Varicose veins; all you need to know

Varicose veins or Varicose occurs when your veins become overfilled with blood and enlarged as a result. These veins are often twisted and appear swollen. Any vein may become varicoses but the most commonly affected are those in the leg. This is because standing upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body. For many people, this is a common condition. But for others, it may cause aching pain, discomfort and sometimes lead to more serious problems.

How are they caused?

Varicose veins occur when the blood isn’t flowing properly through the veins. All our veins have one-way valves that keep blood from flowing backward in the other direction. When these valves fail, the blood begins to accumulate instead of flowing to your heart. This gets the veins enlarged. Even though there aren’t any specific causes for this to happen, there are some risk factors involved. These factors increase your risk of developing varicose.


The volume of blood in your body increases during your pregnancy. This change occurs to support your fetus, but it can also produce this as a side effect. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are also said to play a role.

Family History

If other family members have had varicose or have varicose, there is a higher chance you will too.


Being overweight adds more pressure to your veins. This makes it harder for them to maintain a good flow of blood and ultimately result in varicoses.


Aging causes wear and tear on the valves in the veins. These valves are the ones that help regulate the blood flow. Eventually, the damage causes the valves to allow blood to flow backward in your veins where it ends up getting accumulated.


Women are more prone to varicose than men are. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause or pre-menstruation maybe a factor cause the hormones released during these phases to tend to relax the vein walls.

Prolonged periods of standing or sitting

The blood doesn’t flow as well if you’re in the same position for long periods.

In rare cases, varicose are caused by diseases such as:

  • Phlebitis or inflammation of the veins
  • Blood clots or any obstruction to blood flow in the veins
  • Congenital abnormalities in the veins

Even though there are no ways to prevent varicose, improving your circulation and keeping your muscles toned reduces your risk of contracting it. Most of these measures are also used to treat the discomforts of varicose veins.

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Watch your weight.
  • Avoid wearing high heels and tight shoes
  • Elevate your legs regularly for a while every day
  • Maintain a high-fibre and low-salt diet
  • Try not to stay in the same postures for prolonged periods

Doctors are conservation while treating veins. They might probably ask you to make certain lifestyle changes instead of trying intense treatments. But in case of severe varicoses, there are some medical treatments that are proven to be effective.


You may be advised to wear compression stockings or socks which place enough pressure on your lower body to make the blood flow easier. If worn regularly, they are effective in controlling symptoms and preventing skin complications and one can avoid the need for surgery. These compressions wear also reduce swellings caused by varicose. The level of compression varies from product to product and most of those types are found in drugstores and medical shops.

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