The Dangers of Varicose Veins: Five Things You Should Know

While varicose veins are widely known for producing dark bumpy lines around your legs and ankles, many people are unaware of the dangerous health conditions also associated with these enlarged veins. Even though some people may develop varicose veins and never have any major health issues, for many people, this condition is a foreshadowing of future health concerns.

How Varicose Veins Develop

Varicose veins develop when your veins become weak or damaged and blood flow becomes restricted. When the blood in your veins is not able to flow correctly, it will begin to collect in pockets causing the vein to become enlarged. This swelling is what leads to the dark colored veins that you eventually see pushing up against the surface of your skin.

Risk Factors for Developing Varicose Veins

While your chances of getting varicose veins increases with age, you are also put at an increased risk if you have a family history of varicose veins or if you spend a lot of time either standing or sitting. Changes in hormones can also cause vein valves to weaken, impeding proper blood flow through the veins. Poor blood circulation as well as obesity are also known to increase your chances of getting varicose veins.

Blood Clots

If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to possible blood clots. This condition is called deep vein thrombosis. If at some point the clot dislodges, it can move through the bloodstream and into the lungs resulting in a life threatening pulmonary embolism.

Venous Leg Ulcers

Varicose veins can also cause the legs and ankles to become swollen. If you suffer from varicose veins and notice discoloration around your ankles, it could be the beginning stages of a developing venous leg ulcer. These ulcers can be painful and are considered the final stage of a condition called Venous Disease.

Varicose Vein Treatments

One of the current treatments for varicose veins involves inserting a catheter that is heated by radio waves into the vein. This procedure causes the vein to eventually collapse and reabsorb.
One downfall to this option is that it can take up to eight weeks for the vein to completely absorb. Another option is using lasers to shrink the veins. The benefit of using a laser is that the results are immediate. Another more recent method for dealing with varicose veins is called foam sclerotherapy that blocks blood flow in the damaged vein.
Seeking medical treatment for varicose veins is extremely important. Varicose veins are a sign that blood is not flowing properly through your veins. The body relies on proper blood flow to function properly. When a part of the system breaks down, it can cause serious detrimental effects to your health. Being proactive and taking care of the issue right away is necessary in order to continue living a healthy life. Informational credit to Ivein vein center.

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