The veins are an integral part of the blood system in the human body. As the Arteries allow the blood to flow from the heart to the organs and tissues, the veins are responsible for returning the blood to the heart thus creating a constant circulate activity. The blood is allowed to circulate thanks to one-way valves, which exist inside the veins. These valves prevent the blood from flowing back into the legs.
Varicose Veins or Expanded Veins are created when the valves are not functioning properly.
As one grows, the veins lose their flexibility, which causes them to expand. Pregnancies may also cause damage in the one-way valves, as well as bruises in one’s legs. Sometimes due to the vein condition, the blood which was meant for the heart begins flowing back towards the legs. This phenomenon is called varicose veins. When a situation arises in which the veins and valves stop functioning, the body has no more use of those veins.
Disregarding the aesthetic problem, vein function damage is mainly a medical problem. Abnormal veins can cause skin damage, eczema, and in severe cases inflammation or even ulceration of the lower leg. All of which are quite painful.
Factors which can increase the odds of developing vein disease:
- Age - Varicose Veins commonly begins at the ages 30 -70 and get progressively worse.
- Sex- The phenomenon is more common with women, since they undergo multiple hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause. The female hormones tend to damage vein walls. Taking birth control pills or additional female hormones may also assist in varicose veins development.
- Genetics - Varicose Veins are genetic, which means if other family members had varicose veins, there’s a greater chance you will too.
- Obesity - Obesity causes a lot of pressure on our leg veins, which can damage the vein system.
- Standing For Extensive Periods Of Time - Standing for a long time makes it difficult for the blood to flow back into the heart, which can worsen the condition of varicose veins.
- Leg Bruises - Leg bruises can cause valve damage
- Maintaining a healthy and balanced body weight prevents excessive pressure on the veins which prevents varicose veins.>
- Elevate your legs above the heart level numerous times per day for 10 minutes each time, can ease the pain and help with the blood circulation back into the heart. A possibility suggested to do so is to lie down on your back and elevate your legs on some pillows.
- Avoid sitting or standing at the same angle for extensive periods of time – change the way you sit or stand thus improving your blood flow.
- Avoid sitting with your legs crossed for extensive periods of time. This can aggravate circulatory problems.
Wishing you a quick recovery,
Dr Koren Arnon, Md.
Medical Expert in Vascular Surgery
Continue to the next topic – Common Diseases