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Varicose Veins- Why do we get them?
Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood back to the heart and veins carry blood back to the heart. The pressure in the arteries is high and the pressure in the veins is low. When we are standing the blood in the veins of our legs must flow against the force of gravity back to the heart. This causes pressure to build up in the veins of our legs. To overcome this problem our leg muscles act as pumps and the veins have one-way valves. Leg muscles pump blood back up to the heart, and the one-way valves prevent the blood from flowing back into your legs. However, sometimes the valves malfunction. The vein wall begins to weaken and when dilated, the valves cannot close. When this happens, blood may flow backward and stay in the veins of lower legs. Blood pools in the veins, they enlarge and become varicose.
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Factors that increase your risk of developing venous disorders:
Age: varicose veins usually appear between ages 30-70 and get progressively worse.
Gender: Women are twice as likely as men to develop this condition. Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy, premenstruation, menopause and using oral contraceptives may be factors. Female hormones tend to relax vein walls.
Heredity: If other family members hand varicose veins, there's a greater chance you will, too.
Obesity: being overweight puts added pressure on your veins
Standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time: your blood doesn't flow as well if you're in the same position for long periods. For example, flying in the economy class can potentially cause blood clots.
If any of the above factors apply to you and you still don't have venous disorders, consider yourself lucky. But don't tempt fate. You are twice as likely to develop venous disorders as those who don't fall into the above categories.
 
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