I’ve been creating content for Vein Treatment Forum for almost a year now. I’m also in my 30s and in relatively good health. I knew varicose veins were common in my family and that they were hereditary, and that is where my knowledge of vein disease stopped. But the more research I did on vein disease, the more the symptoms kept standing out to me.
Restless legs. A gurgling/twitching feeling in my upper left thigh. Swelling in my entire left leg when I walked or stood too much. Symptoms I had felt even back to my teens. I began to wonder, “Do I have vein disease??“
After booking an appointment with a vein provider, I got my answer — I definitely had vein disease.
I thought because of my age and healthy lifestyle, there was no way I had vein disease. After all, shouldn’t I have those bulging, dark, tangled veins that have plagued my grandmother’s legs for my entire life? I soon learned that you don’t need to have physical signs of varicose veins in order to have vein disease.
Symptoms Ignored For Years
Beginning in my sophomore year in college (at the ripe age of 19), I noticed I had this weird “gurgling” feeling in my upper inner thigh near my groin. It wasn’t painful, but enough to be annoying, and at first it only came sporadically, so for years (I’m talking nearly two decades), I ignored it.
I also was on my feet a lot as a hostess and server at a high-volume restaurant in New Orleans. Pair that with the heat, and my legs were almost always sore and swollen after a busy shift. But again, that was because I was on my feet and totally normal, right?
Over the years, every now and then, when I was on the go a lot, I noticed only my left leg would get soreness and swelling and rarely my right leg. I made the mistake once of searching the Internet and of course self-diagnosed myself with the worst diagnoses imaginable. But then I’d forget about it for another year or two. A busy Thanksgiving would roll around and I’d spend the day after with my legs elevated and/or iced. Again, I thought this was normal.
You Don’t Always See Vein Disease
As I approached my mid-30s, I noticed in my right calf (the leg that has never given me any problems) that very light, tiny spider veins started to show. I thought, “huh, that’s strange. Why that leg?” In my typical fashion, I decided to “ignore it and it will go away.” Spoiler — that trick never has worked nor will it ever work!
Once I began doing research for Vein Treatment Forum, it dawned on me that all of these nagging symptoms could actually be vein disease. So I booked a sonogram appointment earlier this spring. I thought I would be in and out of there in a few minutes with everything looking normal and being told to come back in a few years.
That sonogram alone took almost 45 minutes. As I watched the technician map different veins with a red marker on a print-out of a leg, I actually got queasy. Why was she marking on that drawing so much? What does all that red mean?
All of those red lines indicated leaky veins, and I had several. One larger one in my left thigh, several in my left calf, and a few in my right calf.
The Treatment Plan
My vein doctor told me to start wearing compression socks several hours a day, and recommended a combination of ablation and sclerotherapy. Again, I was surprised I actually had leaking veins, but was ready and willing to follow whatever treatment needed to nip this in the bud early before it became a larger problem. I booked my appointment for ablation and sclerotherapy and went ahead with the recommended treatment plan.
I will follow this article with more about my experience with ablation and sclerotherapy in the coming weeks, but for now, my message to you is this:
- You can get vein disease at any age.
- You don’t need to physically see varicose veins to have vein disease.
- Vein disease will not go away on its own.
If you have any suspicious symptoms, I encourage you to read up more on varicose veins with these helpful blog articles:
- Dangers of Untreated Varicose Veins
- Are Genetics the Final Word on Varicose Veins?
- 7 Myths About Varicose Veins and Their Treatment
Seeking Vein Treatment
If you’re ready for treatment, schedule a free consultation with one of our expert vein providers today. I know it made a huge difference for me.
Hannah Kohut is Content Editor for Vein Treatment Forum.