varicose veins causes

Varicose Veins Causes: What You Need to Know

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, the question of what causes them is probably top of mind. Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins that can be blue, red, or purple. They may be twisted and larger than other veins and typically develop in the legs and feet. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available, but it’s important to know why these veins are occurring in the first place.

What Are the Main Causes of Varicose Veins?

The main cause of varicose veins is faulty valves in the veins that cause blood to flow in the wrong direction and pool or build up, leading to the appearance of veins on the surface of the skin. There are also a number of risk factors that can make you more susceptible or increase the chances of developing varicose veins, including:

  • Age – As we age, the valves in our veins become weaker, leading to a greater risk of varicose veins.
  • Gender – Women are more prone to varicose veins than men. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause may have an effect on the development of varicose veins.
  • Heredity – Varicose veins may run in families, so if your parents or grandparents had the condition, you may be at greater risk.
  • Obesity – Being overweight puts pressure on your veins, making them more likely to develop varicose veins.
  • Lack of exercise – Sitting or standing for long periods of time can put strain on the veins and increase risk.

Preventing Varicose Veins

Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risk of developing varicose veins. Here are some of the best methods for preventing varicose veins:

  • Exercise regularly – Cardio and strengthening activities will help keep your veins healthy.
  • Maintain a healthy weight – Keeping your weight in an optimal range will help reduce the strain on your veins.
  • Elevate your legs – Elevating your legs while sitting or standing can help reduce pressure on the veins.
  • Stay active – Avoid sitting or standing for extended periods.
  • Eat more fiber – Ingesting more fiber can help with digestion and reduce pooling in veins.

Varicose veins can be an uncomfortable and unsightly condition, but understanding varicose veins causes and taking the necessary steps to prevent them can help keep the condition from developing. If you’re already suffering from varicose veins, speak to your doctor about what treatment options may be available to you.


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