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February 28, 2010 at 12:48 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Causes Varicose Veins?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Simply put, varicose veins result from weak vein walls and damaged valves that prevent blood flow. You may be wondering, how do the walls and valves become weak and damaged? There are more than 40 causes of varicose veins. As you will see, some causes are preventable, while others are not. Some of the more well-known causes of varicose veins include:

  • Prolonged standing
  • Prior surgery
  • Pulmonary edema (abnormal amount of fluid found in the lungs)
  • Rosacea (chronic form of acne)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Sitting with your legs crossed
  • Straining
  • Tight clothing
  • Trauma
  • Ultraviolet light exposure
  • Vein congenital abnormalities
  • Venous disease
  • Venous insufficiency (inadequate drainage
  • Menopause
  • Menstruation
  • Phlebitis (vein inflammation)
  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Gender
  • Genetics
  • Hormone changes
  • Lupus
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic cough
  • Blood clots
  • Aging

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins may worsen and become inflamed or form blood clots (venous thrombosis). Varicose veins are often confused with spider veins (the dilation of tiny veins most commonly found in the legs). Colored, twisted, swollen, painful, bulging veins may describe your varicose veins. While for others, varicose veins are only a cosmetic concern. Varicose veins could be painful one day and fine the next. Varicose veins may be just an unsightly or embarrassing nuisance or a painful condition. Whatever the degree of severity, varicose veins will typically worsen without intervention. It's important to know some of these symptoms may not be varicose veins they may be circulatory problems or heart disease.

Varicose Veins May Be More Common Than You Think

You may be wondering how common varicose veins are. It may surprise you to know varicose veins affect one out of every two people over the age of 50. Generally speaking, women are two three times more likely to get varicose veins than men. U.S. News & World Report cites 25 million Americans live with varicose veins. That breaks down to 50-55% of all American women and 40-45% of all American men.

Self-Diagnosis V. Evaluation

You may think you know if you have varicose veins or not. Even if you accurately self-diagnosis your varicose veins, only your health care professional can tell the severity of your condition. It's important to be smart since varicose veins can lead to more serious complications. If you have attempted self-care for your varicose veins and have not noticed improvement, that would be a good sign to call your health care professional. While self-diagnosis seems very apparent, an evaluation from your health care professional may be necessary. Go prepared your health care professional will need information on your family history.

The Final Word

Don't be discouraged or scared if you start to notice varicose veins. If self-care doesn't work, your health care professional will be able to share other options with you. Varicose veins are just that they're not the end of the world.


Photo Credit: scheermed

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