Genetics, Aging and Varicose Veins

Some contributing factors that raise the risk of Chronic Venous Insufficiency (Varicose Veins) are beyond our control:  Aging, Genetics and Hormones are examples.  We don’t get to choose the genetics (good or bad) we get from our parents, and we can’t stop the relentless effects of aging.

However, you might find it comforting to know that there are also contributing factors to CVI which are within most of our control.

Lifestyle Choices

The Good News for those of us who want to reduce our risk of Chronic Venous Insufficiency is that there are strong correlations between many Lifestyle Choices and the prevention and treatment of CVI (Varicose Veins).  For example, Obesity raises your risk of varicose vein formation dramatically, as does lack of Proper Exercise: Even clothing choices and how we sit can make a difference in our health.  Drs. McQuaid. Skiendzielewski and Morton recommend the following:

Exercise Often

Movement boosts circulation. Do something you enjoy (so you’re more likely to stick with it) to keep the blood flowing in your legs.

Elevate Your Legs

Lie down and put a couple of pillows under your legs and elevate them at, or above, heart level. Do this a couple of times each day if possible.

No Leg Crossing

Don’t sit with your legs crossed as this can decrease circulation to areas that need it.

Ditch the Heels

(Your podiatrist will also thank you.) Avoid high heels, and go for flats. A low heeled shoe gives calf muscles more of a work-out.

Underwear Choices

Avoid tight panty-leg girdles. As if being uncomfortable weren’t reason enough to avoid these things. This type of undergarment tends to restrict blood flow to the legs.

Avoid Sitting or Standing for Long Periods of Time

Doing one or the other puts added stress and pressure on your legs. Make it a point to move around at least every 30 minutes.

Lose Weight, and or Watch Your Weight

Even a few extra pounds puts added stress and pressure on your legs. Also watch your salt intake, and get plenty of fiber every day. Your legs can swell due to water retention and constipation.

Medical Treatments

Severe varicose veins can raise the risk of developing potentially life threatening blood clots (deep vein thrombosis).   Lifestyle Choices like those mentioned above may not be enough or sufficient for your particular condition.  And if you are concerned about your visible varicose or spider veins, have symptoms such as leg pain, late day leg swelling or leg aches, it’s important to take advantage of our Free Leg Health Screening.  Or if you prefer Call Us at (972) 378-5347  We look forward to hearing from you!