Do you feel throbbing in your legs? Are they heavy? If the answers to these questions are yes, you’ll need answers to what causes varicose veins.
This condition is uncomfortable and can be debilitating. We discuss the causes and symptoms of varicose veins. This article also has suggestions for preventing them.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins refer to swollen, enlarged veins on the hands and feet. They are either blue or purple and look twisted.
Veins have one-way valves that facilitate blood flow to the heart. If these valves are damaged, blood backs up in them. They swell, and varicose veins form.
Varicose veins are common, especially among those who are obese, don’t exercise, or have someone in the family with the condition.
What Causes Varicose Veins
The reasons for veins stretching and becoming twisted aren’t fully understood. However, we are aware of the risk factors that may lead to them.
First of all, women are more likely than men to develop varicose veins. Female hormones weaken the walls of veins, making them prone to leaks. These hormones increase during pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, or menopause.
You risk developing varicose veins if someone in the family has them. Genes are part of the reason they occur.
You may develop varicose veins as you age. They lose their elasticity as you get on in years. The valves in them stop working as well.
4. Being Overweight
Being overweight is another answer to what causes varicose veins. Excess weight puts pressure on them, so they have to put in more effort to pump blood into the heart. The impact of body weight is particularly significant in women.
People who have jobs that require long hours of standing are at risk of developing varicose veins. Blood doesn’t flow well when one stands for long periods.
Blood increases during pregnancy to support the fetus. The increased blood flood pressurizes the veins. Hormones also increase during pregnancy, and this relaxes the walls of blood vessels.
The womb applies pressure on the pelvis as it expands, which sometimes causes veins to become varicose.
7. Other Conditions
A person’s veins may also become varicose because of blood clots, swelling in the pelvic area or abnormal blood vessels. These conditions put pressure on them, causing them to twist, expand, and turn purple.
What Causes Varicose Veins: Symptoms
So, how would you know if varicose veins are troubling you? These signs are telling.
1. Twisted, Purple Veins
First of all, they would be purple. They would also appear twisted and bulging.
2. Achy Feeling
Also, you won’t want to move about too much because your legs would feel heavy and the painful.
Furthermore, they would feel cramped up and swollen. The pain worsens if you stand for a long time.
Another symptom of varicose veins is itchiness. It happens when the veins enlarge and begin to swell.
5. Skin Discoloration
The area around them would also become pale and off-color.
What Causes Varicose Veins: Prevention
It’s not necessary to put up with the pain of varicose veins, but a few natural remedies and lifestyle changes are in order if you want to keep them away. Here are some suggestions.
1. Natural Remedies
First of all, get up and about. Workouts encourage blood circulation, particularly in the legs. They also reduce a person’s blood pressure, which contributes to varicose veins.
Doctors advise patients with varicose veins to do low impact exercises, which work the calf muscles without straining them. Examples of these are swimming, cycling, walking, and yoga.
b. Compression stockings
You can find these in pharmacies. They ease varicose veins by applying stress to the legs. The pressure facilitates blood flow to the heart. A 2018 study found that patients who used knee-high stockings said that the pain from their varicose veins had reduced.
c. Essential oils
Also, chestnut oils have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are excellent for treating varicose veins. A 2006 study suggests that chestnut oil allows patients to manage leg pain, heaviness, and itching.
Another 2010 study suggests that sea pine extract reduces the swelling commonly associated with varicose veins.
Always dilute essential oils in carrier oils before applying them topically or in a diffuser when using them for aromatherapy.
d. Dietary changes
A foolproof, yet non-invasive remedy for preventing varicose veins is to change your diet. Foods high in potassium, such as pistachios, almonds, green leafy vegetables, and fish can relieve varicose veins by reducing water retention. Cut down on salty food, which increases water in the body.
High=fiber foods like nuts, flaxseed, and whole grain foods move the bowels. They also encourage weight loss. People who are overweight tend to have varicose veins, so taking in lots of fiber will help.
e. Have more flavonoids
Also, foods with flavonoids help and person prevent his or her varicose veins from expanding. These foods keep blood circulating and prevent it from collecting in them. Foods high in flavonoids include vegetables, grapes, cherries, apples, and blueberries. A study proves that flavonoids treat Chronic Venous Disease (CVD).
f. Herbal Remedies
Furthermore, the National Institute of Health suggests that taking food with grapeseed extract reduces swelling in the legs. It also reduces other symptoms of venous insufficiency. Note that a person who uses blood thinning medication shouldn’t consume grapeseed.
g. Wear non-restrictive clothing
Also, tight clothes obstruct blood circulation. Blood flow to the lower part of the body improves when a person wears loose ones.
h. Keep the legs raised
Moreover, sitting well is vital. Keep your legs elevated, preferably at the same level as the heart. Doing this takes pressure away from the veins in your legs. The pull of gravity keeps blood flowing through the body.
Massage the affected areas gently to circulate blood to your legs. Oils and moisturizers provide optimal effects. That said, avoid pressing the veins directly as you may damage fragile tissue.
j. Keep moving
Finally, don’t sit for too long. You’ll restrict blood flow if you do. Moving keeps blood flow smooth. Also, avoid sitting with crossed legs.
In all, you needn’t puzzle over what causes varicose veins if you adopt sensible lifestyle habits.
By Michelle L.