Varicose Vein Causes
The likelihood of developing varicose veins, spider veins, or other symptoms of venous disorder is based on a variety of underlying varicose vein causes. The risk factors include some which can be changed like lifestyle and obesity and others such as geneitcs that you have no control over. If you have one or more of these varicose vein risk factors, you are at increased risk of developing spider veins or varicose veins:
- Genetics: Did your mother and grandmother have huge varicose veins? Do all of your siblings? Then, there is a fairly good chance that you may develop varicose veins. Not all cases are genetic predisposition develop varicose veins, but venous disorder does run in families.
- Age: As we get older, the elasticity in our vein walls decreases. This increases the possibility that valves will fail and varicose veins will develop.
- Gender: Females are much more likely to develop spider or varicose veins (although 25% of cases occur in males). Some research indicates increased levels of female hormones may cause relaxation of vein walls which may lead to valve failure.
- Pregnancy: The enlarged uterus during pregnancy can cause increased pressure on all veins. Combined with elevated hormone levels and often heavier weight, many women get varicose veins for the first time while pregnant (or shortly thereafter). The venous insufficiency usually get worse with subsequent pregnancies and may improve somewhat after childbirth when the uterus, hormones, and weight return to normal.
- Lifestyle: People whose occupations require them to stand or sit for long periods of time, e.g. waitresses, hairdressers, office workers, are statistically more likely to develop varicose veins than those who do not have this type of job.
- Obesity: Weight gain or carrying excessive body weight increases the risk for varicose veins and venous insufficiency. This may be because of increased pressure on the venous system in obese individuals, or because of the disruption of the geometry of the valves in the tissues. Often, losing weight helps alleviate the symptoms of venous insufficiency in obese patients.
- Injury: Trauma may injure veins and cause valves to fail, leading to symptoms of venous insufficiency. Examples of trauma includes a broken leg, knee or hip surgery, or even a blunt injury which never caused broken bones such as falling off a bike or having an auto accident. It is important to share any history of trauma with your physician so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be determined..