Both men and women suffer from varicose veins, but women are usually more susceptible. In fact, nearly twice as many women, especially older women are affected. This is mainly due to specific hormonal differences. Women tend to produce more progesterone than men, which is a hormone that helps relax blood vessels as well as weaken them. Due to this hormone, blood can pool in your legs and produce varicose and spider veins.
Our expert vascular surgeons, Dr. Steven Heird, and Dr. David Winand, at Advanced Vein & Laser Center, can evaluate your varicose veins and create an appropriate treatment plan.
Cause and impact
Your heart works tirelessly, pumping blood through your arteries into your tissues. Muscle contractions in your lower legs help return the blood through the veins back to the heart. If the valves in your veins weaken, this can hamper blood flow, allowing it to pool in the veins. This causes them to stretch into twisted-looking varicose veins.
Additional factors may increase your risk for varicose veins, such as:
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Being overweight
- Your family history
- Taking hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills
Anything that inhibits blood flow can cause varicose veins.
While any superficial veins may become enlarged and twisted, varicose veins most commonly arise in your legs. Our doctors can discuss lifestyle changes that may help prevent future occurrences, as well as minimally-invasive treatments.
Recognize the symptoms
While many varicose veins only look unsightly, some can cause discomfort and pain.
Other symptoms include:
- Swelling in your lower legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing
- An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
- Muscle cramping and throbbing sensations
- Itching in the area
- Skin discoloration near the vein
These symptoms may worsen and lead to more serious health problems, including blood clots (superficial phlebitis) and unsightly venous stasis ulcers. Those with varicose veins may also be more susceptible to experiencing dangerous deep vein thrombosis.
Ease your pain and suffering
Exercising, watching your weight, and eating a high-fiber (low-salt diet), can improve your circulation. If these treatments fail to help, it might be time to visit our office.
Our doctors can reduce your pain and embarrassment through a variety of treatments, including:
- Radiofrequency ablation. This minimally invasive treatment employs radiofrequency energy to heat targeted blood vessels and make your problem veins collapse.
- Sclerotherapy. The doctor injects your varicose veins with a foaming solution to make them stick together, blocking blood flow. This, in turn, helps them shrink, fade or disappear entirely over time.
To relieve the pain and unattractive appearance of varicose veins and other vascular problems, simply visit our website and book an appointment.