Causes of Varicose Veins....and How You Can Prevent Them

Causes of Varicose Veins - varicose means abnormally swollen or knotty. Keeping this definition in mind, it is understandable why so many people try to find ways to avoid them. Although they are more common in middle aged women, varicose veins are also fairly common in women between the ages of 20 and 50 as well as men.

Characterized by their purple/blue color, varicose veins are usually raised from the skin and in some cases, they look as if they could burst. There are many factors that can be blamed as causes of varicose veins, let's take a look at some of those causes.

Causes of Varicose Veins

  • Varicose veins occur when the valves that pump the blood malfunction and become backed up. The longer the blood sits in the veins, the bigger the veins can become.

    Although some varicose veins occur in the "shallow" veins that are closer to the surface of the skin, they can also occur deeper inside of the skin as well. The deeper varicose veins are, there is more of a risk of bleeding under the surface of the skin, as well as blood clots.
  • Varicose veins can usually be found in the calf, knee and thigh area; however, they also can also occur in other parts of the body such as the face, neck, arms, stomach, etc.
Varicose Veins
  • Although more than half of the causes of varicose veins are a result of heredity, a lack of circulation also plays a major role in the cause of varicose veins; lack of circulation can cause them to develop as well.

    If you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, this will only make varicose veins worse because the lack of circulation encourages the blood to sit in your veins as opposed to circulating properly. Changes in the hormone levels during pregnancy can also sometimes be a cause of varicose veins.
  • Frequent constipation is sometimes a cause of varicose veins because its effects block the blood from returning from the mid section to the legs. When this happens, the veins valves will become inflamed and as a result they will varicose.
  • A vitamin/mineral deficiency can play a role in the development of varicose veins.
  • Those who are overweight frequently have varicose veins because of the extra pressure on the veins.

Now that we know what some of the causes of varicose veins, let's examine some preventative measures you can take to avoid them:

Beautiful Legs
  • Since poor circulation is a cause of varicose veins, a way to prevent varicose veins is to make sure that you avoid wearing clothes that are too tight. If you cut off your circulation, the blood will be more likely to get stuck in your veins and cause the vein to spread.

    If you work at a desk, make sure that your clothes are comfortable while you're sitting and don't wear socks that are so tight that the elastic band at the top cuts off your circulation. However, compression stockings are recommended, because they encourage normal blood flow.

    A lot of elderly women, as well as pregnant women regularly wear them. When you are sitting, avoid crossing your legs and ankles; instead try to sit with your feet elevated or with your feet on the ground, and slightly in front of you if you are not able to elevate them.
  • Eating foods that are high in fiber will help prevent constipation and prevent the development of varicose veins. A healthy balanced diet will keep everything working properly.
  • Taking vitamins and supplements that promote vein health can help with preventing varicose veins.
  • Frequent exercise can help prevent varicose veins from ever forming because exercise promotes circulation so the veins won't trap the blood. Some great exercises are those that require the ankles and the calf muscles to actively work.

    Walking, swimming and cycling are recommended exercises; however, even if you don't have time to exercise, you can still promote circulation by rolling your ankles and doing calf raises.
  • Take frequent breaks if you spend most of your day sitting or standing. It can also help to elevate your feet while you are sitting and sleeping. If you are not able to sit at work, elevate your feet when you are at home in the evening.

Not only are varicose veins embarrassing, they can sometimes be painful and they can cause other problems including swollen ankles, fatigue and itching. When you know some of the things that are responsible for the cause of varicose veins, you can take preventative measures to avoid them.

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