The veins are blood vessels that are elastic to certain extent. They can tolerate defined degree of pressure and everything above the defined level can lead to varices. Additionally, improper functioning of specific anatomic structure in the veins called the valve can also lead to varicose veins. Valves that are essential part of large veins prevent blood from regurgitation and this way the blood is sent to the heart. Veins whose wall is weakened are very susceptible to increased blood pressure. Varices, or limited pouches that form from the wall of the affected veins are permanent and the vein cannot restore its previous normal appearance.
Varicose veins most commonly affect legs. The superficial veins of the legs become more visible and edematous. They resemble a line of blue beads. Apart from the fact that the very appearance of the legs is ruined these changes can be rather painful. Eventually, they can get inflamed and even blood clots can form inside the affected vein. This condition can affect anybody. Still there are predominant groups in which varicose veins tend to occur frequently. Varicose veins can apart from superficial veins also affect deep veins of the extremities.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Varicose veins most commonly affect elderly people. Namely, the process of aging leads to loss of elasticity of all blood vessels including veins. In elderly people even valves lose their strength and tonicity. This way the blood is not normally sent to the heart but it stays in the veins causing their distension and eventually lead to formation of varices.
Pregnant women are also at higher risk of developing varices. In advanced stage of pregnancy the baby pressures the large blood vessels in the groin area and in deeper layers of the thigh. This way the blood from the legs cannot properly move towards the heart. The pressure within veins in the legs rises and varices occur. Luckily, varicose veins in majority of women withdraw certain time after the delivery.
Obese people are another group of people who commonly suffer from varicose veins.
Varicose veins run in some families so this can be one more cause of this medical condition. Even people who are standing for longer period of time may develop the problem. Generally, women tend to suffer from varicose veins more than men.
And finally, in some people who are suffering from certain pelvic tumors the growth of the tumor can eventually interfere in drainage of the blood from the legs and lead to varices.