What Causes Varicose Veins?


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Varicose veins are an outcome of a circulatory problem, which allows gravity to force blood to flow backwards through the valves that are supposed to prevent this. When this happens, the veins swell and blood collects in the weakened area. The causes of this problem are not fully understood, however many contributing factors have been identified.

Gender Causing Varicose Veins

Varicose veins affect more women than men. It is believed that this is because of the hormones produced in the female body, which cause the veins to relax causing them to widen and allowing blood to flow through them the wrong way.

Hormonal changes during menopause are also thought to reduce the flexibility of the vein walls causing leakages.

Genetics Causing Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are not contagious; however, they do seem to run in families. This means that if you are closely related to someone with varicose veins, you are more likely to develop the condition yourself.

Age Causing Varicose Veins

Aging can cause the veins to lose their flexibility, which can limit the effectiveness of the valves.

Weight Causing Varicose Veins

If you are overweight, there is more pressure on your veins than there would be if you had a healthy weight. This means that the valves have to work harder to keep the blood flowing in the right direction.

Pregnancy Causing Varicose Veins

Pregnancy causes your body to produce more blood, which increases the pressure on your circulatory system. This, combined with pregnancy hormones causing the walls of your veins to relax, causes the valves to weaken allowing leakages. You can also develop varicose veins around the pelvis as the growth of the uterus puts increasing pressure on the veins in that area.

Environmental Factors Causing Varicose Veins

If you have a job, which requires you to stand for long periods of time, you are more likely to develop varicose veins. This is because standing makes it much more difficult for the veins to send blood upwards towards the heart. The pressure that this puts on the valves of the veins can cause the widening of the walls and leakages.

If you are inactive then you are more likely to develop varicose veins than you would be if you did physical activity on a regular basis.

Illnesses Causing Varicose Veins

There are illnesses that are thought to lead to varicose veins such as deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and liver disease. It is also thought that some medications, such as estrogens replacement medication, which alter the body’s hormones, can cause varicose veins.


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