Circulatory problems and venous problems affect both men and women, the most common risk factors for both sexes being heredity, lifestyle and age. Here are some of the most common issues that affect the body’s veins and arteries in men.
Blood Clots and Thrombosis
Blood clots form when the blood in a vein or an artery thickens for some reason, usually because of an injury or because of a condition that affects the blood vessel’s elasticity and diameter. The formation of blood clots can affect any blood vessel, but the areas most commonly affected are the arteries that lead to the kidneys, the lungs, the heart and the brain and the major blood vessels that lead to the limbs, especially to the legs.
Thrombosis is a condition related to blood clots, too, a problem that occurs when a blood clot blocks the blood flow through the affected blood vessel either partially or temporarily. Depending on the affected blood vessel, thrombosis can be deep vein thrombosis that affects the extremities or the arteries leading to the body’s major organs or superficial thrombosis, affecting the veins close to the skin surface. According to a PAD specialist near me, while superficial thrombosis rarely leads to life-threatening conditions, deep vein thrombosis needs treatment right away to prevent severe health risks, such as pulmonary embolism, renal insufficiency, stroke or heart attack. Both types of thrombosis cause pain, swelling and heat in the affected area.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
The condition is slightly more common in men than in women and it is characterized by blood starting to pool instead of flowing from the limbs back toward the heart. The problem is most commonly caused by blood clots, posing a higher risk for those who have previously had deep vein thrombosis. In most cases, the symptoms develop gradually, over time and include muscle cramps, leg swelling, skin discoloration in the affected area, varicose veins and pain.
Many people think that varicose veins are more common in women, but that is only because in women, the problem affects the surface veins more, which makes the issue more visible. The truth is that men are just as affected by varicose veins as women, with the causes of the issue being the same, too: hereditary factors and physical effort, such as walking or standing too much. Varicose veins are very often just a cosmetic issue, but in more severe cases, the problem can cause pain, muscle cramping, swelling of the lower legs and itching around the affected veins.
Leg ulcers are wounds that appear as the result of an injury or because of fluid build-up caused by poor vein function and that are unable to heal because of insufficient blood circulation in the affected area. Usually developing under the knee, leg ulcers tend to grow over time and even if they heal over time, they tend to come back again. Leg ulcers being open wounds, they pose an increased risk of getting infected, case in which the treatment and the healing becomes even more difficult and even lengthier.