A Range of Causes
The problem is more than skin-deep; varicose veins, while not immediately life-threatening, are uncomfortable and can significantly impact the quality of life. Talk to anyone who has them, and they’ll tell you that in addition to being unsightly, they can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, and pain in the legs, sometimes leading to more serious health issues. A number of factors lead to their formation, many of which can’t be regulated directly such as age, circulation problems, and pregnancy among others.
However, lifestyle factors also play a massive role, and it turns out that everyday habits can make existing cases worse and even play a role in their development. Here’s a quick round-up of common behaviors worth looking at as well as what you can do to change them.
- Crossing Your Legs
This common behavior seems innocent, but it actually puts a great deal of strain on the veins in the hips and legs. This excess pressure causes veins to engorge and can lead to the formation of spider veins. In addition, this activity makes existing cases of varicose veins worse. Skipping this habit will no doubt help.
- Wearing High Heels
They may perfectly compliment your outfit, but high heeled shoes represent a danger when it comes to varicose veins. Basically, when you wear them you essentially lock your calves into a certain position. This is problematic because when you walk, these muscles act as a kind of pump, helping blood get back to the heart. This leads to blood pooling in the legs, which causes veins to swell: a perfect recipe for this condition.
- Eating Salty Snacks
Everyone loves potato chips, fries, or other salty snacks, but, according to Dr. Paramjit Singh Kahlon, at Amandeep Hospitals, Amritsar, Punjab, overindulging in them can lead to problems.  A diet that’s too high in salt content can lead to water retention, which increases pressure on veins. This, in turn, can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
- Smoking Cigarettes
You don’t need a doctor to tell you that smoking is bad for your health, but, alongside other dangers, this habit can also lead to varicose veins problems. Nicotine intake is a notable risk-factor for this condition  because it causes vessels to contract. In turn, this inhibits circulation, leading to the swelling and pooling of blood that characterizes this condition. Not only that, smokers with varicose veins are at increased risk for developing other problems like leg ulcers.
- Neglecting Leg Muscles
A surefire way of improving your body’s circulation is exercise. When leg muscles are neglected, you get an increased chance of veins weakening and becoming less able to get blood back to the heart. Loss of muscle mass there allows vessels dilate increasing the chance for developing varicose veins. Rather than a habit to break, here’s a habit to make: take those walks, get back on the exercise bike, and do what you can to keep those legs moving.
The Steps Ahead
As much as shaking these habits can help with varicose veins and may even prevent them, this health issue can arise regardless. If you have varicose veins, know that there are ways to manage and eradicate the condition; working alongside medical professionals, there’s no doubt that you can get the best of these diseased veins. Watch out for bad habits, talk to your doctors, and keep an open mind.
If you’re struggling with varicose veins, the team at Hamilton Vein Center can help. The experts at these Texas-based clinics pride themselves in offering nothing but the best in treatment for their patients. Learn more about what they do by calling their Houston office at (281) 565-0033, the Austin location at (512) 551-1403, or San Antonio at (210) 504-4304.
- Chilukoti, Bhavyajyoti. 2018. “5 Everyday Habits That May Give You Varicose Veins”. Accessed June 15 2018. http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/everyday-habits-that-may-give-you-varicose-veins-b0817/.
- Gourgou S, et al. 2018. “Lower Limb Venous Insufficiency And Tobacco Smoking: A Case-Control Study. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Nlm.Nih.Gov. Accessed June 15 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12034579.