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