Venous insufficiency affects millions of men and women throughout the United States. When the one-way venous valves weaken or become damaged, their ability to return blood back to the heart diminishes. Instead of pushing upward against gravity, blood flows backward and pools. The excess blood increases pressure and causes the vein to begin swelling and stretching, leading to the formation of a condition called varicose veins.
At Advanced Vein &Laser Centre, a vein clinic serving the Lincolnshire area, we have seen varicose veins caused by a wide variety of factors, including the following:
- Age. Venous valves are constantly working hard throughout an individual’s life, pushing against the force of gravity to deliver blood back to the heart. As a person reaches an older age, typically after 50, the valves can begin to wear down and malfunction.
- Sex. Women have a higher rate statistically of developing the condition as the female hormones aren’t as supportive in strengthening the vein walls. Additionally, a large percentage of women take hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills, which increase the risk of varicose vein development. Pregnancy is also another risk factor. Although women do have a higher risk, our vein clinic in the Lincolnshire area also provides treatment for many male patients. Approximately 30 percent of men in the United States are known to develop the condition as well.
- Obesity. If you are overweight or obese, your legs are responsible for carrying around the extra weight. This puts a significant amount of additional pressure on your veins that can cause them to weaken.
- Family history. If your parents or other family members have varicose veins, your chances of developing them are very high. At our vein clinic in the Lincolnshire area, most patients we see have a family history of venous disease.
- Sitting or standing for extended time periods. When traveling, working or participating in any other activity, you may be required to sit or stand in the same position for hours. With inactivity, blood has a much more difficult time circulating throughout the body.
- Sodium. If you consume a large amount of sodium, tissues in your body swell and can potentially slow blood flow, creating excess pressure on the veins.
- Alcohol. When consuming alcohol, blood flow increases and results in high blood pressure. Because there is a higher blood volume, valves have a more difficult time with circulation. High alcohol consumption also can lead to liver problems, which affect circulation as well.
- Smoking. Nicotine is a substance that thickens the blood and constricts the arteries, creating an environment for plaque to build. Peripheral arterial disease, a condition where blood flow is restricted in the arteries to the legs, is commonly developed. The risk of developing blood clots is also high.
While many factors that increase the risk of varicose veins are unavoidable, such as age, sex and family history, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your risk of developing venous disease. If varicose veins are an issue for you, visit with a vein clinic in the Lincolnshire area. After a short consultation, a vein specialist will decide on a personalized procedure to best treat your varicose veins. Advanced Vein & Laser Centre, a vein doctor to Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas, offers a number of minimally-invasive procedures that are quick and painless. Contact Advanced Vein & Laser Centre
or call us at (847) 367-4040 to schedule an appointment with our vein clinic serving Lincolnshire.