When talking to patients in our vein practice on Maui and Kauai – especially those who have been trying to “live with” their varicose veins without having them treated – it is hard for them to accept that that their vein disease can affect their careers. They say things like, “Yes, I understand that my varicose veins have affected the way I dress, and they affect my sense of self-esteem every time I look in a mirror, but how could they possibly affect my JOB?”
Vein disease is more than its surface symptoms
We understand that the appearance of varicose veins makes them distressing from an aesthetic point of view. But it’s important to understand that your swollen and discolored veins are merely the surface symptoms of a deeper circulatory problem. The most common cause of varicose veins is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition in which blood no longer flows to your heart and lungs as it should, and instead flows “backwards” and collects in the veins affected by the disease. This is what causes them to swell, turn the color of deoxygenated blood, and spoil the appearance of your legs.
Beneath the surface of your skin, however, CVI is spoiling a lot more that you can’t see. It is impairing your overall circulation and, if left untreated, can quickly result in swollen legs and ankles so painful you can’t easily stand or walk. Now think about your job. If it requires you to stand or walk, your ability to do this is going to be impacted by a vein disease that makes you feel so weak that all you can do is sit around moaning. Untreated CVI also results in a general lack of energy that can become so debilitating that you actually start to miss work because you don’t have the energy to work.
Worse, impaired circulation quickly results in an impaired immune system
Sadly, this lack of energy is not the only thing that can affect your attendance at work. Vein disease IS, after all, a real disease, and one that profoundly weakens your immune system, and if you don’t seek treatment you increase your risk of developing other, more serious diseases. First, you’re more likely to become overweight or obese, not just because your painful legs keep you from exercising, but because your impaired circulation keeps you from digesting your food properly. Second, CVI dramatically increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. And third, untreated CVI increases your risk of developing a more serious vein disease called deep vein thrombosis(DVT), which is so dangerous that over 300,000 Americans die from its complications every year.
So how do I keep vein disease from affecting my health and my job?
Your first step in the fight against vein disease should be to find out if you have it, and if so, how bad it is. If you have visible varicose veins or spider veins, there is a strong possibility that you have CVI. But diseases like DVT can “hide” for many years and affect your health (and your work) without your knowledge. The way to find out for sure whether you have vein disease is to call one of the best vein doctors in Hawaii at Vein Clinics of Hawaii to schedule a venous health screening.
If, after your checkup, Dr. Randall S. Juleff finds that you have vein disease, he will present your treatment options and help you to select the ones that are best for you. If you don’t have vein disease yet but he finds that you are at high risk of developing it, he can recommend ways to prevent it. So give our vein treatment center in Hawaii a call today and get proactive about your vein health. You’ll be glad you did.