With the concentration of modern jobs focusing on dealing through technology and being stuck at your desk for the majority of a working-day, younger men are having to deal with problems that infrequently faced the older generations. Unsurprisingly, young men typically don’t consider varicose veins as a problem they might have to deal with, as this condition is usually thought of as something experienced only by elderly people. However, as many as 56 percent of men will suffer from varicose veins at some point in their lives, so even younger men should take note and learn about risk factors, prevention techniques, and treatments.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are caused when small valves inside the vein begin to fail, allowing blood to escape into the surrounding tissue and begin to pool and clot. This broken valve also causes the vein to bulge and twist, which in turn makes it become more visible through the skin, appearing blue-greenish and large.
These veins can appear anywhere on your body, but they are most common on the legs due to downwards pressure (and the force of gravity) when standing and walking. This means that the valves in the legs have to work harder than other valves in your body, and as a result are more likely to fail. Often varicose and spider veins (smaller vessels that have twisted or leaked) are simply a cosmetic issue, but they can develop into more serious medical problems if left untreated.
What Are Risk Factors for Men?
Men can develop varicose veins at any time, but there are a number of factors that make it more likely you will develop a problem. First, some people are just more genetically predisposed to varicose veins.
Second, environmental factors such as having a job that requires a lot of sitting or staying on your feet all day can exacerbate venous issues. For example, if your job requires you to walk around a lot, the pressure downwards is on your legs all day, and the valves in your veins are under a lot of stress. Similarly, if you are sitting down all day, your blood circulation is low and the pooling, thicker blood can also create pressure on your leg veins.
In addition, not getting enough exercise or having an unhealthy diet high in sodium can also make it more likely that you will develop varicose veins, even if you are a young man.
How to Prevent and Treat Varicose Veins
From the above risk factors, a few preventative measures will be obvious: get enough exercise, and eat a healthy diet without too much fat or sodium. Taking care of your cardiovascular system generally can ensure good vein health, so following “heart-health” recommendations will also stand you in good stead. Furthermore, if you have a job that involves a lot of sitting down, make sure that you stand up regularly to get the blood circulation flowing in your legs. If your job requires a lot of standing and walking around, take breaks to elevate your legs to take the pressure off your veins and the valves inside them.
If varicose or spider veins have already developed in your legs, don’t worry. Modern treatments are fast and minimally-invasive, with doctors using laser technology to quickly seal leaking veins, or using sclerotherapy (an injection of foam to seal the vein). Both of these techniques are outpatient surgeries, which means that you can walk in and out of the clinic within a few hours.
Varicose veins might seem like an “old lady” problem, but they can appear even in young people or otherwise-healthy young men, depending on the nuances of your lifestyle and your genetic predisposition. Take care of your legs and vein health by getting regular exercise, eating well, and taking the pressure off your veins whenever you can.