Circulatory system

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We’ve got miles and miles of veins in our body — superficial veins just under the skin and deep veins like the ones inside our legs. No matter where they lie, they play an important role in keeping blood moving throughout the body. In case you’re not sure of the difference, veins carry blood to the heart, while arteries carry blood away from the heart.

Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen is a vein specialist who practices at the Vein Healthcare Center in South Portland, Maine. She says vein (venous) disease is one of the most common health problems in the United States. All blood vessels have valves that open and shut to allow the blood to flow through. If a valve in a vein somehow becomes damaged, blood flows back into the vein instead of out toward the heart.

Some venous disease doesn’t cause any problems, but it can progress and in some cases lead to more serious health issues. In this Catching Health podcast, Dr. Asbjornsen talks about common venous diseases and the most up-to-date treatments.

If you are experiencing signs of venous disease, Dr. Asbjornsen has a list of 10 things you can do to alleviate your discomfort and help prevent the progression of symptoms.