February is the month for Valentine’s Day, but it’s also American Heart Month – an annual campaign designed to get people talking about heart health. Heart disease affects more Americans than all types of cancer combined, in ways ranging from cardiovascular disease to strokes, heart attacks and vein health.

Heart and circulatory problems

All parts of the circulatory system must work well together for optimal heart health. Here are some conditions you should be aware of:

Venous insufficiency (inadequate blood flow)

Good overall health depends on your circulatory system – your veins, arteries and heart – working together harmoniously, carrying nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood to your hard-working organs and extremities. When there’s a breakdown in that system, blood can collect or “pool”, in your veins. If your circulatory system is out of sync, arteries can’t efficiently carry blood away from your heart to other parts of your body, and veins can’t bring it back.

Varicose and spider veins

Those thick cord-like veins bulging along your leg can often be a sign of a much bigger issue. In addition to significant physical discomfort, the elevated vein pressure of varicose veins has been linked to right-sided heart failure. Now is an ideal time to check your vein health and get checked for early signs of varicose or smaller spider veins.

Blood clots

Whether caused by poor diet choices, smoking, dehydration, or underlying medical conditions, blood clots can cause life-threatening medical emergencies. The body naturally forms blood clots in response to bleeding. But when a clot forms inappropriately inside a vein or artery, the decreased blood flow can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

High blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure makes your heart, veins, and arteries work harder and less efficiently. Over time, that increased workload can lead to arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), heart attacks, and strokes.

Liver disease

Your liver plays a vital role in both breaking down and getting rid of harmful substances, such as homocysteine, an amino acid found in the blood that results from eating meat. If the liver isn’t breaking this chemical down effectively, it can result in plaque formation along artery walls, which in turn can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Because healthy veins are essential to your overall good health, the best way to keep veins in tip-top shape is to take care of your heart. A healthy heart moves blood throughout the body efficiently and can prevent the formation of both varicose and spider veins.

Lifestyle changes + treatment = putting your best foot (and leg) forward

Lifestyle changes can actually help reverse early signs of heart disease, improving overall heart health. These include:

  • quitting smoking,
  • getting regular exercise,
  • eating a well-balanced diet,
  • drinking plenty of water,
  • going for daily walks, and
  • sleeping enough each night

Treatment for spider and varicose veins can reinforce your heart-healthy lifestyle changes by supporting the look and health of your veins.

Most women and nearly half of men will have vein disease by the time they’re 60. Vein disease can lead to serious circulatory problems, so it’s important to get yourself checked for this condition. What better time than American Heart Month?

You don’t have to suffer from vein problems. A consultation with the vein specialists at VeinInnovations can help you identify vein damage and find treatment options to get you back in the swing and living your best life.