What Causes Varicose Veins?

 You may be wondering why the veins near the sides and back of your knees look so enlarged or prominent through your skin. This is what we call varicose veins. This can be caused by standing or walking for long periods at a time since the activity causes pressure in the veins of the lower body. 

 For many this is a cosmetic issue, but there are plenty who can actually begin feeling pain or developing more severe problems from them. This can mean that the person suffering has a higher risk of circulatory issues. 

Some varicose vein symptoms include:

i An achy or heavy feeling in your legs.
ii Any burning, cramping, throbbing, or swelling in the lower leg region.
iii Pain that gets worse after sitting or standing for long periods.
iv Itching that occurs around one or more of the veins. 
v Bleeding from the vein.
vi A painful cord in the vein accompanied by a red discoloration of the skin. 
vii Color changes, hardening of the vein, and inflammation of the skin which could mean that you have a vascular disease that requires immediate medical attention. 

Some less severe varicose vein symptoms include the blue or purple coloration or the appearance of twisting and bulging cords in the legs. 
 
The causes of varicose veins are:
 
Age. As a person ages their veins become less and less elastic which causes them to stretch. This can cause the blood that is supposed to be flowing to your heart to flow backwards. The blood then pools in the veins causing them to enlarge and become varicose. 

i Pregnancy is also a cause of varicose veins. When you are pregnant there is an increase in the flow of blood in the body, but a decrease in flow between the legs and pelvis. This is to help support the growing fetus. The varicose veins will begin to appear in late pregnancy due to the pressure the fetus is applying to the veins in the legs. This often clears 12 months after the baby has been born. 
ii Women are more likely to get varicose veins due to pregnancy or menopause because female hormones tend to relax the vein walls. Taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control can increase this. 
iii Family history plays a big role as well. If you have family members who have had them then you will too.
iv Obesity can also cause this due to the weight putting pressure on the legs. 
v And last but not least standing or sitting for long periods at a time. Being in the same position for long periods at a time can decrease on blood flow causing varicose veins. 

Remember that in most cases it is a cosmetic issue. There are no for sure ways to prevent them from occurring, but improving your all-around circulation can help to lower your risk of developing them. Exercising, watching your weight, eating high fiber and low salt diet, avoiding heels and tight stockings or hosiery, elevating your legs, and changing up your pose can help to decrease you chances of developing varicose veins. 

For more information you can always check online at Mayo clinic and Web MD or ask your doctor about them.
 
 
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