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Varicose Veins Risk Factors

Varicose veins are the uncomfortable, sometimes even painful and irritating reality you may have to learn to co-exist with. It is therefore imperative that you have a firm grounding on what causes them or the risk factors. Knowing these can help save you the agony of having to put up with an unsightly-looking skin surface, full of curled and twisted, on-surface dark bluish swells. Quite a number of factors can accelerate or cause the development of varicose veins. To be technical varicose veins are the swollen and enlarged veins that don’t allow normal blood flow through them. Risk factors are many such as age, pregnancy, obesity/being overweight, gender, genetic inheritance, and standing or sitting still for a long period.

Genetic Inheritance

If your grandmother or your mother or anyone else in your family tree suffered from varicose veins, there’s high probability you’ll have them too. A sizeable number of people have a very strong genetic predisposition to developing veins. There’s nothing much you can do to prevent for if varicose veins is a ‘family trait’ it may not likely halt when it’s your turn.


Ageing badly affects the valves in your veins by bringing about wear and tear in them. These worn out and torn valves are the ones supposed to regulate blood flow but under this condition, they will malfunction leading to problems with your blood circulation system. Varicose veins usually develop after you attain 30 years and progressively become worse as your age advances. Rarely do varicose veins develop in teenagers. The logic here is simple, the more you’ve utilized and put your veins under pressure, the more likely they’re to malfunction in the future (as you age) triggering the start of varicose veins. Prolong the life of your veins by wearing support stockings and often elevating your legs, especially while you sit.

Obesity/Being Overweight

Being overweight or obese is a serious condition that increases the amount of pressure exerted on your veins. This makes them weak.

Your Gender

If you’re a woman, understand that you’re more likely to suffer from varicose veins than a man is. Hormonal changes that affect women in pregnancy, during menopause or pre-menstruation periods are significant risk factors most likely to lead to varicose veins. The culprits here are the estrogen and progesterone hormones that cause blood vessels to relax, in turn separating the valves so they don’t coordinate well to block blood back flows. Hormone replacement and birth control pills also increase the vulnerability of women to developing varicose veins on their bodies.

 Standing and Sitting for Prolonged Periods

Prolonged standing weakens vein walls while sitting leads to inflamed veins. This risk factor combined with other predisposing factors like gender or genetic inheritance significantly increase your chances of have varicose veins in your body. When you have to constantly stand, you’re exerting constant pressure on your veins and their valves thus increasing your risk of developing the condition as your blood doesn’t flow well.


During a pregnancy, circulatory system changes come into shape to support the developing fetus. Varicose veins may start during the latter months of a pregnancy when the uterus applies huge pressure on the veins in your legs. Pregnancy also raises the level of a woman’s sex hormones putting her into increased risk of suffering from veins.

 Reducing the Risks

Exercising the muscles of your legs helps improve blood circulation by minimizing pooling. Walking briskly even for 20 minutes a day decreases your chances significantly. Exercising also allows your body to cut down on excess pounds relieving pressure off the veins in your legs. Avoid sitting with legs crossed and try elevating your legs whenever you’re seated as this will improve venous return. Avoid standing or sitting for too long to improve your circulation. Steer clear of tight clothes that cause problems with circulation at the calves and thighs. And your high heels are bad, too, for they reduce venous return.


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