Those unsightly, protruding veins that can sometimes show up on the thighs and feet are called varicose veins. They are the result of veins that become dilated, enlarged and then overfilled with blood. Depending on the severity of the case, varicose veins can be uncomfortable and even painful to experience. They often appear purple or blueish in color. The presence of these veins is commonly experienced, especially if you are a woman. Fifty percent of Americans over the age of 50 have some type of varicose veins. But what causes them?
Varicose veins are caused by a number of different contributing factors. Essentially the vein will likely become varicose if it isn't functioning properly. The blood that flows through our veins can only go in one direction, and when it fails to it can then collect in the vein instead of flowing freely through the body. Oftentimes varicose veins are present and noticeable in the legs because of gravity and its distance from the heart. Here are some of the likely causes of varicose veins:
Chronic Heart Valve Conditions
If you have any type of valve issue with your veins and the manner in which the blood flows to your heart, you may be at a greater risk of suffering from varicose veins. Any time there is an issue with your vein valves, you should be properly diagnosed by your doctor. Oftentimes, this isn't as serious as it may sound and simply changing your lifestyle or adding a specific medication can reverse the problem.
With pregnancy comes weight gain. Excessive weight can definitely impact the appearance of varicose veins. There is even more pressure that is put on the legs and the veins in the legs when you are carrying around the extra weight that comes with creating another human being. This can inadvertently cause the veins in your legs to become varicose and painfully protrude.
Standing A Lot
If you are working a job that requires you to stand and walk around for long, extended periods of time, you may find that you will start to suffer from varicose veins. The added constant pressure that your legs feel when you stand on them for too long add to the tension in your lower region. If you are always on your feet, you may want to do standing exercises that help elevate pressure and strengthen your legs.
While moderate weight gain during pregnancy is expected, being pregnant is not the only time that weight gain occurs. Certain lifestyle changes, stress and other situations often make weight gain something that can creep up on individuals very quickly. If you struggle with your weight, or have gained a good amount in a small timeframe, you may be at a great risk for developing varicose veins. The added mass that your legs need to carry can oftentimes cause your veins to work incorrectly and protrude. Simply changing your diet and walking at least 30 minutes a day will help you drop a few unnecessary pounds.
Learn more about the causes and treatment of varicose veins