Varicose Veins and Menopause

Varicose Veins and MenopauseWhy attention to venous health is especially important for aging women

Though varicose veins can affect anyone, women are at significantly higher risk to develop them than men, and that risk continues to increase with age. The onset of menopause is most frequently associated simply with the end of a woman’s ability to have children, but there are a number of other health concerns that can arise in this stage of any woman’s life, varicose veins included.

Painful and unsightly, varicose veins frequently pop up as a result of the changing hormones in a woman’s body during menopause. As such, it’s important for all women to keep a close eye on their cardiovascular health as they go through menopause to avoid varicose veins and any potential complications that may arise from other associated cardiac conditions.

Get Checked Out

Of course, your best bet in avoiding the nastiness of varicose veins during menopause will be to talk to Dr. Perry about maintaining proper vein health. If you develop varicose veins during menopause, it could point to a more problematic issue related to your heart or circulation, making the attention of a medical professional especially important in determining if there is a more serious root issue.

Having a doctor evaluate the condition of your legs and circulation is a wise decision if you’re getting ready to begin menopause or are already going through it, but here are a few things you can do to avoid varicose veins on your own:

  • Elevate your feet while sitting. Raising your legs to the level of your heart or above will increase blood flow to the rest of the body while preventing the pooling of blood in your lower extremities. Use a footstool or ottoman to elevate your feet whenever possible while sitting. If you can’t elevate your legs, your best bet is to keep them flat on the floor—crossing your legs at the knees can inhibit blood flow by squeezing veins. At home, you can also try lying down with your legs propped up high on a pile of pillows.
  • Avoid sitting or standing still for prolonged periods of time. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most frequent causes of both varicose and spider veins. If your job requires you to sit for long hours at a time, be sure to get up at least once each hour and walk around for a couple minutes. This will improve your circulation and give your legs a chance to pump blood back to your heart. Conversely, standing in one place for prolonged periods of time can be just as detrimental to your vein health. Be sure to sit for a few minutes each hour if you work on your feet, preferably with your feet elevated.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise. If you’re overweight or obese, the pain and swelling caused by varicose veins can increase. Working out will not only help you slim down, it will also improve your circulation and reduce varicose vein symptoms. Walking and biking are excellent exercises for improving leg circulation, while swimming offers the unique opportunity to put the legs on the same level as the heart while exercising.

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