Do many older people have varicose veins? Are varicose veins a normal consequence of growing old? Contrary to popular belief, no they are not. The only true cause of varicose veins is damaged or weakened valves in the veins. There are, however, many risk factors that contribute to the development of varicose veins. Let’s look at a few of them:Age
You are only as old as you feel, right? Eating right, staying physically active, and paying attention to your body’s cues are all great ways to stay looking and feeling young. Although most commonly seen in people over 50, varicose veins can appear at any age.
Like many other health conditions, varicose veins often run in the family. If one or both of your parents have varicose veins, there is a significant likelihood that you will too.
Being overweight puts an additional burden on every part of your body. Your arteries and veins need to work harder to circulate a greater volume of blood throughout your body. Maintaining a healthy weight supports good blood flow and eases the pressure on your veins.
Varicose veins are much more common in women than men, especially among women who have had multiple pregnancies. The increased blood volume during pregnancy puts added pressure on the veins, causing them to expand. Other hormonal changes, such as birth control pills and menopause, can also contribute to the development of varicose veins.
If you want to avoid having varicose veins, keep it moving. Toned muscles keep the blood flowing throughout your body. Also, try to avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Rest with your legs elevated – above the level of your heart if possible.
Be aware that very tight clothes or undergarments can restrict your blood flow and contribute to varicose veins developing or worsening. If you do have varicose veins, your doctor may prescribe compression stockings that prevent blood from pooling and decrease swelling.
While you may have been told that varicose veins are a normal part of the aging process, you can see that there are many genetic precursors and lifestyle factors that play a greater role and have little to do with chronological age.
The good news is that most varicose veins can be eliminated through non-invasive, outpatient procedures. Vein specialists use an ultrasound to study your blood flow and then close off affected veins. Once damaged veins are absorbed into your system, they are gone forever. And, in most cases these treatments are covered by health insurance.
Come see our vein experts at Illinois Vein Specialists. Our board-certified vein specialists have helped more than 10,000 patients in the last decade. Don’t wait! Take the first step toward improving your health today.