Varicose veins are more common than you think. They occur in up to 35 percent of the world population. You may know they are unsightly and typically appear as blueish, ropey places on your legs, and they can cause pain and swelling. But what else do you know about them? Here are six facts about the condition:

1. Gender, age, and family history are the big contributors.

If your parents and grandparents had varicose veins, there's a chance you will, too, no matter what you do to prevent them. However, age and gender are also major factors. Women are more likely to get them due to hormonal changes during menopause, puberty, and pregnancy. They are also more common in people over 55, though they can occur at any age. Other contributing factors may include pregnancy, obesity, standing or sitting for long periods of time, poor digestion, and wearing tight or restrictive clothing.
2. You may have varicose veins even if you can't see them. 

Don't wait for those blue ropey veins to appear on your legs. If you are experiencing any type of leg discomfort, it could be a sign that varicose veins are developing. Swelling, pain, redness, heaviness, cramps, and overall discomfort are all typical symptoms. 

3. Varicose veins can be a health problem, but they are not always. 

Varicose veins are caused by weakened valves, and they are not always a sign of a larger health issues. As a matter of fact, sometimes, they are merely just a cosmetic problem that you can address through procedures or even some DIY remedies. However, sometimes they can be a sign of a bigger health issue, especially if they lead to severe pain, numbness, cramping, and restless legs. If they bleed openly or have created sores on your legs, a trip to the doctor is in order immediately.  

4. You can sometimes minimize the pain and appearance at home. 

Some people can minimize the pain and appearance of varicose vein by taking a little extra care of their legs at home. Sit with your legs elevated above your heart for at least 15 minutes a day. Swap your tight undergarments and pants for looser items. Consider investing in pair of compression stockings to increase the circulation in your legs. 

5. Diet and exercise may help. 

To help combat varicose veins and prevent them from becoming worse, you may need to make a few lifestyle changes. Get at least 30 minutes of low-impact exercise each day, such as swimming, walking, or biking. Eat a diet that is high in fiber to improve digestion — constipation can lead to extra pressure on your veins. Eat plenty of vegetables that are rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cauliflower, to improve the strength of your vein walls. 

6. Once you have one, you will most likely have more. 

If you have a varicose vein, you will most likely develop more in your lifetime. Luckily, there are ways to treat them. You can contact varicose vein treatment center to learn more about getting rid of it. If they are painful, your insurance is likely to cover the procedure. It's also possible that you can treat them through quick and easy outpatient processes.

Published by David Milsont