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13 Causes of Varicose Veins
by Sonia Chartier, on 6 July 2015 via the A.Vogel Blog Do not make the mistake of writing off varicose veins as an appearance flaw, because their unsightliness is just one aspect of this condition; it can be an extremely bothersome and painful ailment. If these veins bulge significantly, even a minor injury could result in excessive bleeding.
What really is the cause of varicose veins?It is the loss of elasticity and strength of the veins in the legs. Veins normally pump the blood up towards the heart. If they are unable to do so, blood pools in the lower legs, distending the veins and making them uncomfortable. Legs may itch and feel heavy, and might even throb or feel painful.
Causes and risk factors
- Keeping the same position for too long. Sales clerks are often warned about the risk of developing varicose veins in the legs as a result of spending long hours on their feet. Yet again, taxi drivers are more prone to these conditions because they sit in the same position for long periods. It is important to move! Walking, swimming or even just treading water, are great to get the blood moving.
- Overweight As one gets older the elasticity of the veins is reduced. Also, overweight people carry more fat and the veins do not receive the required support. Here we have yet another reason to keep down the body weight, especially for people with either a sedentary job or a standing job.
- Pregnancy The extra weight partially explains why pregnant women are prone to varicose veins. During pregnancy the volume of blood in the body is higher and the enlarged womb increases the pressure on the veins making the circulation more difficult and causing the blood to pool in the veins.
- Heredity Is there someone in your family that has problems with venous insufficiency? You are at higher risk since there is a strong genetic component to developing varicose veins.
- You are a woman Pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations can increase the pressure on your veins and/or cause them to relax too much.
- Constipation Constipation increases pressure on the venous system, which can lead to decreased tissue elasticity and make you more vulnerable to varicose veins.
- Tobacco and alcohol If you smoke or drink too much alcohol, you are polluting your blood. If your blood becomes like sludge, it is more difficult to move it – especially against gravity.
- Clothing Do you regularly wear high heels or clothes that are too tight or constrict your waist, groin or legs? These restricts blood flow in your legs.
- Legs crossed Do you tend to cross your legs when sitting down? Please avoid…it puts terrible pressure on the veins.
- Refined/ processed foods They starve your veins of essential nutrients and increase the toxic load of your blood by the presence of artificial ingredients (colouring, preservatives, synthetic components).
- Salt consumption Salt increases water retention, causing heaviness and pain in your legs.
- Oral contraceptive Taking estrogen, progesterone, and birth control pills, can weaken vein valves and change leg circulation.
- Heat Avoid excessive heat and too many hot baths. These dilate the veins and slow circulation.