People often associate varicose or spider veins with old age. Although it is true that older people are more susceptible to developing vein disease (the cause of varicose veins), it’s still possible to develop the condition in your younger years. In fact, it’s not uncommon to develop varicose veins even as early on as the teenage years.
What Causes Vein Disease?
There are many known causes of vein disease, however the most common is heredity. For varicose veins in young adults, the most common cause in pregnancy. Being pregnant puts added pressure on the veins, especially the saphenous and femoral veins in the legs. The added pressure makes it more difficult for blood to circulate properly throughout the body, thus increasing the likelihood of blood collecting in the veins of the legs.
Another common contributor to varicose veins in young adults is sitting or standing for long periods of time. During regular activity, the muscles in our legs help keep blood flowing properly. The leg muscles contract and flex as we move, which in turn allows the valves in our veins to open and prevent blood from flowing backwards. When you are standing or sitting for a long time, the muscles are no longer contracting, making it more difficult for the vein valves to do their job.
What Are The Risk Factors for Developing Varicose Veins?
Vein disease is a widely hereditary condition, meaning that your chances of developing it increase if any immediate family members also have the condition. There are also lifestyle factors that can play a significant role in increasing risk for varicose veins in young adults. These lifestyle factors including obesity, diabetes, lack of exercise, and smoking.
As mentioned earlier, varicose veins in young adults are most likely to occur either due to heredity, pregnancy, or inactivity. Although young adults haven’t lived long enough to work a sedentary job for decades, the effects of prolonged inactivity can still wreak havoc on the circulatory system.
The following are examples of professions that require prolonged inactivity like sitting or standing.
- Office workers
- Hair Stylists
- Factory Workers
Anyone that works in a profession that promotes inactivity is at risk for developing vein disease and varicose veins, regardless of their age. Its important to be aware of how much time you spend being inactive, and always try to incorporate mild exercise into your day whenever possible.
How Can I Prevent Varicose Veins When I’m Young?
Unfortunately, there is no sure-fire solution for preventing varicose veins in young adults. However certain lifestyle changes may help decrease the risk and promote good circulation. If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 and think you may have varicose veins, meet with your doctor to find out the best method of treatment.
If you have any unhealthy habits, the best thing to do is quit before your long term health is affected. A common misconception among younger people is that no symptoms means their healthy. This perspective can be very dangerous as varicose veins and vein disease have the potential to become more serious if left untreated.
Do I Need Treatment?
Although treatments for varicose veins are very effective, treatment may not be necessary if your young. This is because the bodies self-healing abilities is much stronger in the younger years. Talk with your doctor to find out if you may be able to find relief from varicose veins from the use of at-home remedies. There affordable, simple methods available to promote good circulation in the lower legs and ankles. Young adults with varicose veins may benefit from wearing compression stockings and doing some circulation-promoting exercises like yoga.
At USA Vein Clinics, we specialize in treatment of vein disease in the lower legs and ankles. We offer a variety of minimally-invasive treatments like Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), Varithena, ClariVein, and Visual Sclerotherapy. Give us a call today at 888.768.3467 to set an appointment to determine which treatment would be best for you. Our onsite representatives are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding health insurance, treatment cost, or help scheduling an appointment.