Many varicose vein sufferers want to know what has caused them. Some people find themselves plagued by varicose veins despite following healthy living guidelines, and it can seem very unfair. Here is a look at the causes.
What goes wrong to cause varicose veins?
Your veins have tiny valves that open up to let the blood through and then close to stop the blood falling back down. If the veins get stretched or aren’t as flexible as they once were, the valves get weak and don’t work properly. Instead of being held securely further up, the blood leaks back down and collects in your leg veins. The veins swell because of the extra blood and produce the typical blue knots of varicose veins, along with pain and tenderness.
No one really knows why the veins stretch in the first place. There are various conditions that are associated with an increased risk of developing varicose veins, but in some cases, there’s no obvious reason why a person has developed them.
Risk factors for varicose veins
Women develop varicose veins much more often than men. It may be that female hormones affect the veins and make the valves more likely to leak. You are more likely to get them if a close member of your family has them, so there’s clearly a genetic component. As with most things, veins and their valves don’t work as well as you get older, so you’re more likely to suffer as you age.
There are also some rare causes of varicose veins, but when you go for varicose vein treatment with a professional clinic http://www.veinsolutions.co.uk/ your doctor will be careful to check that there is no hidden cause for the veins.
Being overweight definitely doesn’t help because the valves have to work harder to send the blood back up to your heart. This can make them more likely to leak. Jobs that require a lot of standing – shop assistant or teacher, for example – may contribute because your blood doesn’t flow as well when you are standing still.
Pregnancy is right up there as a cause because the amount of blood in the body increases to support the baby. That creates more work for the valves and veins, as most expectant mothers will attest!