What Causes Varicose Veins?

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Venous insufficiency is a problem that occurs when the valves in your veins weaken and do not work efficiently. Usually, valves open up to allow blood to flow to the heart and close to prevent backflow. However, when valves weaken, blood accumulates in the veins, causing them to become superficial. Enlarged veins or varicose veins can be a source of discomfort to some people, mainly when they cause symptoms such as pain and selling. However, most people consult their vein specialist in New York, NY, over cosmetic concerns. Below are the causes and risk factors for varicose veins.

Risk factors for varicose veins

The valves in your veins can become weak due to risk factors that include:


Older adults have higher risks of developing varicose veins because aging results in wear and tear of the valves. Over time, valves become weak, allowing blood to pool in the veins instead of flowing to the heart.


The volume of blood in the body increases during pregnancy to support the life of the developing fetus. Therefore, Veins transport more blood than usual, affecting the veins. The hormones produced during pregnancy also tend to relax the vein walls and result in venous insufficiency. Most women who develop varicose veins during pregnancy experience relief from the symptoms after childbirth.


Varicose veins are common in women due to hormonal changes they experience before periods, during pregnancy, and menopause. These hormones cause the veins wall to relax, allowing blood to flow back and accumulate in the veins. Hormonal birth control methods such as pills also increase venous insufficiency risk.

Family history

You are more likely to develop varicose veins if there is a predisposition to this condition in your family.


Extra body weight exerts much pressure on your veins which may destroy the valves. If you weigh more than you should, consider exercising and watching your diet, losing extra pounds, and maintaining a healthy body mass index.


People with desk jobs that require them to sit for long hours without breaking are more susceptible to varicose veins. Standing for too long also interferes with blood flow and puts you at risk for varicose veins. If you have a desk job, take breaks after every 30 minutes and walk around to improve blood circulation.

How can I prevent varicose veins?

Exercise regularly. The leg muscles play a significant role in helping your veins push blood towards the heart. Leg exercise can help strengthen these muscles and even improve blood circulation. Sometimes physical activity can help reduce the appearance of the superficial veins.

Lose weight if obese

Losing extra pounds can help reduce symptoms of varicose veins such as muscle cramps and swelling. Additionally, many benefits come with losing excess weight, such as lowering your risk for conditions such as type 2 diabetes. Exercise and dietary changes are healthy ways to lose and maintain an average weight.

If you need to learn about the treatment for varicose veins, consult with your doctor at Elite Veins NY.

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