What Causes Varicose Veins

dealing with varicose veinsCrossing your legs may seem a simple act, but they may actually cause problems later. While it may not necessarily directly cause varicose veins, it may trigger them. This is especially true if you have family members with vein problems.

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged, and swollen veins found on the surface of the skin. They’re usually dark purple or blue in color and often associated with faulty vein valves. They don’t usually cause any pain, but some with bulging or lumpy veins on their legs may experience painful signs, such as muscle cramping and heavy limbs. Self-care measures may work, but it’s still best to consult vein specialists to check your condition.

Why They Show Up

  • Age – Veins may lose their elasticity as you get older. As the valves in your veins weaken, blood that should flow to your heart moves backward. As a result, blood is stuck in your veins, causing them to enlarge. They appear blue since they contain deoxygenated blood that recirculates through the lungs.
  • Pregnancy – The volume of blood in a pregnant woman’s body increases, but the flow of blood from the legs to the pelvis decreases. This change in circulation is normal in order to support the growing fetus. This, however, causes the veins to enlarge. During late pregnancy, your uterus exerts great pressure on your leg veins. Fortunately, varicose veins that develop during this period generally improve within three months after delivery, even without medication.
  • Hormonal changes – These happen during the three stages of a woman’s life: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Birth control pills and other medications that contain estrogen and progesterone may contribute to both varicose or spider vein formation.
  • Medical history – If you’re born with weak vein valves, you’re at higher risk of developing varicose veins. Vein problems that run in the family may affect you, too. Observations reveal that about half of all people who have varicose veins have a family member with similar conditions.

What to Do With Them

Exercise and simple activities, such as wearing compression stockings or elevating your legs may keep the problem from getting worse. If none of these measures ease the pain, or if the look and feel of your veins start bothering you, there are vein centers in Michigan you may visit for help and treatment.