Varicose veins are enlarged veins that mainly occur in your legs, causing an unsightly appearance. They usually develop when the valves weaken, allowing the backflow of blood. Most of the time, people with varicose veins in Port Saint Lucie seek treatment for cosmetic purposes. However, sometimes treatment may be necessary to relieve other symptoms such as muscle cramps, swelling, and itching around the enlarged vein. Treatment may involve home remedies such as wearing compression stockings or medical procedures such as ablation. The following are different causes and risk factors for varicose veins.
What causes varicose veins?
Typically, you develop varicose veins when the veins in your valves are weak or damaged. Veins carry deoxygenated blood from your body to the heart, and the arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your body parts. The veins in your legs work against gravity and pump blood to the heart with the aid of muscle contractions. Valves open and close to allow blood flow to the heart and backflow of blood, respectively. When these valves become weak, some blood may flow back and pool in your veins, causing them to stretch and twist.
Risk factors for varicose veins:
Excess body weight exerts pressure on your veins, eventually damaging the valves. Losing extra weight can help reduce varicose veins symptoms such as pain and swelling. Besides helping with varicose veins symptoms, losing weight reduces your risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Standing or sitting for hours
Long hours of standing or sitting affect blood flow and put you at risk for varicose veins. If your job requires you to remain in one position for a long time, consider stretching or walking around after every 30 minutes. Placing one of your legs in a stool can help relieve pressure off your feet while standing.
Older adults are more susceptible to varicose veins than younger individuals. Like other body structures, including bones and ligaments, valves are also prone to wear and tear. Over time, the wear damages the valves, allowing blood to flow back and pool in your legs instead of rushing to the heart.
You are more susceptible to varicose veins if your family members, including your siblings, parents, or uncle, have this problem.
Women are more likely to develop varicose veins due to hormonal changes before menstruation and during pregnancy or menopause. The hormones which the body produces tend to relax the vein walls, accounting for the backflow of blood. Hormonal contraceptives such as birth control pills also put women at risk for varicose veins.
The volume of blood increases during pregnancy to support the growth and development of the fetus. However, this can also result in adverse side effects such as stretched and twisted veins. Other factors such as hormonal changes during pregnancy may also contribute to this problem.
How can I prevent varicose veins?
There is no way to prevent varicose veins completely, but you can take several measures to reduce the risk of developing the same. For example, lifestyle adjustments such as exercising and watching your weight may be helpful.
While varicose veins may not be a fatal problem, treatment is essential to prevent blood clot formation and leg ulcer complications. If you have further inquiries, consult with your doctor today at TLC Medical Group Inc.