Varicose veins are not only a female issue. More than a quarter of men are currently suffering from the pain and discomfort of these bulging, twisted veins. At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, about 45 percent of our patient base is male, and the severity of the disease is similar among genders.
Men should not let the stigma around varicose veins being a female concern prevent them from addressing the pain and discomfort they may be feeling. The following information will help men understand where varicose veins come from, symptoms they should be aware of and the different ways to reduce or eliminate them altogether.
Why do I have varicose veins?
Don’t feel afraid or embarrassed about your varicose veins. You are not alone. According to the American Vein and Lymphatic Society more than 25 million Americans have varicose veins. The following outlines the main causes for the development of your varicose veins – issues that don’t discriminate based on gender.
- Family History – Vein disease is hereditary, so if there is a family history of varicose veins, you are more likely to have this condition as well.
- Age – Men and women over the age of 50 are more susceptible to suffering from varicose veins.
- Obesity – You are more likely to develop varicose veins if you are overweight. Being overwait puts additional pressure on your blood as it returns blood back to the heart.
- Prolonged Sitting or Standing – Jobs that require you to sit or stand for long periods of can negatively impact blood flow.
- Smoking – The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the structure and function of your veins, increasing your risk.
Is there anything I can do to get rid of my varicose veins?
A good first step is recognizing the symptoms. Varicose veins often look like twisting, bulging “cords” that are blue in color and appear near the surface of your skin – primarily on the feet and legs. They are caused by weakened or damaged valves in the veins that restrict blood flow. Symptoms include burning or throbbing sensation in the legs; tired, achy or heaviness in the legs; skin tenderness; swelling; chronic pain similar to muscle cramps in the legs; itchiness; and aching.
You can reduce the effects of varicose veins by making the following lifestyle changes:
- Move more. Standing and sitting for too long inhibits blood flow.
- If you sit most of the day, prop up your feet on a footrest or stool.
- If you stand most of the day, try calf raises or work in a couple of squats when you have the chance.
- Shift your standing position as often as possible.
- Walk around at least once every 30 minutes.
- Maintain a healthy weight by prioritizing a healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly to improve circulation.
- Quit smoking or using tobacco.
If you’re looking to get rid of your varicose veins and your symptoms altogether, there are minimally invasive laser treatments available today. Patients report little to no pain or complications and these treatments are also covered by insurance, and we accept most plans.
- Compression Stockings: The first line of defense is the use of compression stockings or other devices, which can reduce symptoms, but are not a permanent solution.
- Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): A cutting-edge technology that has replaced the need for open surgery. EVLA is a minimally invasive lasering technique used to shut down varicose veins.
- Sclerotherapy: While EVLA can be used to treat larger problem veins, it is also common to have smaller tributary veins that don’t function properly. These smaller tributary veins can be shut down through the injection of a sclerosing solution.
Men, you are not alone in living with varicose veins. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek treatment for a condition that’s causing you pain and discomfort. Call us today at 779-696-8346 or sign up for a free screening to get your quality of life back.