What causes varicose veins?

Varicose veins are caused by a malfunction of the valves in the veins. Normally, when the muscles contract, it helps to push the blood back to the heart, but the valves in the veins keep the blood from flowing backwards. If the valves become weak or damaged, blood can start to pool in the vein, causing it to become swollen and twisted.

Some common causes of varicose veins include:

  • Genetics: Some people are more likely to develop varicose veins because of their family history.
  • Age: As people get older, their vein valves can become weak and less effective, which can cause blood to pool in the veins.
  • Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on the veins and make it more difficult for blood to flow.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the volume of blood in the body increases, which can put extra pressure on the veins in the legs.
  • Prolonged standing or sitting: When people stand or sit for extended periods of time, the blood in their veins can pool and cause varicose veins.
  • Hormonal changes: hormonal changes can affect the vein walls and valves and increase the risk of varicose veins.

It is important to note that some people may be at higher risk of developing varicose veins, but the underlying cause may not always be identifiable.

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