What are the different stages of vein infection in human beings – well, there are 7 in all. There are six different stages of vein infection in human beings. Each stage here is signified with distinct symptoms. Each of these stages is also progressive in nature.
In simpler words, vein infection (especially in the lower body) progresses in a slow yet steady manner. There are 6 different stages of vein infection in humans. The final stage is considered chronic in nature.
Nonetheless, if you know more about this disease, managing and containing it in the early stages is quite possible.
So, in this article, I shall discuss the different stages of this disease and the most suitable way to avoid complications.
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Different Stages of Vein Infection in Human Beings Article Contents:
1) What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency in Human Beings?
2) What are the Main Causes behind Vein Infections?
3) How does Chronic Venous Insufficiency Adversely Affect Your Day to Day Life?
4) How to Detect if You have Developed a Vein Disease or Infection in the Vein?
5) What are the Different Stages of Vein Infection in Human Beings?
6) How to Treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency at Home?
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency in Human Beings?
Chronic Venous Insufficiency is a medical term used to denote infection in the human veins. This infection or disease tends to restrict the normal blood flow in the veins.
Owing to this very reason, the veins start to get damaged. As the normal ‘to and fro’ movement of the blood is restricted, your veins start to get inflamed.
Simply put, obstruction in your veins stops the blood from moving from your legs back to the heart. This is owing to faulty valves present in the veins.
When the blood flow to your heart is restricted, the extra blood tends to get pooled in your legs. The end result is the development of high pressure in your veins.
What Type of Veins are Affected by Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Vein disease tends to affect three main types of veins in the human body. These include:
@ Superficial Veins:
These are the veins that are usually found on the outer surface of your body. You can locate these easily as they are placed closer to the skin’s surface.
There are 2 types of superficial veins. The first is the “great saphenous vein”. This is the largest vein in the body. The second is termed as the “lesser saphenous vein”.
@ Deep Veins:
This is a separate section of the veins that tends to run through the muscles. These veins tend to be embedded deep within the muscles of the human body.
Deep veins are also present in an uncanny and intricate network that travel across the length and breadth of your body. There are a total of 7 deep veins in the body.
@ Perforated Veins:
The perforated veins act as a bridge in between deep veins and superficial veins. The deep as well as the superficial muscles of the legs are separated by perforated veins.
Each human leg contains one hundred and fifty perforated veins. Another name for perforating veins is ‘communicating veins’.
Vein disease is a result of the ‘backflow valve’ located in the veins of the leg malfunctioning. This leads to restricted backflow of blood from the leg to the heart.
When this happens, blood accumulates in the vein of your legs. This pool of blood causes ailments of various kinds (including blood clots).
What are the Main Causes behind Vein Infections?
Veins are structures shaped like miniature pipes that run along the entire length and breath of the human body. These structures are made of thin walls.
Within these walls is a set of special valves. These valves encourage the flow of blood initiating from the heart to flow in a single direction (back to the heart).
So, while the arteries pump blood that is rich in oxygen to your body, the veins push the blood back from the body to the heart. If the veins are blocked (owing to valve malfunction) then, diseases are in the pipeline.
Here are the main reasons why you may develop Chronic Venous Insufficiency:
Lack of Mobility:
When you are not moving your body enough then, it is highly likely that your normal vein functionality shall malfunction. Ideally, lazy people are not to be confused with people with lack of mobility.
Over here, vein diseases are affecting people who are unable to move their limbs. The reason for the same may be owing to an illness that restricts normal mobility.
For example, you have undergone a surgical procedure in the hip or knee area. This in turn forces you to remain bedridden. People with paralysis too are unable to move their body optimally.
So, lack of mobility owing to an injury or a surgery or an illness is directly responsible for causing Chronic Venous Insufficiency.
There are several types of cancers that tend to adversely affect the optimal functionality of veins. A classic example is leukemia or blood cancer.
Even cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can cause damage to the heart. When that happens, normal blood flow is restricted. The end result is damaged veins and arteries.
So, it is not only the cancer but also the harsh medicines used for treating cancers that can cause Chronic Venous Insufficiency in human beings.
An Expecting Mother
Owing to the dramatic changes in hormonal composition, a pregnant woman may experience vein disease. The most common ailment is varicose veins.
Edema as well as skin rash and night cramps are also common in pregnant women. Owing to changes in the cardiovascular system in women, normal blood flow is compromised.
This in turn leads to vain damage. Oxidative stress and cellular damage in pregnant women too are reasons for causing vein diseases in women.
An Injured Blood Vessel:
Blood vessel is sensitive to external injuries. So, if you damage your blood vessels owing to an external injury then, it is possible to contract vein infections and diseases.
Infection via organisms can also cause vein related ailments. Chemotherapy medicines used for treating cancer is also known to cause vain diseases.
If you have been admitted to the hospital and have been administered catheter then again, the needle (used in catheter) can cause injuries to the vein.
Familial Glucocorticoid Deficiency
In the absence of glucocorticoid hormone production, the normal blood flow is compromised. Basically, the adrenal gland is responsible for this.
Nonetheless, lack of optimal blood flow causes blood to pool in the veins present in the leg. This in turn causes vein damage. Hypoglycemia is a direct resultant of glucocorticoid hormone deficiency.
So, the high blood sugar levels tend to damage the sensitive inner lining of the vein.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Yet another reason for vein diseases in the lower body is systemic lupus erythematosus. This disease causes deep vein thrombosis. The small as well as mid-sized veins in the human body are most affected by lupus infection.
Obesity and Family History:
People who are overweight have been known to develop vein diseases rather quickly. Moreover, people with a family history of vein diseases tend to succumb to this infection very easily.
Obese individuals tend to suffer from various ailments such as diabetes and thyroid related issues. This in turn increases their chances of developing vein infections. I (LeanAndFit review staff) strongly feel that maintaining optimal body weight is ideal for maintaining healthy veins.
Sedentary Lifestyle Coupled by Regular Smoking:
Yet another cause for vein diseases is smoking. Cigarettes contain thousands of harsh chemicals. These include carcinogens as well. So, damage to the vein is quite possible in smokers.
If you smoke cigarettes and are indulge in desk jobs then, the impact is simply doubled. Sitting for hours behind a desk jeopardizes normal blood flow in veins. Smoke from cigarettes damages the inner linings (of the vein).
The end result is chronic venous insufficiency.
How does Chronic Venous Insufficiency Adversely Affect Your Day to Day Life?
Diseases of the vein are basically caused when the valve located within them malfunctions. The valves located within the veins helps the blood flow in one direction – towards the heart.
When these valves are not working properly, the blood is unable to flow back to the heart. This forces the blood to stay pooled within the veins. This in turn causes the formation of lumps as the blood tends to thicken.
Here is how vein diseases tend to hamper your daily life:
Pain & Inflammation:
As your blood cannot flow backwards, pain and inflammation is natural. When your muscles relax, the blood in the veins tend to flow backwards.
This causes high pressure to develop in your veins. Pain is an aftereffect of this phenomenon. Hence, pain and discomfort in the lower limbs becomes a constant companion.
Cramps in the Legs:
Veins carry oxygen deficient blood back to the heart. Basically, the waste product is carried back to the heart by the veins. The heart then cleanses the blood and replenishes it with a fresh dose of oxygen.
When the toxic blood is unable to flow back to the heart, it forms a pool in the veins. The stagnant blood present within the veins causes cramps.
Poor vein functions tend to cause varicose veins. Over here, the veins in the legs become bluish in color and they tend to bulge outwards. Swelling in the legs and itching is normal in varicose veins.
The skin on your legs shall change its color. You can also develop cramps when you sleep at night. Moreover, your legs shall feel heavier than normal (thereby restricting your normal movement).
Ulcers in the Leg:
Poor blood circulation in the veins leads to wounds. This in turn may develop into ulcers. Skin rashes that develop into open wounds are a part and parcel of leg ulcers.
They are painful, cause itching and affect normal mobility. Your skin shall become fragile and can easily tear under minimal pressure. So basically, vein diseases hamper your normal leg movement.
How to Detect if You have Developed a Vein Disease or Infection in the Vein?
Well, there are several ways to identify whether you have indeed developed a disease in your vein or not.
Here are a few signs to watch out for in order to confirm your doubts:
@ Your legs tend to be in constant pain. The pain is normally felt at the back of your thigh area.
@ It is quite possible that you may experience frequent cramps in the calf region.
@ You may experience itchy sensation in the calf area. Even your ankles may be subject to constant pain.
@ Vein disease tends to force you to constantly move your legs. Also known as restless leg syndrome, this phenomenon is identified by moving your legs while sitting on a chair.
@ Ulcers in the leg and varicose veins is a common symptom of vein disease.
@ The natural color of your skin tends to change. It becomes brownish in color and is often flaky.
@ Basic mobility activities such as running and walking become a painful task indeed.
What are the Different Stages of Vein Infection in Human Beings?
As I have mentioned above, vein infections tend to progress in stages. They start slow before aggravating into chronic infections. There are a total of 7 stages of vein disease in human beings.
It is only when the valves in your vein are damaged (the main reasons for which I have discussed above) that you are unable to push the blood back to the heart.
This leads to ‘collection of the blood’ in the veins. The toxic blood pooled in the veins tends to damage the inner walls of the veins. The end result is vein diseases.
Here are the different stages of vein diseases in human beings:
Stage # 1:
In the very first stage, the valves are malfunctioning but they are not entirely ‘off the hook’. In simpler words, the valves located within the veins are partially working.
So, while some blood is accumulating within the veins, most of it is being dispatched to the heart for cleansing. You may however feel aches and pains in the lower half of the body (especially below the calf area).
Stage # 2:
In the second stage of vein infection, you shall begin to notice small capillaries popping out from underneath the skin of your calf area. Popularly termed as telangiectasias, this happens owing to the dilation of capillaries and veins.
They are also known as spider veins because of their structure.
So, tiny blood vessels located on the surface of the skin tend to burst. These lead to the appearance of purple and reddish marks on the skin surface.
@ You may experience pain and itching on the affected skin. This usually happens on the skin located in the calf area.
@ Bleeding is also quite common here. Your legs as well as your ankles may also experience inflammation.
@ It is also possible that your legs may feel awkwardly heavy. They would also start to ache for no logical reason.
Who all are Most Affected by Spider Veins:
@ People with past history of vein diseases.
@ Women that are pregnant and expecting a baby.
@ Drugs to combat hormonal changes (such as menopause) can lead to spider veins.
@ Women that have crossed the fifty year age barrier are more likely to develop spider veins.
@ Men and women that are 60 years of age or older tend to develop spider veins. This is owing to the weakening of veins and blood vessels as you get older.
@ If you are obese then, your chances of developing spider veins increases manyfold.
@ Finally, if your job requires you to sit behind a desk for long hours then again, you tend to develop spider veins.
Stage # 3:
In the third stage, your spider veins give rise to ropey veins. Almost 70 percentile of vein diseases are categorized under this sub-header (ropey veins).
Most people tend to recognize the third stage of this infection via the name ‘varicose veins’.
@ People who suffer from varicose veins tend to experience numb and tingling sensation in their legs.
@ Your feet (especially in the calf region) experience swelling and itching.
@ Your legs feel numb and heavy.
@ Your legs are often always swollen.
@ You also experience constant itch in your lower body.
@ The color of your skin around the veins tends to change.
@ When you fall asleep at night, it is highly likely that you shall suffer from calf cramps.
Who all are Most Affected by Varicose Veins:
@ Varicose veins affect senior citizens the most.
@ If you are pregnant then again, your hormonal imbalance shall lead to varicose veins in women.
@ Most women that have crossed the 55 year age mark tend to develop varicose veins. This is again owing to the side effects caused by menopause.
@ Overweight men and women are most prone to developing vein diseases.
@ If you have a family history of vein ailments then, you too may fall prey to the same.
@ Side effects to medications meant to treat cancers is also a cause behind varicose veins.
Stage # 4:
This is an advanced stage of vein disease wherein the leg tends to swell considerably.
Popularly known as edema, this stage of vein ailment can be best described as permanent swelling in the thigh and calf area.
Basically, when excess toxic fluid gets stuck in the veins owing to faulty valves, it leads to inflammation in the concerned area.
@ You shall experience swelling right underneath the skin tissue.
@ This puffiness shall be visible in the arm and leg area the most.
@ Many people shall experience unusual bloating in the abdominal area. This is owing to the body retaining toxic fluids.
@ Your skin feels stretched.
@ There is a certain weird kind of shine added to your skin.
@ In you tend to pinch onto your skin then, it tends to hold in that position for a while.
@ You would feel a lot of extra weight being added to your leg. This is owing to the fluid that your veins are holding.
Who all are Most Affected by Edema:
@ People whose parents have suffered from edema are susceptible to contracting this disease.
@ Those who consume a lot of fast food are prone to developing edema. This is owing to the high sodium content in the food. More sodium tends to hold water.
@ If you consume medications for controlling diabetes or blood pressure levels then again, you can suffer from vein diseases.
@ Anti inflammatory medications also cause edema.
@ If you consume medicines to treat nerve diseases then, their side effect may lead to edema.
@ Diseases of the heart, liver, kidney, lymphatic system and vain may lead to edema.
@ If your body lacks optimal protein intake for a prolonged time period then again, it may lead to edema as well.
Stage # 5:
The next stage of vein disease is discoloration of the skin. Your normal skin tone changes and becomes reddish brown in color. Your skin also tends to become thinner.
Also known as venous stasis dermatitis, this condition arises when toxic blood gets pooled in the veins. The pressure thus applied tends to weaken the skin.
@ Your skin tends to itch and burn constantly.
@ The color of your skin changes. You tend to develop reddish brownish patches to your existing skin.
@ It is quite possible that your skin ruptures and starts to develop sores. These sores take ages to heal.
@ Sometimes, your skin turns yellowish in color.
@ You tend to develop scaly skin in the affected area. Your skin gets tender and red in color.
Who all are Most Affected by Venous Stasis Dermatosis:
@ If you stand or sit for too long then, you may suffer from stasis dermatosis.
@ People suffering from hypertension are at a higher risk of developing this ailment.
@ In case your kidney is not functioning properly then again, you are at risk of developing venous stasis dermatosis.
@ People with varicose veins tend to develop stasis dermatosis.
@ If you are over weight then again, you tend to develop this disease.
@ Heart patients also develop stasis dermatosis rather quickly.
@ Pregnant women too are susceptible to contract this vein disease.
Stage # 6:
In this stage of vein disease, you tend to develop venous ulcer and your skin starts to heal from its after effects. The ulcers that take place onto your foot take weeks or even months to heal.
The slow healing process is owing to the pool of blood that accumulates in the vein near the ankle area. The pressure created by the veins loaded with toxic blood causes ulcers.
Blockage in the vein is one of the main reasons behind venous ulcers.
If the valve within the vein is damaged then, the backflow of blood causes venous reflux.
@ You shall suffer from a constant ache in the leg area. This pain is dull in nature but it is constant.
@ Your ulcers shall emit a foul smell. This is way too toxic for a new person who is not familiar with your issue.
@ Swelling in the legs is also a part and parcel of this disease.
@ It is highly likely that your sores may emit pus or other toxic fluids.
@ The area in and around your leg may get inflamed. This is quite similar to edema.
Who all are at the Highest Risk of Contracting Venous Ulcers?
@ People who are overweight and aged tend to suffer the most from venous ulcers.
@ If you suffer from paralysis then again, venous ulcers are high on the list.
@ In case you suffer from deep vein thrombosis then again, your chances of contracting this vein disease is rather high.
@ People with surgical procedures performed on their legs are susceptible to venous ulcers.
@ If you have a family history of ulcers and you also smoke then, your chances of contracting venous ulcers increases dramatically.
@ If you suffer from varicose veins then again, contracting ulcers is high on the list.
Stage # 7:
In the last and final stage of vain disease, you tend to suffer from active ulceration. This is a chronic vein disease which (if left untreated) may lead to amputation of the leg (owing to the formation of gangrene).
Basically, the ulcer does not heal and tends to get complicated. The infection is so severe that if left untreated, it damages the leg. As mentioned above, the complication of gangrene is quite evident here.
@ Your leg tends to swell and feels rather heavy.
@ The skin erupts and tends to develop ulcers.
@ It is quite possible that your skin feels as though it is burning. Itch and irritation are always on the cards.
Who all are at the Highest Risk of Contracting Active Vein Ulcers:
@ People with family history of vein diseases may contract this ailment.
@ If you have spider veins then, it is highly likely that they shall develop into chronic ulcers.
@ Any injury to the vein can also lead to chronic vein ulcers.
@ Surgical procedures involving the ankle and knee (or other parts of the leg) may lead to ulcers.
@ If you are 60 years of age and above and you lead a sedentary life then, you are at a high risk of contracting this disease.
How to Treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency at Home?
In order to combat this ailment, you need to ensure that you make certain positive changes to your existing lifestyle.
Here are a few tips to combat chronic vein diseases at home:
Use Protective Clothing:
As the blood in your vein is unable to make its way back to your heart, you need to make sure that you push it via an external force. This is via the aid of compression socks.
These socks are made from materials that tend to compress your skin and force the flow of blood upwards. So, the toxic blood shall be slowly but steadily dispatched towards your heart for cleansing.
Compression clothing is also considered an ideal way to combat vein related ailments. Basically, these garments are designed in a special way so as to ensure upwards movement of blood from the thigh and calf area.
Reduce Sodium Intake:
You should try and reduce the amount of sodium in your diet. Reduced sodium via salt and fast foods reduces fluid retention in your body.
Basically, consume foods that are low in sodium content. When you make this minor change in your diet, everything else shall fall in place automatically.
Obesity should be Done Away With
In case you are overweight then, you should try and reduce your body weight. Overweight individuals are unable to maintain healthy veins owing to the added pressure applied to their heart.
When your heart has to pump more blood via the arteries to your body then, your veins need to also work doubly hard to send them back to the source (the heart).
This extra pressure (owing to your extra body weight) damages the backflow valves within your veins. The end result is damaged veins.
Include Healthy Skincare to Your Existing Routine
The skin in and around your calf and thigh tends to become thin. This is owing to the pool of blood stored in your veins.
So, you should try and apply a moisturizing cream to your skin on a daily basis.
Seek advice from a skin specialist for applying those creams or lotions that can help contain cracking or scaling of the skin. This is especially true for the skin that covers your legs.
Exercise Regularly and Keep Your Legs High in the Air
If you are able to exercise regularly then, you can easily hope to maintain a fit and healthy body. Nonetheless, you need to make sure that you avoid leading a sedentary life.
Regular exercise improves your immunity levels and optimizes your cardiac health. You are also able to maintain healthier veins by elevating your legs.
The added elevation helps push the blood towards your heart. So, you may do so twice or thrice a day.
Avoid Clothes that are Tight Fitted
You should avoid wearing clothes and shoes that are too tight. When you wear clothing that compresses your body then, it is highly likely that you would damage your veins.
So, you need to make sure that you wear loosely fitted clothes. Your shoes should also be well fitted (not too lose and not too tight). Avoid wearing high heels as doing so restricts normal blood flow in your veins.
Change Your Diet
A healthy diet takes you a long way towards maintaining healthy veins. So, you need to make sure that you include fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins (sourced from organic farms) into your diet.
At the same time, you should try and avoid including foods that are high in unhealthy fats. Fast foods, processed foods and ready-to-cook foods are included in unhealthy foods that you should avoid.
Include 10 Minutes of Meditation Daily
Believe it or not but meditation plays a major role in enabling you to maintain a healthy mindset. So, indulge in cleansing your mind via guided meditation practices.
If you do not know how to meditate then, opt for an online course for the same. There are many meditation courses readily available online.
If for some reason, you are unable to do so then, simply learn to sit idle for 10 minutes daily. While doing so, shut your mind from everything around you.
Seek Medical Assistance when Needed
If your vein disease is aggravating and you are unable to take control of it then, you should seek the advice of a trained medical representative.
Showing yourself to a doctor in time can save you from further complicating your current vein disease. So, never hesitate to show yourself to a certified medical representative (if the need arises).
Vein diseases have the ability to adversely disrupt your normal life. A lot of external and internal factors determine whether your veins shall develop complications or not. These have been duly discussed above.
In the wake of vein related complications, you may consult a doctor. The trained medical representative shall administer medications or even suggest corrective surgical procedures to reduce or eliminate your vein disease.
The most effective way to treat vein disease at home is by making positive lifestyle changes.
When you eat healthy, exercise regularly, wear compression clothing and seek medical assistance then, your life can change for the better.
So, Chronic Venous Insufficiency can be controlled by practicing preventive healthcare.