What Causes Vein Disease?

The vascular system is comprised of the heart, arteries, and veins. Veins are blood vessels that return blood from the body to the heart. To overcome the force of gravity, inside the veins are one-way valves, which open to allow blood flow to the heart, and close to prevent reflux of blood back to the body. When the valves fail to function, or if the vein is compromised so the valves do not completely close, blood can begin to pool in the vein causing a host of complications.

The cause of varicose veins or why the valves in your veins weaken is not fully understood as some people develop the condition for no apparent reason.

The following are risk factors, which can increase the likelihood of developing varicose veins or venous insufficiency:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Heredity
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Standing occupations

    Complications may include:
  • Edema
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Clotting in vessels
  • Bleeding and skin changes with eventual ulceration

 

Prolonged sitting and or standing should be avoided. If you have a standing profession or if you find yourself standing for an extended amount of time, shift your weight from leg to leg or wear compression hose (stockings for varicose veins). When sitting for more than 30 minutes, try to elevate the legs above heart level. If that is not possible, stand up and walk around for a few minutes before sitting again. Also, consider the use of compression hose.


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