Are Men at Risk for Varicose Veins Too?

Women are more prone to varicose veins than men, but this doesn’t mean that men can’t get them. Sure they are at less of a risk, but gender is just one of the factors that goes into the risk of varicose veins. As it turns out, there are many causes to this deceptively simple condition. First, it is important to understand what varicose veins are and what puts you at risk of getting them.

Varicose Veins: What are they?

Veins that are swollen, enlarged, and blue or dark purple are varicose. They can also be lumpy and twisted in appearance. Other symptoms beyond the look of the veins are heavy and aching legs, swollen feet and ankles, cramps in your muscles, and dried or discolored skin. These veins occur when small valves inside the veins stop working properly. When veins are healthy, blood flows through them smoothly and to the heart. Blood is prevented from flowing backwards by a series of small valves that open to let the blood through. When these valves are damaged or weakened, by whatever caused this, blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein. This eventually causes it to be swollen and enlarged and can put you in a varicose veins clinic if you don’t treat them.

People at Risk for Varicose Veins

There are many ways for varicose veins to arise, but the factors that put you at risk are more important than the direct cause of the varicose veins. While gender can increase or decrease the likelihood of varicose veins, this is only part of it. Research has shown that female hormones tend to relax the walls of veins, making valves leak more easily. Furthermore, hormones produced by the body during pregnancy can do the same. Premenstrual syndrome and menopause can also lead to varicose veins.

However, there are many more factors that go into the risk of varicose veins. For one, your genetics have an impact on whether or not you will get them. If you have family members who have varicose veins, you are more likely to them but this does not mean you will.

Age is a huge factor. The older you get, veins begin to lose their elasticity and valves stop working inside them. Being overweight is another factors. If you are too heavy, you put pressure on your veins. This means they have to work harder to send the blood back to your heart and make them prone to leaking. Finally, your job can impact your risk of getting varicose veins. If you work a job where you stand a lot, you should be sure to move around enough and sit when you can. Essentially varicose veins have to do with the circulation of your blood, if you work hard to keep it circulating you can prevent them.

Men & Prevention

It is undoubtedly true that women get varicose veins more often, but this does not mean men can’t get them. Hormones are clearly not the only factor that goes into the arrival of varicose veins. Circulation is the most prevalent thing. You can prevent varicose veins by eating well, getting enough exercise, moving around enough, and resting your legs. You can’t help getting older, but you can keep your weight down and stay healthy. Even when you are healthy, it is still possible to get varicose veins. Luckily you can treat them in many ways when you do get them.

Treating Varicose Veins

Treatments for varicose veins range. Sometimes you don’t need to do anything beyond resting your legs, putting your feet up, and exercising regularly. Other times you can use non-invasive procedures. These are non-surgical practices such as sclerotherapy, which gets rid of veins by injecting them with a solution called a sclerosant. This forces the vein to collapse and for the blood to go to healthier veins. There are also radiofrequency and endovenous laser ablations. These procedures use catheters to heat up the veins with radio waves or lasers to get your body to reabsorb the veins. Finally, if all else fails, you can removed the veins with surgery. Few will have to do this.

Man or woman, everyone can get varicose veins. If your circulation is poor, you will likely get them. So do your best to prevent them by keeping healthy. Exercise. Eat well. Get enough rest. You can’t stop aging or genetics, but you can keep healthy.

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