While advanced age is often associated with varicose veins, aging is only one contributing factor toward venous disease development. There are many causes of venous disease, many of which are related to your lifestyle. So if you’re seeing varicose veins in your 20s, and you’re confused as to how this could have happened to you at such a young age, this article is for you.
Varicose Veins In Your 20s: How Did This Happen?
Physicians across the country are reporting a much higher incidence of varicose veins in very young patients. To understand why this is on the rise, you must first understand the causes of varicose veins.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
There are many causes of varicose veins and spider veins. However, the most prominent cause is hereditary. Specifically, if your parents and grandparents have venous disease, you’re more likely to develop them as well, especially if you’re a woman over the age of 30.
Genetics and age aside, varicose veins are also caused by your lifestyle. So if grandma has varicose veins and you fit into one or more of the following categories, you’re more likely to develop varicose veins.
Your risk for developing varicose veins increases if you:
- Are or have been pregnant
- Are overweight or obese
- Sit or stand all day for work
- Are sedentary or not physically active
- Have been on bed rest for a long period of time
- Have been injured, requiring reduced activity
- Are on medications that affect your circulation
- Wear constrictive clothing or high heels regularly
Do you identify with one or more of the above? If so, that may explain how you have varicose veins in your 20s.
Pregnancy and Varicose Veins
Starting in early pregnancy, the risk for the pooling of venous blood in your legs goes up. Though more common in expectant mothers in their 30s. Our 20-something moms should also know the risk for developing varicose veins increases with each pregnancy.
Weight gain during pregnancy is a contributor for varicose veins, but increased blood volume of pregnancy and hormonal changes are also to blame. Extreme hormone changes in early pregnancy cause the blood flow to slow in preparation for pregnancy and childbirth, which in turn contributes to varicose veins, spider veins, and blood clots. If you have a family history of venous disease or even if you don’t it is very important to talk with your doctor about varicose vein prevention during your pregnancy. Once you have delivered we recommend that you see your vein specialists if the varicose veins that develop during your pregnancy do not resolve within 12 weeks of delivery.
Obesity and Varicose Veins
The obesity epidemic in the United States is very real. The combination of a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits have contributed to high-rates of obesity in children and adults. From a young age, obesity leads to a higher risk for developing adult diseases before the age of 18, including sleep apnea, vein disease and heart disease.
If you were an overweight child, your risk of venous disease is higher than children who were a healthy weight. If you still struggle with your weight, this can also contribute to developing varicose veins in your 20s.
Lack of Activity During the Day
Most Americans sit or stand still for very long periods of time during the work day. If you aren’t adjusting your daily routine to accommodate for this lack of physical activity, your risk for developing varicose veins increases.
There’s an unfortunate domino effect with this kind of sedentary lifestyle as well. Lack of activity contributes to varicose veins and weight gain, which also increases your risk for varicose veins.
Even if you exercise, eat healthy, and compensate for a sedentary work environment with movement throughout the day, wearing the wrong clothing can hurt your circulation and cause varicose veins and spider veins. Do you love wearing high heels and tight jeggings that pinch you in all the wrong places? You’re more likely to develop varicose veins in your 20s.
Injuries, Bed Rest and Medications
Even if you take care of your health and wear health conscious clothing, an injury that puts you horizontal for a long period of time can hurt your circulation and increase your risk for developing varicose veins and blood clots. Certain medications, like hormonal birth control pills, can also increase the risk of developing varicose veins in your 20s, even if you’re an otherwise healthy person.
What’s causing the increased incidence of varicose veins in young patients?
Pregnancy, medications, injuries, and bed rest aren’t the primary causes for the rise of venous diseases in young patients. This disturbing trend in US youth is mostly linked to lifestyle choices: long days sitting or standing following by Netflix binge-watching, unhealthy food choices, lack of exercise, and weight gain.
Tips to Improve Your Health and Circulation
Tips To Improve Your Health And Circulation
With the help of your vein specialist and your primary care physician, reversing this unhealthy lifestyle trend and help you onto a path for wellness and Better Veins for Life.
- 1. Compression Garments and Fashion Changes: The simplest way to improve your circulation is to wear graduated compression garments. Better still, if you love your leggings, we have fashionable compression leggings that are good for your health. Today’s medical grade graduated compression wear is much more fashionable and fun, so don’t feel turned off by what you remember your grandmother wearing. Switching from heels to flats will also help your circulation and your feet will thank you.
- 2. Calf Pumps on the Job: If you sit or stand for long periods of time at work, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to move around. Walk around a little bit, do calf pumps to flex your calf muscles, stretch, or some other activity. You don’t have to work up a sweat, but you do need to work your leg muscles.
- 3. Elevate Your Legs: Catch up on email, texts, and social media messages with your legs elevated. Lie down on the floor with your buttocks against the wall and your legs elevated or lie down on the floor with your legs elevated on the couch. As long as your feet are above your head, it counts as leg elevation.
- 4. Binge Watch While Exercising: Remember that exercise bike or treadmill that’s gathering dust in the corner? Put it in front of your TV and use it every time you binge watch. You’ll lose weight, look and feel better, and improve your circulation. Don’t have equipment? You don’t need it! Leg lifts and stretches are much better than just sitting there. Move your body and work your leg muscles.
- 5. See a Vein Specialist for Treatments: If you already have varicose veins in your 20s or you have one of the symptoms of varicose veins, it’s important to speak with a vein specialist for an evaluation to determine if you require medical treatments. Symptoms include unexplained:
Have Varicose Veins In Your 20s And Beyond? Schedule A Consultation
No matter how old you are, if you have varicose veins, experience any symptoms of venous disease, or have a family history of venous disease, it’s important to see a vein specialist. Our providers at Vein Specialists of the South offer you a full evaluation to check the health of your veins, take a family and personal health history, and educate you on how to prevent and treat varicose veins. We will also give you information about our “walk in, walk out, with little to no downtime” procedures to correct you vein disease.
Whether you just need a lifestyle change or you require a professional procedure in one of our offices in Central Georgia, Vein Specialists of the South can help you improve the look of your legs and get you on a path toward a healthier lifestyle and Better Veins for Life. Contact us for a consultation in one of our convenient office locations in Downtown Macon or Warner Robins, GA. or complete our simple, easy and convenient online tool VirtualVein.com from the convenience of your own home.