October 3, 2023

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Varicose Veins: What Are The Causes and Risk Factors?

What Causes Spider Veins? | Naples Cardiac & Endovascular Center

Do you have problems in your veins? Are you noticing discolored, enlarged, twisted, and bulging veins on your legs that are painful with every movement you make? You may be experiencing a condition known as Davenport varicose veins that develop when you have weak and damaged veins.

Varicose veins develop mostly in the legs because walking and standing increase pressure on your lower body veins. Initially, you may not develop pain symptoms, but as the condition progresses, pain may set in. Read the following article to learn about the symptoms, causes, and risk factors for varicose veins.

How Do You Know You Have Varicose Veins?

Initially, you may not experience pain, but you may develop veins that appear dark blue, enlarged, and twisted. However, when you begin to experience pain symptoms, you may develop an achy and heavy feeling in your legs and burn and muscle cramping. Leg pain may also worsen with sitting and standing for long periods; you may experience color changes in your skin and itching around the affected veins. Although they may be similar to spider veins, they are usually larger.

What Causes Varicose Veins?

You develop varicose veins when you have weak and damaged veins. Your veins carry blood from your heart to your body and then return blood to the heart. Thus, your leg veins must work against gravity to return blood to your heart. However, when your veins are weak and damaged, blood may flow backward and begin to collect in your veins, causing your veins to stretch.

What Increases Your Risk For Developing Varicose Veins?

You may have an increased risk for varicose veins from aging, which causes wear and tear that may eventually cause backflow of blood to your veins. Secondly, women have an increased risk of developing varicose veins because of hormonal changes that tend to relax their vein walls. Pregnancy may also increase blood volume, which may cause the enlargement of veins in your legs and lead to varicose veins. Other factors may include being overweight and standing or sitting for long periods.

Are There Complications To Varicose Veins?

Although rare, you may develop painful ulcers that may form on your skin near the varicose area. You should talk to your doctor when you notice a leg ulcer. Secondly, as your veins continue swelling, they may enlarge and cause pain. But pain and swelling may also indicate a blood clot. Occasionally, veins close to your skin surface may burst and cause minor bleeding, requiring medical attention.

Can You Prevent Varicose Veins?

Your doctor may recommend regularly changing your standing and sitting positions and elevating your legs when sitting and exercising. You can also avoid high heels and watch your weight while eating foods rich in fiber and low in salt.

Varicose veins appear larger than spider veins and mostly appear on the legs because walking and standing increases pressure on your leg veins. Varicose veins can cause discomfort, pain, and aches that may lead to chronic venous insufficiency if the condition progresses without treatment.

You may also have an elevated risk of developing the condition because of aging, hormonal changes, family history, obesity, and standing and sitting for long periods. Improving blood flow can lower your risk of developing varicose veins, and you can also ease discomfort by avoiding tight hosiery and changing your sitting and standing positions regularly.