You do have some control over varicose veins.
Your susceptibility to vein disease depends on many factors, some of which you can influence and some that you can’t. An awareness of how your decisions affect your health might help you keep your legs healthier as well as allow you to address issues when they appear.
For instance, when you reach age 35, you are more likely to begin seeing signs of aging in your legs. If you are a woman over 50, there is a 55 percent chance you will experience some varicose veins in your lifetime.
It is well-known that men also can suffer from varicose veins, but they may pay less attention to avoiding the risk factors that lead to vein disease.
Varicose veins can affect people of all ages
Although veins are more likely to show signs of disease as you age, people in their 20s can get varicose veins, too. Your doctor visits should include discussions about any aches, soreness or swelling in your legs.
- If you work in a job that requires you to either sit or stand in one place for long periods, you are more likely to develop varicose veins. Take regular breaks that involve walking or moving.
- You might want – or need – a prescription for birth control pills, infertility drugs or hormone therapy, but they all increase the possibility of varicose veins. Before you start taking them, talk to your doctor about what to look for and ways to prevent side effects. And make sure you discuss symptoms that might indicate vein disease in every check-up.
- Pregnancy increases the level of the hormone progesterone in your body. It increases flexibility in vein walls as a way of promoting blood flow. It also makes your veins more susceptible to inflammation and bulging. You might not be able to prevent varicose veins when you are pregnant, but keep an eye on them and talk to your doctor.
- Surgery or any injury to your legs makes it more likely that blood clots could form in your veins. They may not develop for some time, so examine your legs for tenderness or other signs of inflammation and visit your doctor if you see signs of vein disease.
- Heredity is the leading factor for vein disease. If your mother had varicose veins, for instance, you are much more likely to have them, too. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and otherwise staying active could help you to avoid varicose signs as long as possible.
Vein issues can affect anyone, though, no matter what their personal situation or medical history. It’s important to be aware of your physical condition and to visit a doctor when you have questions. Putting off care of your legs will only allow varicose veins to get worse.
Are you ready to talk to Dr. Alex Afshar? Schedule a free consultation at the Vein Institute of Connecticut.