What’s one of the biggest risk factors for varicose veins? Unfortunately, it’s one of the few things we can’t control: genetics. If you have a family member that has developed varicose veins at one point, then there’s a greater chance that you may experience them as well. Luckily, there are some minor lifestyle changes you can make to decrease your risk. And if you do develop varicose veins, or experience other vein concerns, then the vein specialists of Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center are here to help.
How Do Genetics Affect Your Vein Health?
Varicose veins are caused by poor vein health. Our vein valves work harder in our lower legs to push blood upward against the flow of gravity. If these valves are weakened or damaged, blood can pool in the vein, causing a varicose vein to form. In some cases, the daily wear and tear that life puts on our bodies can cause these valves to break down. In other cases, genetics can be the deciding factor.
We all inherit traits from our parents — some good, some bad. It’s possible for certain individuals to have fewer valves than normal in their veins or have valves that don’t function as well as they should. Other individuals may have abnormalities in their vein wall that can leave the valves more likely to be damaged. These traits are likely to be passed down to children, leaving them more at risk of developing varicose veins later in life.
How You Can Decrease Your Risk of Varicose Veins
While there is no way to prevent varicose veins entirely, there are ways to decrease your risk of developing them. One of the biggest ways is through exercise. This doesn’t mean you need to create a high-impact exercise routine. Simply fitting a walk into your day can help. If you’re frequently sitting or standing for long periods of time during the day, make sure you’re finding moments where you can take short walks. This will help to strengthen the calves and boost your circulation, lowering your risk of blood pooling in the vein.
Compression stockings can also be an effective way to help blood circulate through the leg. This legwear applies pressure gradually up the leg to gently guide blood flow upward, with the greatest amount of pressure near the ankle. We recommend seeing a specialist about compression stockings to ensure you get the level of compression that will be best for your needs.
Finally, try elevating your legs when you can, especially at the end of the long day. This will also help drain blood from the lower leg and can offer relief from any tension or soreness caused by blood pooling.
Seeing a Specialist
If you’re already experiencing signs of varicose veins, don’t worry. Treatment is quick, easy, and minimally invasive so you can get back on your feet with healthy veins ASAP. You can schedule a consultation with our team of vein specialists in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center by calling 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547 today.