Why Varicose Veins Form
It might surprise you to know that 1,400 gallons of blood pump through the circulatory system daily. And it returns to the heart through the veins, or venous system. But like everything else, blood has to work against gravity. And this is challenging especially in the lower extremities like the legs.
Blood must flow uphill to the heart using a system of one-directional valves spaced up the leg and opening in the direction of the heart.
With every heartbeat, the valves close during heart rest to prevent backflow.
Problems occur when:
- A valve ceases to function properly or…
- When the vein wall loses elasticity, causing an increased blood supply to be added to the valve below it.
- Enlarged veins, weak valves, and slowed circulation and results in unsightly bulging. Damaged veins do not disappear without treatment. And since larger varicose veins can cause smaller ones, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Factors That May Cause Varicose Veins
Causes of varicose and spider veins range from those which are completely beyond a person’s control to those which are clearly lifestyle choices. Recognized causes include:
Age – Vein disease can occur any time but is most common between the ages of 18 and 60, peaking between 50 and 60.
Gender – Females are more likely than males to develop varicose veins.
Pregnancy – Circulating hormones that weaken vein walls during pregnancy are understood to be a common cause of varicose veins. An increased number of pregnancies can increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins.
Occupation – Jobs with prolonged sitting may increase the risk of developing varicose and spider veins.
Lifestyle and other factors – Include prolonged standing and sitting, binding clothing, wearing high heels or other shoes which compromise circulation, chronic constipation, menstrual cycle, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, heat and obesity. A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to varicose veins.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Treatment for varicose veins varies depending upon their severity. For mild instances, there may be lifestyle changes that can help. For cases requiring more proactive treatment, we use techniques including Endovenous Ablation, Ambulatory Phlebectomy, and Sclerotherapy to eliminate varicose veins and promote healthy circulation.
Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?
Yes, vein disease can be prevented with low impact exercise such as cycling, walking or rowing. These are effective at prevent future varicose veins because they pump blood up out of the legs and back to the heart. Swimming may be beneficial and can help reduce pressure on the venous system. Exercise can be extremely helpful in preventing varicose and spider veins.
Other Suggestions To Maintain Vein Health:
- Lose weight and/or maintain normal body weight
- Elevate legs when possible
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes
- Consider wearing medically correct, compression support hose
And don’t forget the simple, healthy-lifestyle choices. Walk whenever possible instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Staying active is not only better for you overall, it can prevent varicose and spider veins.
Schedule an appointment today.