When you have varicose veins, you may feel embarrassed to wear shorts, which can be a real problem when you live in Florida. But varicose veins are often more than just a cosmetic issue.
It’s important to pay attention to varicose veins to see if they are a sign of a more serious problem. Dr. Muthu Velusamy of Cardiovascular Institute of America, with offices in Lutz and Tampa, Florida, offers this guide to 6 signs that you should get your varicose veins evaluated.
1. Your varicose veins are bulging
Varicose veins also known as Varicosities, are by definition twisted, blue veins, usually in your legs, and occur when your veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. When these valves fail, blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing toward your heart.
2. Your legs ache or feel heavy
Varicose veins are sometimes painless, which can mean there’s no problem. But if your legs ache or feel heavy, that can indicate a more serious problem that needs medical attention.
3. Your legs feel swollen or the muscles are cramping
If your legs feel swollen or your leg muscles frequently feel like they’re cramping, it is a sign that you should have your varicose veins evaluated. You may also feel burning or a throbbing pain.
4. Your pain gets worse after sitting or standing for a long time
If your pain gets worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time, you should have your varicose veins checked out. This often indicates a problem with your circulation and that your heart may not be pumping blood effectively.
5. You have itching around one or more of your veins
If your skin is itchy around one or more of your veins, it could also be a sign of a more serious problem. You might even feel tempted to dismiss such skin issues as being due to bug bites or other rashes, but your skin could itch because of circulation problems.
6. Your skin is discolored
If the skin around your varicose veins changes colors, you should get them checked out.
More about varicose veins
Varicose veins aren’t just a normal part of getting older. In some cases, they can be an early sign of heart disease.
Varicose veins are veins that are weak or damaged. This is a big problem. Your arteries carry oxygenated blood to your legs, then your veins move the blood back to your heart. When your veins are weak or damaged, they don’t carry blood as effectively.
Risk factors for developing varicose veins include:
The risk of varicose veins increases as you get older. Aging increases wear and tear on the valves in your veins, which can make them less effective at returning blood to your heart.
Women are at greater risk of developing varicose veins. This risk first appears if you get pregnant, though older women are also at risk.
Being overweight or obese
Being overweight or obese puts pressure on many parts of your body, including your veins.
If your relatives had varicose veins, you are more likely to develop them.
Standing or sitting for too long
Spending too much time sitting or standing increases your risk of developing varicose veins. Walking for as little as half an hour can have great benefits.
Varicose veins are sometimes a clue that your heart isn’t working as well as it should. You should get your varicose veins checked out if you have any of the above symptoms. Call Dr. Muthu Velusamy at Cardiovascular Institute of America today or request an appointment online.