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What Causes Varicose Veins and Are They Preventable?

When you think of ways to keep yourself healthy, you might focus on your heart health, cholesterol, bone health, and brain function. Unfortunately, there aren't too many people who make their vein health a priority. This is often because, aside from a clot, there are many vein issues that come to mind for your average adult. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

One of the most common vein diseases adults find themselves struggling with is varicose veins. These veins are weaker, thinner, and present themselves as thick, twisted, cord-like tubing underneath your skin.

Although varicose veins can be treated, it’s fair to wonder what causes them in the first place and what you can do to prevent getting them in the future.

Common Causes of Varicose Veins

Genetics

In some cases, your chances of developing varicose is passed down through genetics. If someone else in your family has been diagnosed with this disease, you have a slightly greater chance of experiencing it yourself. For this reason, it’s important to have a detailed knowledge of your family history so you can speak to your doctor and be proactive in maintaining good vein health.

Gender

Women are typically more prone to developing varicose veins. This is commonly due to changes in hormone levels that occur during premenstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In recent years, it has been thought that some birth control methods and other hormonal treatments can also increase a woman’s chances of getting varicose veins.

Pregnancy

As mentioned, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase a woman’s risk of varicose veins. The increased level of hormones may cause the walls of your veins to weaken, making it more difficult for them to pump blood to your heart as they should.

 

Pregnant women also may develop varicose veins due to the increase in blood volume that occurs during pregnancy. When your body changes to support the growth of the fetus, it also increase the amount of blood your produce, putting more pressure on your veins.

Age

Typically, the older you are, the higher your risk is for developing varicose veins — and when you think about why, it’s very easy to understand. Your veins work constantly to pump blood throughout your body, so, as time goes on, they can start to experience some “wear-and-tear” and weaken.

When years of pumping blood begin to take their toll on your veins, they won’t be able to regulate your blood flow as easily. In cases like these, instead of the blood reaching your heart as intended, it can begin to pool near your valves and in your veins, leading to the development of varicose veins.

Weight

Those who are considered overweight or obese have a very high risk of developing varicose veins. This is because all the extra weight in your body puts pressure on your veins and prevents them from functioning as they should.

Movement Habits

Without regular movement, you prevent your blood from circulating properly. While this can have other negative effects on your health, it can also put you at risk for developing varicose veins.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins

While you can’t do much about genetics or predetermined factors, such a family history or gender, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of varicose veins and stay in good health.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Make sure you follow a balanced diet and focus on foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, avoid eating large amounts of sugars, salts, or fats that can cause you to gain weight or clog your arteries.

Exercise

Whether you prefer to work out in the gym, do yoga, or go on hikes, regular exercise is necessary to keep you moving and ensure proper circulation.

If you’re currently more sedentary, consult your doctor as to what exercises are safe and best for you. It’s always best to ease into a workout regimen with professional guidance than to jump into something your body may not be ready for just yet.

Limit Heels and Hosiery

High heels and tight stockings often put pressure on your veins and can limit blood flow. Choose shoes that offer good support and comfort, and switch to compression stockings that can help improve circulation.

Keep Moving

Especially if you have a career that requires you to be sitting or standing for hours on end, it’s essential to take a few minutes every hour to change your position — sit if you’ve been standing and stand if you’ve been sitting.

If you’re struggling with varicose veins, look no further than Albert Vein Institute for help. Our goal, first and foremost, is to meet our patients’ needs; we strive to be open and transparent with all of our patients. You have our guarantee that you will never be recommended tests or treatments unless we truly believe that it will serve your best interests.

Contact us to schedule a consultation at one of our convenient locations.

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