The proper circulation of blood in the body is important. Should you have damage in one of the valves in your veins, it will be challenging for the vein to return blood to your heart. This can result in pooling of the blood in the vein, and the increased pressure can lead to venous disease.
Some people are just more prone to vein problems than others, and that’s because vein diseases have a hereditary factor. What this means is that hereditary risk for venous diseases can be passed down from parents to children.
In this blog, we are going to discuss the influence of genetics on vein health, and what you can do to lower your risk.
How Much Do Genes Influence Vein Health?
Genes play a crucial role in determining the structure and function of our veins. We can inherit some genetic variations that determine the strength and integrity of our veins. For instance, you can inherit weakened vein walls valve dysfunction from your parents or grandparents.
These variations can lead to problems with the veins. Venous disease, such as varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), can have a genetic component, increasing an individual’s risk of developing these conditions.
According to available research, scientists have discovered specific genetic markers that are linked to weakened vein walls and defective vein valves. In one study, researchers looked at families with some members who had a specific genetic marker called D16S520 and found that they experienced a condition called saphenofemoral junction reflux, or blood flowing in the wrong direction in their leg veins. Other markers have been found to increase susceptibility to other vein issues.
If you have a family member with varicose veins, your risk for developing it increases by 50 percent. However, heredity is not always straightforward. Many factors have to come together to influence the development of venous diseases.
What Can You Do to Lower Your Risk for Venous Conditions?
It is important to note that genetics alone do not guarantee the development of venous disease. Other factors, such as lifestyle choices, can also increase the risk of developing them, such as:
- Being overweight or obese
- Inactivity or being sedentary
- Prolonged sitting or standing
While you can’t change your genetics, you can take steps to lower your risk of developing venous conditions.
The following lifestyle changes can help you maintain healthy veins:
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help improve blood flow in the legs and improve vein health.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight puts greater pressure on your leg veins, so lose extra pounds to minimize stress on the veins as much as possible.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods: If you have a job that requires sitting or standing for long periods, take breaks regularly. Aim to move around frequently.
- Wear compression stockings: Compression stockings offer many benefits, since the added compression improves blood flow and helps prevent blood clots.
- Consult a vein doctor: If you have a family history of venous conditions or notice any symptoms, consult a vein specialist. They can do a screening and recommend the best course of action to keep your veins healthy.
If you have a family history of vein disease, it is essential to be vigilant and keep an eye out for any new changes in feeling or appearance of your legs. Let your healthcare provider know of your family history of vein disease to better plan your care. Early intervention means you have a greater chance at responding well to conservative treatments.
At the Advanced Heart and Vascular Institute, our team of highly skilled vein specialists are skilled in the treatment of venous diseases. We have a dedicated vein clinic to serve your needs, where we address issues such as spider veins, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency. If you are concerned about your genetic risk, we can help you manage it.
To get started on your journey towards better vein health, simply contact our office at (561) 235-5621 to schedule an appointment or use our online request form. It is our privilege to serve you.