Varicose veins can be painful and unattractive, often covering the lower legs with enlarged, noticeable blue cords under the skin. Women are much more likely to suffer from this condition, as it is linked to pregnancy and hormonal therapy like birth control and hormone replacement during menopause. Just being female is a risk factor, but there are common causes of varicose veins. Here are the top three factors that can put extra stress on the veins, causing them to enlarge and become varicose veins.
- Pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, the body responds by trying to protect the fetus and ensure it gets everything it needs to grow. One effect is there is a higher volume of blood, but reduced flow of blood from the legs, which can enlarge the veins.
- Standing or sitting for long periods. If you have a job where you either stand or sit all day, it can help cause varicose veins over the years. Staying in one position decreases blood flow, which can put you at higher risk for vein issues.
- Weight gain. Those who are obese or have significant weight gain have more stress put on their veins, which can affect their size and elasticity.
Varicose veins are more common in people advanced in age since the veins lose elasticity as you get older. Age, gender and these common causes can lead to uncomfortable varicose veins that can cause pain, itching and other problems. If you have varicose veins, there are treatments available to remove them and reduce the discomfort. Discuss your options with a vascular surgeon and ask about non-invasive options for varicose vein removal.
Posted on behalf of:
Alan Benvenisty, MD
1090 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
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