Filipinos like us are into habit of movement. We don’t waste a day without moving or doing anything with our body. At work, it’s evident how we work hard, move more, and do a lot of things that makes us so active at all things. However, the more we move, the more we must take time to manage our health. Particularly in our vascular health.
That’s why The Philippine Society of Vascular Medicine (PSVM) encourages the public to be informed against the health risks of vascular diseases in the first ever Usapang Vein Health Tayo held at VistaMall, Taguig City last August 27.
Chronic Venous Disease (CVD) is a common but under recognized condition among adults. In a report from the National Nutrition and Health Survey of the Philippines, about 5 out of ten adult Filipinos suffer from CVD.
The most common symptom is leg heaviness or pain, which usually occurs upon prolonged standing or occurs at the end of the day. Other manifestations include spider veins, varicose veins, leg swelling and darkening or brownish discoloration of the skin in the lower legs. In its most severe form, the lower part of the leg develops a wound that would not heal and that remains for several weeks to months.
According to Dr. David Raymund K. Salvador, PSVM president, many people would mistakenly think that they have diabetes because of the non-healing nature of the wound. The underlying problem in all these cases is vein valve reflux.
Veins are blood vessels that bring blood from the different parts of the body back to the heart. The blood returning to the heart has already been depleted of oxygen and is pumped by the heart to the lungs to restore its oxygen content.
Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs then returns to the heart to be pumped to the different parts of the body through blood vessels known as the arteries. Inside the veins are structures known as valves, which maintain the blood to flow in one direction only, that is, going back to the heart.
Dr. Jonathan James G. Bernardo, Treasurer of PSVM, explains that valves prevent the backflow of blood. He adds that when valves in the veins of the legs become destroyed or incompetent, backflow of blood occurs and pressure increases inside the veins from blood both going back up to the heart and from the reflux or backflow.
The increase in pressure inside the veins leads to thin, thread-like veins becoming more visible in the skin. These are called spider veins. In time and with increasing pressure, the veins become enlarged and tortuous and become visible in the legs as varicose veins.
Dr. Salvador also noted that patients may also complain of leg heaviness or pain and leg swelling especially on prolonged standing or at the end of the day when pressure in the veins have become full-blown. In time, if not treated, the skin in the lower legs develops a brownish discoloration, eventually resulting in weakening of the skin and the occurrence of a wound that would not heal.
To prevent vascular diseases from occurring, Dr. Rosella Arellano, PSVM vice president, suggests people who are smoking to quit, have regular physical activities, and stick to a healthy low-sodium, low-fat diet.
PSVM also calls on the public to have themselves checked by their physician if the above symptoms occur.
Usapang Vein Health Tayo is supported by Servier Philippines, which vision is to address the unmet medical and therapeutic needs of Filipinos, including chronic venous diseases.
The lay forum in line with FAME Inc. ‘s one-day health and wellness caravan entitled “Sagot Ka Ni Dok”, which was attended by doctors, health and public officials, brand partners, media, and the lay public.
For more details, visit http://www.psvm.org.ph/ or call +63 2 723-0301 loc 6502.