What Can Men Expect from Varicose Veins

men, varicose veins

If you believe that varicose veins are a problem that only plagues women, think again. Up to half of men have the characteristic twisted, bulging, discolored veins, and they’re not just a cosmetic problem. Varicose veins can cause complications, including leg pain, bleeding, and skin ulcers.

Read on as our specialists at Vascular Access Centers share facts about varicose veins and how men are affected.

What are varicose veins?

Veins have one-way valves designed to keep blood flowing toward your heart. When your veins are healthy, blood flow goes off without a hitch. The veins carry blood to your heart, the heart pumps blood to your lungs, and oxygen-rich blood travels throughout your body.

Because of gravity, the veins in your lower legs are more susceptible to problems. Varicose veins occur when faulty valves allow blood to back up and pool in the veins in your lower legs. This causes vein walls to expand, weaken, and become damaged, leading to the telltale characteristics of varicose veins, which are swollen and gnarled.

Risk factors

Jobs that require prolonged standing and genetics are two major risk factors of varicose veins. Varicose veins tend to run in families. If you have an immediate family member with varicose veins, you’re at a higher risk of developing them as well. In fact, men who have a specific genetic variation are twice as likely to develop varicose veins.

Another risk factor is obesity. Aside from that, your diet can make varicose vein symptoms worse.

How varicose veins affect men and what you can do about them

While a significant number of men develop varicose veins, men are less likely than women to develop complications such as blood clots. But left untreated, varicose veins can cause symptoms in men.

Varicose veins is a sign of weak or damaged valves. Men with varicose veins often complain of a heavy feeling in their legs following physical activity. Treatment can not only improve the appearance of your legs, it can reduce the risk of venous complications.

Here are a couple of tips for reducing the risk of varicose veins.

Get moving

Exercise is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your veins healthy and your vein walls strong. Exercises that involve your legs, particularly your calves, can strengthen your veins and keep blood flowing toward your heart from your legs. Walking, running, and biking are beneficial forms of physical activity that contribute to venous health.

Avoid prolonged standing

Due to the force of gravity, prolonged standing causes blood to pool in your legs and places extra pressure on the veins in your legs, increasing your risk of developing varicose veins. If your job requires standing, you can ease the pressure on the veins in your legs by shifting your weight frequently.

Avoid prolonged sitting

Sitting for too long can be a problem also. If you’re at your desk all day, stretch your legs out, tap your feet, and raise your legs to keep blood flowing in the right direction and ease some of the stress on the veins in your legs.

Elevate your legs

After a long day of standing or sitting, it helps to elevate your legs for about 15 minutes to remove the pressure from your veins.

Seek treatment

Don’t let your ego get in your way of seeking treatment for varicose veins. Even if you currently have no symptoms, it’s wise to visit a vein clinic like ours for an evaluation and diagnosis. That’s because the earlier we catch vein problems, the easier they are treat.

Varicose veins do not go away on their own, and if you put off seeking treatment, you put yourself at risk for potentially dangerous complications.

Don’t wait until your vein problems become worse. To learn more about varicose veins in men and to schedule an appointment at Vascular Access Centers, call one of our two Memphis, Tennessee, locations or book online at your convenience.

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