Varicose veins are the dark, purpling and swollen veins that usually snake the legs of a person. Most women with varicose veins are afraid to wear dresses and skirts, too uncomfortable to show the branching lines on their skin. And it’s not a condition solely associated with women; Statistics show that an average of one out of four American adults has varicose veins, man or woman.
Beyond the surface, varicose veins can also cause internal problems, such as aching, itchiness and burning. In worse cases, they may also lead to bleeding and ulceration of the skin.
To understand the causes, we must know the simple function of our veins. They carry blood all throughout our body to our hearts. When the vessels expand, or when the valves weaken, varicose veins are what happens next.
While everyone may be threatened to have this condition, studies claim that women are the usual sufferers because of female hormones. Hormonal activity, such as fluctuation, affects your venous system. The dropping levels of your progesterone may cause your veins to relax, resulting in blood pooling and an increase of pressure in your valves.
There is also a considerable risk of acquiring this condition when one or more of your family members suffer from the same disease. However, these are not the only factors that affect your possible acquisition of varicose veins. Here are seven more:
1. Excessive weight
In 2015, an average of 19.5% of the adult population was obese, according to the OECD. Remember, the more pressure your legs try to carry, the more chances of your varicose veins developing.
So we already know that hormonal imbalance can cause the valves to relax and allow more blood pooling. Well, there are more chances of hormonal fluctuation during pregnancy. Aside from that, being pregnant also allows your uterus to grow and expand while the child inside you develops as well, putting pressure on the particular veins that carry blood from your legs to your heart, and therefore, contributing to the formation of varicose veins.
3. Your job
If your job requires you to stand for long hours, then it may also affect the forming of varicose veins. Standing up for an extended period may cause your blood to accumulate and increase pressure on your veins.
4. Sedentary Lifestyle
If you think you couch potatoes can get away with it, then no, you don’t. Sitting for hours on end does not help you either. In fact, it leads to vein enlargement as well as reduced blood circulation.
5. Hormonal pills
Here we go with your hormones again. Since these pills contain estrogen and progestin that loosen your valves, long-term consumption of birth control pills and other hormonal medications will increase the risks of suffering from varicose veins.
6. Crossing your legs
This position is usually the posture of the professional, the elegant, and the classy. But, believe it or not, it’s also a possible cause for varicose veins. Your legs are crossed together, therefore, slowing down blood flow and concentrates blood into one area.
7. Lacking physical activity
Exercise can help improve your blood flow as well as strengthen your muscles. Regular exercise will not only keep you fit and healthy, but it will also reduce your risks of having varicose veins. Try sticking to a routine that works for you and practices it at least three times a week.