With the news media and the popular press so highly focused on varicose veins and varicose vein treatment these days, most adults know that edema in the legs, i.e. swelling of the legs, is a very common symptom of varicose veins. People also know that varicose veins are highly hereditary so if your mom, dad, aunts, and uncles have varicose veins, you are far more likely than the general population to have them too.
Further, people have learned that just because you don’t see one of those ugly blue veins at the surface of the skin, this does not mean you don’t have varicose veins. You may have varicose veins deeper down where you can’t see them through the skin. These deeper varicose veins may be causing the leg swelling prompting you to seek the advice (hopefully) from an experienced phlebologist (vein doctor) at a varicose vein treatment center like Metro Vein Centers.
But…. you need to also be aware that the news media and popular press have not done a good job at reporting that leg swelling may also be caused by other medical conditions. In other words, other medical conditions can actually mimic the symptoms caused by varicose veins.
Furthermore, a patient could be experiencing edema and leg discomfort due to more than one medical condition! For example, she could have varicose veins and lymphedema at the same time. In this case, receiving varicose vein treatment may improve the symptoms of leg swelling and aching but not entirely eliminate it. In other words, you could go into a varicose vein treatment clinic, have duplex ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy performed on your problem vein(s), and still experience edema due to lymphedema, even if the procedure was fully successful.
So, from a patient’s perspective, if she is experiencing leg edema, it would be very helpful to visit a varicose vein treatment center like Metro Vein Centers and get a duplex ultrasound performed that will determine if there is any indication of venous reflux, where blood flows the wrong way in a vein. This is caused by damage to vein walls and vein valves.
The vein doctor who performs the procedure can then recommend the type of varicose vein treatment that she believes would be most helpful to clear the symptoms. However, she may also advise the patient that the procedure may not completely eliminate the symptoms. She may also refer the patient to another doctor who is a specialist in lymphedema.
Another possibility when this patient has the duplex ultrasound performed on her legs is that no venous reflux is found, and no damage to the vein walls or vein valves are found. This indicts the symptoms she is experiencing, i.e. leg swell and achiness in her legs, are not due to varicose veins
Lymphedema occurs when the lymph nodes are blocked in some way. It is important to note, however, that leg swelling may also occur with certain types of kidney disease and certain types of heart disease. For example, a puffy swelling in the legs may indicate a failure in the right ventricle of the heart. Here’s another good example. Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disease where the small vessels in the kidney have been damaged to the point they don’t filter out excess water in the blood. This causes swelling in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Nephrotic syndrome is common in type 2 diabetics because high blood sugar is notorious for damaging the small vessels in the kidneys.
In conclusion, it’s important that you have an actual vein doctor at a varicose vein treatment clinic do a full exam and give you his or her diagnosis. You should never depend on oversimplified health articles published in the news media and in the popular press to make your own self-diagnosis! This is the most important point you should remember from this article.
Yes, while edema is a common sign of varicose vein disease, it can also be a symptom of other types of diseases. You may also be experiencing more than one medical problem contributing to the same or similar symptoms. It will take a clinician doing diagnostic testing to get to the bottom of such a complicated medical matter.
You can get a free evaluation at Metro Vein Centers, a highly respected varicose vein treatment center. Just give them a call to set it up. The doctors at Metro Vein Centers are highly experienced. They will be able to tell you if you do indeed have varicose vein disease and if you may have one or more other medical condition causing similar symptoms. They can also recommend the best course of action.