condition

Let’s face it: pregnancy and childbirth are hard on our bodies in more ways than one. And no matter how much we take care of our health by exercising and eating well, there are conditions that we may not be able to prevent. For my mom and grandmother, that meant suffering from varicose veins after childbirth. Women that live with varicose veins know the impact goes well beyond the cosmetic aspect, causing achy and heavy feelings in the legs, as well as itching, throbbing and swelling. What sufferers don’t know is that varicose veins can be a sign of an underlying condition called chronic venous disease.  

A recent survey uncovered that an estimated 70% of women over the age of 35 have experienced at least one symptom of chronic venous disease, but only 11% of them know what “chronic venous disease” is. For those who are unfamiliar, chronic venous disease is a progressive inflammatory condition caused by poor blood circulation in the legs. Most don’t think to seek help from their doctors. That’s such a shame, because the disease can be extremely uncomfortable. Swelling, pain, and feeling of tightness in the lower limbs, leg fatigue, as well as spider and varicose veins are all signs and symptoms of chronic venous disease, and unfortunately, it will last indefinitely without treatment.

What’s more is that it can worsen, according to Dr. David Liu, an Interventional Radiologist and Clinical Professor at UBC, and Founder of EVA Vein Care, a dedicated outpatient venous disease clinic. “(People need to know) that it is a real disease with health risks that can get worse over time. Recognition and proper diagnosis will not only improve symptoms, but also prevent more serious conditions,” he says.

So far I’ve been lucky enough to avoid chronic venous disease myself for now; however, it is hereditary and I do know that it can appear later in life – it’s most common in women aged 35 and older. For my mom and grandma, I was happy to learn that there are treatments. 

The symptoms of varicose veins affect so many women in different ways and we all try to find solutions if not remedies to relieve some of the discomfort and inconvenience of the condition.  I was one of the lucky ones.   I only had to deal with the appearance more than anything else. Those blue-red veins I felt were an embarrassment to me since I was the kind of woman who always liked to wear shorts and skirts with flip flops in the nice weather.  My mother however had a more difficult time, with the big, numerous noticeable blue veins along the back of the legs that were puffy and so painful that she often had to take a break during the day to elevate her legs to get some relief. She always tried to cover them up and would never wear shorts or skirts as she got older. It certainly is a problem that many women are faced to deal with. However, it’s so nice to find that there are some products available that can treat and offer some relief for the underlying condition, chronic venous disease. Now..      

I told them both about Venixxa—an oral over-the-counter natural health product that can help relieve the signs and symptoms of mild-to-moderate chronic venous disease. It does that by addressing loss of tone in the vein walls, increasing blood flow through the veins thanks to its active ingredients that are extracted from immature oranges. This provides relief from pain, swelling and heaviness.

“Treatment should begin at the first signs and symptoms of chronic venous disease, and consists of a spectrum of therapies ranging from the use of veno-active products such as Venixxa, to compression stockings to surgery,” Dr. Liu explains. “Proper diagnosis and staging of chronic venous disease is essential.”

It’s all about addressing and maintaining vein health in the long-term, which can mean greater confidence to be active without leg pain and swelling. That also means that my mom and grandma can run around and play with Pierce more often, so it’s a win-win-win! 

What would you do differently if you felt more confident this summer? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!

N xx

Thank you to Venixxa for sponsoring this post, all comments and opinions are my own.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JENNA HILL PHOTOGRAPHY

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