The Most Important Things For You to Know About Varicose Veins
In order to understand what causes varicose veins and who is at risk of developing them, it is helpful to know a bit about how your veins fit into your larger circulatory system. Below are five important tips on varicose veins.
01. BLOOD IS CHARGED WITH OXYGEN
Blood is charged with oxygen in the lungs, and moves to the heart, from which oxygenated blood is pumped to other areas of the body through your arteries and capillaries, allowing the oxygen to be released and used. Deoxygenated blood is then picked up by your veins and sent back to the heart and lungs for renewal.
Unlike arteries, most veins rely on a series of tiny, one-way valves to keep blood flowing in the correct direction – to the heart.
If these valves become damaged, they become “leaky” and allow blood to flow in a reflux (backwards) direction, seeping back into the veins and causing them to swell and take on the bluish-purple colour of deoxygenated blood.
What are the risk factors for varicose veins? Who gets them, and why?
02. RISK FACTORS
Although they can and do occur at any age, you are more likely to develop varicose veins if you are over 50. For hormonal reasons, you are also more likely to get them if you are a woman, especially if you have experienced pregnancy or take medications such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy. The biggest risk factor for varicose veins, however, is heredity – if one parent had varicose veins, you have a 30-40% chance of getting them; if both parents had them, your risk is closer to 70%.
Other factors that increase your risk of varicose veins include smoking, being overweight, and inactivity, especially sitting too much and for long periods of time.
What can you do to prevent varicose veins and lower your vein disease risk?
03. WALK EVERY DAY
Walking is one of the best ways to improve your circulation and reduce the buildup of pressure in your veins, so adding a 30-minute walk to your day is one of the best preventative measures you could undertake.
If your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, you should try to get up and take mini-breaks every hour or so.
Eat a balanced diet high in fibre, and if you smoke, stop!
It’s bad for your veins, and even worse for your heart and lungs.
Beyond unsightliness, can varicose veins really cause health problems?
04. HEALTH PROBLEMS
Small varicose veins mean that your circulation has become only very mildly impaired not to warrant medical concern. However, your legs can still feel tired, with aches and muscles cramps. Larger varicose veins can cause not only the above but also swelling.
If at this point you still fail to seek treatment, varicose veins can in some people cause the skin that covers them to become discoloured, brittle, and prone to injury, resulting in leg ulcers that don’t heal well. On a deeper level, they can increase your risk of blood clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
05. SCREEN YOUR VEINS
If you have veins symptoms consider seeing a vein doctor and getting a venous health screening. These screenings are painless, non-invasive, and only take about half an hour, but they enable your doctors to detect vein disease and varicose veins even before they become visible.
Schedule your first consultation Today Call 1300 981 402 for your own venous health evaluation.