Everyone’s heard of varicose veins, but very few people actually know much about them. Most commonly found in the legs, varicose veins can appear as bulging, blue cords. Thinner, shorter blue veins, sometimes known as spider veins, are a type of varicose vein, and there are some varicose veins that are invisible beneath the surface of the skin.
What Really Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins happen when your veins – the blood vessels in your body that carry blood back to your heart – become enlarged. Veins become enlarged because of gravity and the internal pressures that are happening inside of your body.
This means that your lifestyle can impact the likelihood that you develop varicose veins. People who spend a lot of time on their feet, whether due to their job or because they’re involved in a lot of sports or physical activities, are more likely to develop varicose veins. So too are people who have been pregnant, people who are overweight, and people who are older.
Family history plays a role in whether or not you develop varicose veins, too. Having certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, is another risk factor.
What Can Be Done About Varicose Veins?
Any time you have a health concern, it’s good to identify positive health interventions you can do on your own to see if the situation improves. For varicose veins, these DIY treatments include:
- Quitting Smoking – Smoking is extremely bad for your heart & circulation.
- Wearing Compression Socks – These are available at pharmacy and discount stores.
- Exercising – Even a brief walk around the neighborhood will help your circulation.
- Losing Weight – Taking the pounds off alleviates the pressures blood vessels are under.
- Low-Salt Diet – Eliminating salt eliminates the issue of retaining water in the legs.
If a lifestyle change isn’t helping eliminate the appearance of your varicose veins, or you’re experiencing pain from your varicose veins – this includes restless leg syndrome – it’s time to explore minimally invasive treatments.
Minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins include sclerotherapy and vein ablation. Both treatments achieve the same result: enlarged veins are closed off. Visible blue veins disappear, and the pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins is gone forever.
Am I A Candidate for Varicose Vein Removal?
Because every individual’s health situation is unique, determining whether or not you’re a candidate for varicose vein treatment requires a diagnostic ultrasound. This test is safe, painless, and takes less than 30 minutes.