Varicose veins can be caused by a range of lifestyle factors, however they can also appear without any clear reason or trigger. You are more likely to develop varicose veins if you:
• Spend a lot of time on your feet during the day, particularly if you have to stand still rather than moving around. Equally, if you have a sedentary lifestyle and spend a lot of time sitting still, you could be more at risk of developing varicose veins. If you are not active and moving around regularly, your circulation can suffer. This is particularly true for the lower legs, which need to be kept moving in order to pump blood upwards, towards the heart.
• Are pregnant. There are a number of reasons for this. The changes in hormones during pregnancy can cause the body tissues to relax, including veins. In addition, as the baby increases in size, it can put extra pressure on the veins in the pelvic region, particularly obstructing the flow of blood from the legs. Varicose veins are more likely to appear during the second half of pregnancy, with each pregnancy increasing the likelihood of damage to the veins.
• Are overweight. Being overweight is associated with varicose veins, particularly in women. The reason for this is not yet fully understood, however, it could be that those who are overweight are less likely to lead an active lifestyle, or excess weight could put pressure on the veins.
• Suffer from constipation. This has a similar effect in the pelvic region as pregnancy, as blood flow from the legs is partially obstructed. This also increases your risk of suffering from haemorrhoids, a form of varicose veins which appear in the anus or rectum, as straining can put pressure on these veins.