Varicose veins are a mainly aesthetic problem when they begin to appear, but they can also become a cardiovascular health problem .
According to a recent study , adults with varicose veins are five times more likely to suffer from deep vein thrombosis , a condition in which a blood clot blocks a deep blood vessel, usually in the leg or thigh.
“Varicose veins, or varicose veins, are rarely associated with serious health problems, in contrast, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms are associated with serious systemic problems, but patients with varicose veins have increased levels of varicose veins. inflammatory and prothrombotic agents , “explain the authors of the study.
Since, as we say, often do not relate to serious health problems, varicose veins are sometimes relegated to our list of priorities regarding health, but in case you have any questions, here is everything you need to know about varicose veins. .
Varicose veins are swollen veins that normally form on the legs and are visible through the skin because of their bluish color. They are formed by a combination of the force of gravity and the weakening of the venous walls.
Blood circulates through our body in two directions: from the heart to the organs and tissues, and from the organs and tissues to the heart. To move it uses the impulses of the heart beats, but in a sense (whenever it is to lower) it will always be easier than in the opposite (when it has to go up). To help in the impulse, the veins have valves that open or close at the rhythm of the circulation and that prevent the blood that has already risen from falling back and accumulating in the lower areas of the body.
When these valves are weak or damaged, either by age or by some other pathology, the blood can accumulate in these venous areas , giving little by little the venous walls and forming varicose veins.
Risk factors for varicose veins
There are different factors that increase the risk of developing varicose veins:
- To spend many hours standing : as we have explained, the action of gravity has a lot to do with varicose veins, and if you spend many hours standing, the effect increases.
- Family history : people whose family members have varicose veins are twice as likely to develop varicose veins as well.
- Age and sex : older people have more weakened walls and venous valves, and that favors the appearance of varicose veins. Women are at higher risk, it is believed that due to hormonal causes.
Obese people have […] an increased amount of blood supply that puts pressure on the veins
- Obesity : obese people have a higher risk of diabetes because they have a greater amount of blood supply that puts pressure on the veins.
- Constipation : problems to defecate pose an increased risk of diabetes because they increase the time spent sitting and because the effort to evacuate the intestine increases the pressure in the abdomen and hinders circulation through the veins of the lower part of the body.
- Pregnancy : Varicose veins often appear during pregnancy due to the weight gain that this entails and also to hormonal changes.
- Hormonal contraceptives : cause an increase in fluid retention that can promote varicose veins.
Physical exercise against varicose veins
Varicose veins can develop complications that can range from relatively mild, such as itching, to more serious ones such as an increased risk of thrombosis, bleeding from scratching or infections.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent the formation of varicose veins, and one of the main ones has to do with physical activity. In particular, it is very helpful to perform exercises that strengthen the muscles of the legs , which in turn promotes blood return.
Sports such as swimming, cycling, doing yoga or gymnastics can help you achieve that goal. If you already have diabetes, it is better to avoid others that involve sudden movements, jumps and changes of direction, such as tennis, basketball, volleyball or handball among others.
Other daily activities that can help you
In addition to practicing these sports, there are some small routines that you can incorporate into your day to day to prevent varicose veins.
If you spend many hours in the same position, especially standing, look for a moment every so often to squat . This relaxes the muscles in the lower legs and improves circulation.
On the other hand, if you are sitting, do it correctly, with your legs well supported on the ground or on a small step . Stretch from time to time and take short walks. Perform the following exercise while sitting: place a ball or a bottle between the knees and try to join the two thighs to activate circulation and muscles.
After spending all day standing or sitting, spend at least 5 minutes with your legs up . In fact, if you are comfortable, place a cushion under your feet to sleep, so that they are slightly raised and the blood does not accumulate in them.
Walk and move as much as you can . Walking on the beach is especially beneficial, and if you have a dog, take advantage of the excuse to walk several times a day. Whatever it takes. Of course, it prevents your legs from receiving direct sunlight during the hottest hours, as this can cause burns and further dilate the blood vessels.