More than 40 million Americans have and suffer from varicose veins. Unfortunately, if varicose veins run in your family, you have a high chance of developing symptomatic venous disease yourself. Genetics plays a significant role in this problem. Around half of cases are attributed to hereditary. There are other factors that lead to their development, including: high height (a gravity thing) age (50 or older), prolonged sitting or standing, women going through menopause, pregnancy, women on birth control bills, and obesity.
What is a varicose vein? A varicose vein is a diseased vein that is enlarged or bulging, usually dark blue or purple in color. They are most often found in the legs, but can also appear in the ankles and feet. Most often, varicosities develop due to a vein valve incompetence. Varicose veins represent venous disease which in an advance stage can promote a lot of symptoms and issues.
When a vein valve doesn’t close properly, blood leaks in the wrong direction from the thigh into the calf. Blood will begin to pool in the calves, ankles, and feet. This pooling of blood creates an intense pressure so the veins begin to stretch, bulge and enlarge- varicosities result. These bad veins can lead to more enlarged veins downstream from the initial incompetence.
Varicose veins can be a sign of circulatory problems and can potentially lead to blood clots, ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. The veins are not only unsightly, but they are potentially dangerous to your health.
With varicose veins, people often experience pain in their legs, along with swelling, achiness, fatigue, restlessness, and a heavy or throbbing feeling in the legs.
To reduce symptoms or prevent the development of varicose veins in your body, here are some tips
- Elevate legs when resting.
- Exercise regularly to keep the blood flowing.
- Wear compression stockings.
- Wear low-heeled shoes or flats to keep the blood properly flowing.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time. If you have a job that requires either, make sure to either rest or get up and move every so often.
- Maintain a healthy diet so your weight is in a healthy range.
Although the above tips may help reduce pain and other symptoms, they cannot rid you of varicose veins. Often, patients undergo outpatient vein procedures to eliminate source veins, signs and symptoms. If you suffer from varicose veins or it runs in your family, contact Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness. Dr. Kordonowy can exam your legs or evaluate your symptoms and history to determine next steps. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kordonowy, call 239-362-3005, ext. 200 or click here. Dr. Kordonowy is a concierge and direct primary care doctor in Fort Myers.