Frequent Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a natural part of aging. This medical condition occurs when a cluster of veins become gnarled and enlarged. This enlargement allows your veins to become weak, so that instead of pumping blood efficiently to your heart, blood begins to pool in the veins or even flow backwards.

While varicose veins can happen to any vein in your body, it’s typically associated with the veins in your legs and feet. Standing and walking upright naturally increases pressure on the lower part of your body, which can lead to enlargement of the leg veins. That’s why varicose veins are more common in individuals who sit upright or stand for extended periods of time.

The pressure of a fetus on the body during pregnancy, in conjunction with fluctuations in hormone levels, can also lead to the temporary development of varicose veins in pregnant women. This condition typically reverses itself following the child’s birth.

There may also be a genetic component to the development of varicose veins. Since varicose veins seem to run in families, if your parents or sibling suffer from varicose veins, there’s an increased likelihood that you will as well.

Most people develop a mild form of varicose veins, commonly known as spider veins. While spider veins may be considered unattractive, they’re usually don’t pose a serious health risk or require medical treatment. In fact, compression stockings are typically the first line of defense against spider veins. Compression stockings squeeze your legs all day, helping your veins move blood back to the heart and preventing it from pooling in your legs.

Other commonsense treatments include raising your legs when sitting, such as elevating your feet with a footstool or ottoman, or resting your feet on the couch when reading or watching television. This makes it easy for the blood to circulate throughout your body. If wearing compression stockings or elevating your feet doesn’t do the trick for you, non-invasive, elective cosmetic surgery can make spider veins disappear.

Serious swelling or bleeding is indicative of a medical situation known as venous insufficiency, and medical treatment may be necessary. Talk to your doctor about your different treatment options, including laser surgery, catheter-assisted procedures and sclerotherapy, to determine which option is best for you.

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