Millions of arteries in our body carry oxygen rich blood from the heart to various tissues of our body. Veins return impure blood from various parts of the body to your heart, so that it can be further recirculated. To work efficiently, the veins in your legs must work properly against gravity. Muscle contractions that occur in your lower legs act as pumps and forces blood to flow towards the heart. Tiny valves in the veins open as blood flows towards the heart and then close to stop it from flowing back.
Causes of varicose veins:
* Age-With advancing age, veins lose their elasticity. The valves in the veins also become weak, allowing impure blood that should move towards your heart to flow backwards. So blood pools in your veins and they become varicose. These veins appear blue due to deoxygenated blood, which is further recirculated through the lungs.
* Pregnancy-Pregnancy may also develop varicose veins in women. During pregnancy blood volume and flow increases in the body, but reduces the flow from legs to pelvis. This circulatory change is designed for supporting the growing fetus, but can also lead to varicose veins in legs. Enlarged veins may surface for the first time, or may worsen with advancing pregnancy when the growing uterus exerts pressure on veins in the legs.
Certain hormonal changes during pregnancy may also play a crucial role. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without any medical intervention within four to five months after delivery.
Factors that can increase your risk of developing varicose veins, include:
* Standing or sitting for long periods of time-Blood in your veins won’t flow well if you’re in the same position for a longer period.
* Sex-Women are more likely to develop this condition. Hormonal changes occurring during pregnancy, menopause or pre-menstruation may be a big factor. Certain female hormones tend to relax the vein walls. Taking birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy may increase your risk of varicose veins.
* Obesity-Excess body weight also puts extensive pressure on the veins.
* Age-The risk of varicose veins increases with advancing age. Aging results in wear and tear of valves in the veins that help in regulating the blood flow. Eventually, this wear may allow some blood to flow backwards into the veins where it pools instead of flowing up to the heart.
* Family history-If some members of the family have varicose veins, there are chances you will too.
Complications due to varicose veins can include blood clots and ulcers. Blood clots may occur when veins deep within the legs become enlarged. Sudden swelling warrants quick medical attention because it might be due to a blood clot. Painful ulcers in skin close to varicose veins are caused due to long-term fluid build-up in most of these tissues due to increases blood pressure within the affected veins.
For all the many causes of varicose veins, there are just as many treatment options. Discuss yours with the experts at Veinscreening today.