Veins aren’t something we often about – until that is, we have a problem. Whether that’s a painful varicose vein or a more serious condition, one thing’s for sure, you can’t live without them. Of course, veins are responsible for carrying blood to the heart but what else can veins do? What else is there to know? Let’s take a look at 9 surprising facts you might not know about one of the most important parts of your body.
Varicose veins are an age-old problem
While it’s thought that varicose veins occur in up to 35% of adults, it isn’t a modern phenomenon. One of the first documented cases of varicose veins dates back to around 86BC when Roman General, Caius Marius, frequently talked about the pain he suffered because of his ‘blue swollen veins.’
Gender – One sex fairs better than the other
While men can and do suffer from varicose veins, women are 4 times more likely to develop the problem than men. This is thought to be down to hormonal fluctuations associated with the menopause, puberty, and pregnancy.
Spider veins and varicose veins are different
While varicose veins typically occur in the legs, spider veins can occur anywhere on the body. Spider veins are generally smaller and are red/purple in color and are usually visible through the skin. While they may make you feel a little self-conscious – particularly if they appear on the face, they aren’t usually harmful or painful. That said, similarly to varicose veins, they can be treated.
Animals are immune to vein problems
It’s true! Even giraffes who have the highest ankle pressure in the animal kingdom, don’t have vein problems. Why? Because they have such tight skin around their legs it prevents varicose veins from forming. Unfortunately, humans aren’t so lucky, Vein problems are thought to be a direct result of human evolution over millions of years so like it or not, we’re stuck with them.
Veins are great at adapting to circumstances
Did you know that up to 70% of your body’s entire blood supply is located within the veins? Yet while veins are masters of blood movement, they’re also pretty good at handling any sudden major changes in blood levels – such as during a hemorrhage or a blood transfusion. As a result, veins can quickly adapt.
Circumnavigating the globe
If you take all the veins, arteries, and capillaries located in a typical human body and stretched them end to end, how long do you think they might be? A few hundred miles perhaps? Several thousand maybe? How about 60,000 miles. It’s true! That’s enough to circumnavigate the globe…twice!
Veins are serious workers
Every day the average human heart pumps over 1800 gallons of blood through veins and other vessels. This means that by the time an individual hits 75 years old, their veins would have been responsible for moving …wait for it… 49.27 million gallons of blood. If you’re wondering what that looks like, it’s enough to fill the equivalent of 50 football pitches to a depth of around 10 feet!
Veins are great thermal insulators
Veins are great temperature regulators too. When it’s hot for example, veins expand, releasing heat which in turn cools down the core temperature. When cold, veins will constrict to conserve energy and heat.
Weight gain can overwork blood vessels
Did you know that for every pound of fat we gain, we use an extra mile’s worth of blood vessels to pump blood around? Naturally, the harder your veins are working the more strain it puts on your heart.
So there you have it… 9 facts you might not know about veins.
If you are concerned about vein problems then come and talk to the Midwest Institute of Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT). We use the latest non-surgical treatments designed to optimize vein health and eradicate vein problems like varicose veins. Call Dr Akinwande and the team for a consultation on 314 255 2204 and let us show you how we can help.