There are various health issues that become more prevalent as we age. Many of these do change our physical appearance and can be either embarrassing or unsightly. One such issue is varicose veins. To understand how to approach this problem, it is important to be aware of the potential causes that could be impacting you.
Varicose Veins Explained
You might have noticed what looks like cords that are bulging underneath the surface of your skin. These are often blue and will usually impact the legs and feet. However, it is possible to notice this symptom anywhere on your body. These are twisted and often swollen veins in the body that will be more prominent than usual.
In some cases, they can also be surrounded by flooded capillaries which are known as spider veins. They spread from the main blue vein and may also be referred to as superficial varicose veins.
A key point to be aware of is that while they may negatively alter your appearance, they are usually completely harmless. However, if they are inflamed, then they can become sore to touch. They may also begin to impact the circulation in your body. This can leave you with swollen ankles or skin that feels itchy.
As such, this health issue may seem purely cosmetic but it can have an impact on your life, causing significant levels of pain.
It is also possible that you will have deeper varicose veins. This occurs when the leg vein becomes varicose. While not often visible, they can cause aching and swelling. This is also a prime spot where it’s possible that blood clots will form over time.
Who Is Likely To Suffer From Varicose Veins?
This is a common condition and far more prevalent throughout the population than most people realize. According to the latest information it impacts more than 23% of Americans. As well as this, it is far more common in women rather than men.
Varicose veins are also believed to be a genetic condition and will commonly affect multiple people in the same family. However, your parents suffering from this condition does not necessarily mean that you will get it as well.
Causes Of Varicose Veins
To understand the cause of varicose veins, you need to be aware of how blood circulates through the body.
The arteries have thick muscle and elastic tissue which helps push blood that is rich in oxygen from the lungs to all areas of the body. However, the blood also needs to travel back to art. This is accomplished through veins that are surrounded by more muscle as well as valves that only open one way.
When the blood passes through the vein, the valve opens to allow blood to travel through to the right area. Once the blood passes through the valve closes. This prevents the blood from traveling backward and removes the issue of backflow.
If you are suffering from varicose veins, then the valves in your body will not be working correctly. This means that the blood is going to collect and pool in certain locations within the veins. It’s particularly problematic for areas of the body where the blood has to travel upwards. This is why varicose veins are most common in the legs and in the feet.
When the blood builds, it puts extra pressure on the vein. This is what causes the vein to twist and or bulge which results in the cosmetic change to your skin. The vein is pushed to the surface of the skin issue and becomes more prominent.
Superficial veins also have less muscle compared to the deep veins in your body. As such, they are far more likely to become varicose.
Conditions That Cause Varicose Veins
It’s worth pointing out that varicose veins can occur for seemingly no medical reason. Doctors are still unsure why this occurs and research is ongoing. However, there are also conditions that make it far more likely that you will develop issues with varicose veins.
Essentially, if you have a condition that puts either pressure on your legs or your abdomen, then you are far more likely to suffer from this condition. There are numerous examples of a condition like this.
For instance, if you are pregnant, you are more likely to suffer from this condition due to the pressure that this process puts on these areas of your body. When you are pregnant, the level of blood in the body increases. This process occurs to help the development of the baby however, it does put a greater level of pressure and strain on the veins. As well as this, there is a higher level of hormones during pregnancy too. It causes the muscles within the walls of the vessels to relax and that adds to the risk. It’s also possible for varicose veins to begin to develop as the uterus grows. When the womb expands, it puts a higher level of pressure on the pelvic area.
The good news is that while many women do experience this condition during their pregnancy, most find the condition improves once the baby is born.
You might also suffer from chronic constipation. The cause here is due to the stress and pressure that your body is put under when you are trying to complete a bowel movement.
In rare cases, it’s possible that a tumor can cause varicose veins. For this reason, if you notice they develop suddenly, then it can be worth getting checked out by a doctor. While this is unlikely to be the case, catching it early is always going to lead to the best possible prognosis.
You might also have a sedentary lifestyle. If this is the case, then there will be less activity which causes the blood to move through the body. As such, this can also contribute to a possible issue of varicosity. In this case, it is due to the muscles not being used regularly enough. This results in a poor level of blood pumping through the body.
In contrast, it is also possible that you will develop this condition if you spend a lot of the day standing. This is due to the fact that your body will need to work harder to push the blood from the legs towards the heart. When you sit down for even a brief period, you are going to reduce the pressure here.
Other Lifestyle Causes
Obesity is one of the most common conditions that has been linked to the development of varicose veins. The reason for this is similar to the causes we have already discussed. If you are suffering from obesity, then there will be extra pressure on your veins. Ultimately, this means that they will need to work a lot harder when pushing the blood back up towards the heart.
This is once again going to put excess pressure on the valves in your veins. As such, it is more likely that they will leak and cause the blood to flow backward.
We have already mentioned that varicose veins are a condition that more commonly impacts women. Research suggests that women are also far more likely to develop this issue due to problems with their weight.
If you are worried that your weight could cause you to develop varicose veins, it is worth getting a check-up with your doctor. They will inform you whether you need to make lifestyle changes to reduce the chance of developing this condition.,
Is It Caused By Age?
While not directly caused by age, varicose veins are a problem that becomes increasingly likely in your later years. This is due to the veins in your body weakening as you age. As such, you may notice this issue after a leg injury that occurs after the age of 65.
The injury in question could have damaged the valves in the vein of your legs which results in the apparent varicosis.
What Does Not Cause Varicose Veins?
There is a common belief that sitting cross-legged frequently or for a long period will cause you to experience varicosity. However, research suggests this is not the case and sitting habits will not increase your chances of experiencing this condition. That said, if you do sit in the same place for a long period, you might be more likely to develop varicose veins. This is once again due to the fact that your muscles are not getting enough activity throughout your daily routine.
Furthermore, while sitting with your legs crossed will not cause the issue, it can certainly exasperate it. As such, if your varicose veins are causing you significant levels of pain or discomfort, it can be worth changing the way you are sitting.
As you can see, there are numerous causes of varicose veins that you need to be aware of. There is also still a lot that doctors do not know about this condition. You may think that you have to live with the impact of varicose veins, however, this is not the case. Experts like Dr. Yalamanchili can provide you with the treatment you need to ensure that the issue is greatly reduced. Get in touch to learn more about the treatment options available to you.
Contact us today and book a consultation at our office in Corona Del Mar. We look forward to hearing from you!