Having varicose veins, for many people, means wanting to hide the legs. It may mean that the legs feel tired more easily or that they tend to ache at the end of the day. Sometimes, having varicose veins means difficulty sleeping due to restless, twitching legs. But, does having varicose veins mean that you are unhealthy? This is a question many of our patients have. We’ll discuss it here.
What are Varicose Veins?
You may recognize varicose veins as the bulging veins on your legs. They may be short and discolored. They may be long and twisted. These configurations and everything in between count as varicose veins. Sometimes, varicose veins aren’t immediately visible but can be felt as burning, itching, and cramping. However they look, varicose veins are veins in which the one-way valves are not working properly. In a healthy vascular system, oxygenated blood is transported through a series of arteries as it heads out to the body. The deoxygenated blood then returns to the lungs and heart via a system of veins. One-way valves in the veins keep blood moving forward against the force of gravity. Under certain conditions, the valves may allow some blood to move backward. This blood pools in the vein, eventually causing it to swell with pressure.
Why Do I Have Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins form for a number of reasons. Fortunately, it is rare for them to form as a result of a serious underlying condition. The most common factors that contribute to venous insufficiency include family history, age, weight, hormones, and lifestyle. Family history is somewhat questionable because people who grow up in the same family often learn the same habits. Your mother and grandmother may have varicose veins not because they are genetically predisposed but because they are about the same weight and they both live relatively sedentary lives. This is good news because, when we look at contributing factors, we can see how we can work against them.
Treating and Managing Varicose Veins
Existing varicose veins do need to be treated. Not because they pose a risk to health but because they can be uncomfortable. Clinically speaking, varicose vein treatment is considered elective rather than medically necessary. Regardless, if you are troubled by twisted, swollen, aching veins, you deserve to feel better. At Minimally Invasive Vascular Center, we perform sclerotherapy, laser therapy, and radiofrequency ablation to eliminate varicose veins. After treatment, patients may reduce their risk of future varicose veins by increasing the frequency of gentle movements like walking and activities that engage the calf muscles. Weight management is also paramount to the prevention of varicose veins.
Are you ready to get rid of troublesome varicose veins? Contact our Laurel, MD vein and vascular center at (855) 803-6482.