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Why Do We Get Varicose Veins?
3 Mar. 2016

causes of varicose veinsVaricose veins are a fairly common condition. As per statistics, every third woman and every tenth man suffer from this disorder, and it most often begins between the ages of 30-40 years.  The more time a modern man spends sitting at a computer or in a car, the higher the risk of developing varicose veins is.

Veins have special valves stopping the blood that returns to the heart from flowing backwards. Varicose veins progress when these valves stop working properly and become leaky, the walls of the veins become weak and the blood starts collecting in the area of weakness causing stretching and sagging of the veins. The main danger of varicose veins is that the congestion of blood in the veins can lead to the formation of blood clots, which might cause serious complications.

Doctors believe that the main cause of varicose veins is heredity. That means the risk of developing this disease is considerably higher in people with a family history of varicose veins. It’s the weakness of the vein walls that is inherited and that is why the veins eventually stretch and the blood flow through them is slowed. Other causes of this condition include:

1. Female sex. Females are more likely to have varicose veins. It’s believed that the changes in the levels of female hormones (for example, during menopause) promote weakening of the vein walls and make the valves more prone to leaking. Taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk as well.

2. Occupation. Sitting for long periods as well as jobs requiring long periods of standing considerably increases the risks for varicose veins.

3. Obesity. Excess weight puts extra pressure on the veins and they have to work more to send the blood back to the heart. Researchers claim if the body mass index rises to 27 kg/m2, the risk of varicose veins increases by 33%. Moreover, obesity can cause a number of other leg problems.
varicose veins in women

4. Pregnancy. Bearing a child is one of the main provoking factors for the development of varicose veins as hormonal changes lead to a decrease in the vein tone. Besides, during pregnancy the veins are almost always being compressed by the growing uterus. But they are exposed to the greatest pressure during childbirth. As per statistics, varicose veins develop in about 50% of women during delivery.

5. Age. With age, the vein walls lose their elasticity and vein valves become weaker, which allow the blood to flow backward pooling in the veins and enlarging them.

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