The Relationship Between Vein Disease and Stroke

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strokeBecause a stroke occurs within the brain and vein disease usually occurs in the legs, you may not have previously considered how the two might be related. However, because stroke is one of the leading causes of death in the United States and worldwide, the link between your vein disease and the potential for a life-threatening stroke should not be ignored.

What is a stroke?
In order to understand how venous disease can lead to a stroke, you must first understand what happens during a stroke. In order for your brain to function properly, it needs a continuous supply of oxygen, oxygen that it obtains from the blood. When blood flow is disrupted, the oxygen supply, along with all the nutrients it is carrying, is cut off. When the brain is deprived of the nutrients that is needs, brain cells die, and, the longer the oxygen supply is cut off, the more severe and permanent the damage. While prompt medical care is always important for any condition, it can be particularly so for stroke victims.

How are vein disease and strokes related?
If venous disease is left untreated for too long, it can lead to the development of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a very serious condition that results in the formation of blood clots within the deep veins of the legs. It is when these blood clots break off and travel through the bloodstream that they become particularly dangerous, especially if they reach the lungs, in the case of a pulmonary embolism, or the brain, in the case of a stroke.

People who suffer from varicose veins and venous insufficiency are more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis as a result of their condition. This is because, over time, the presence of these conditions weaken veins, and in this damaged state veins become sluggish and allow for higher chances that blood clots will form.

Can treating my vein disease lower my risk of stroke?
While the presence of vein disease is only one of many factors that can lead to stroke, the proper treatment of these conditions can perhaps lower one’s risk for stroke later in life. You should always begin by visiting your physician for a vein screening to determine if varicose veins or venous insufficiency is present and to assess your risk for deep vein thrombosis. Once your doctor has a better understanding of the condition of your veins, they can make further recommendations for treatment, if necessary.

Fortunately, while you can treat existing veins through a wide range of minimally invasive treatments, you can also take action now through simple lifestyle choices in order to reduce your future risk of stroke and other complications. These can include maintaining a healthy diet and weight, not smoking cigarettes, staying active and getting frequent exercise, keeping the legs and feet elevated when resting or sitting, and wearing compression stockings in order to improve blood flow.

If your family or personal history leads you to feel concerned about blood clots and the potential for future stroke, contact Dr. Zuzga of the West Florida Vein Center by calling (727) 712-3233. With two convenient locations in the greater Tampa area, Dr. Zuzga and his staff look forward to meeting you and getting to the root of your venous concerns.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

No one needs to suffer from untreated varicose vein disease anymore. In addition, with today's favorable insurance coverage, the procedures are even more accessible. If you have a vein problem, you need Dr. Zuzga and West Florida Vein Center!


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Phone: (727) 712-3233

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