Risk Factors: What Increases Your Chances of Developing Varicose Veins

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VeinsWhile varicose veins are not a serious medical condition, they can lead to a host of serious problems. Apart from being uncomfortable, they are also noticeable and may cause you to experience a heavy feeling and burning or aching sensation in the legs.

The increased blood pressure in the veins is the top contributor for the appearance of varicose veins. They occur near the surface of the skin, usually on the back of legs. They are common in women and affect half of people 50 years and older. Other factors can also increase your chances of having abnormal leg veins.

Hogue Vein Institute discusses the risk factors for varicose veins.

Being Pregnant

When you’re pregnant, there is a significant increase in the amount of blood in the body. This can cause the veins to enlarge and your uterus may put extra pressure on the veins. Their appearance will usually improve within three months after delivery, while more spider and varicose veins will appear with each new pregnancy.

Increasing Age

Aging causes the valves in your veins to weaken or not function as well, affecting your normal blood flow. This wear will eventually cause the valves to allow some blood to flow back to the veins where it accumulates instead of going up to the heart.

Being Overweight or Obese

Obesity can put extra pressure on the veins, leading to the appearance of bulging veins. This may worsen if there is lack of movement, or if you sit and stand for a long time. This forces the veins to work harder to deliver blood to the heart. The problem may intensify if you sit with legs crossed or bent.

Family/Medical History

If you have family members with vein problems, your risk increases, too. According to the US Department of Health and Services, about half of those who have varicose veins have a close relative or family member who has them too. If you have weak vein valves, your risk also increases.

Treatment like sclerotherapy is now available to get rid of varicose veins. There are also things you can do to keep your veins fit. Regular exercise and avoiding pressure on the legs and feet can help your blood flow and lower your chances of having varicose veins.

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