“What caused my varicose veins?”

This is one of the most common questions asked by patients who have been diagnosed with the condition. In our previous post, we went into detail about the physiological causes of varicose veins, but in this discussion, we’ll be focusing on many of the contributing factors common among those who develop them. Some are beyond the patient’s control, while others result from lifestyle choices.

  • Age – Vein disease can develop at any time, but it most commonly occurs between ages 18 and 60, peaking between ages 50 and 60. Varicose veins specifically affect roughly half of all people age 50 and older.
  • Gender – Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men. About 50 to 55 percent of women, compared to 40 to 45 percent of men in the United States, suffer from some type of vein problem.
  • Pregnancy – During pregnancy, there is an increase in the amount of blood in the body, which can cause veins to enlarge. Vein walls can also be weakened by hormones that circulate through the blood system during pregnancy, and an increased number of pregnancies can increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins.
  • Other hormonal changes – Natural changes resulting from puberty and menopause or taking birth control pills and medications containing estrogen and progesterone may also contribute to the formation of varicose veins.
  • Lack of movement – Long periods of sitting or standing can force your veins to work harder to pump blood upward to your heart. This can affect people who generally lead a sedentary lifestyle or those whose occupations require them to sit for long periods of time.
  • Obesity – Being overweight or obese can put additional pressure on veins, which can lead to varicose veins.
  • Other factors – Varicose veins can result from a variety of other causes, including chronic constipation, heat and wearing binding clothing or high heels.

If you suspect that you have varicose veins, a variety of effective treatment options are available.

Dr. Jack Tarr of Vein Specialists of Tennessee has more than 30 years of experience treating patients in Knoxville and the surrounding East Tennessee area. Vein Specialists of Tennessee routinely treats varicose veinsspider veinsface veins, and venous ulcers through a spectrum of treatment options, including ultrasound-guided sclerotherapyendovenous laser ablation and microsurgical ambulatory phlebectomy.