Varicose Veins in Young People: What You Need to Know
Most people associate varicose veins as a condition that arises later in life and, more commonly, after age 50. While this might be the most common age group that sees the symptoms of venous deficiencies, varicose veins in young people occur with more frequency than people might imagine.
Spider veins can emerge in younger people as well—although for many it might just be a cosmetic issue at first. If left untreated or not mitigated properly, these spider veins can turn into more problematic varicose veins. Here’s what you need to know about varicose veins in young people and how to take proactive measures to avoid complications.
The Hereditary Component of Varicose Veins
Aside from age, one of the most well-known components that increase chances for varicose veins or venous disease is family history. One study in Japan, for example, reported that 42% of women with varicose veins had a positive family history. Another controlled study in the United Kingdom reported a positive family history of varicose veins in 85% of patients with varicosities. The authors of the study reported that patients with varicose veins were 21.5 more likely to report a family history.
The Genes Associated with Venous Deficiency and Circulation Problems
Like any condition, disease, or trait that is hereditary, the answer lies in the genetic code, when looking to understand what the culprit gene might be. Because there is a frequent observation of familiar ties within people showing symptoms of venous disease, studies have been done to better understand the hereditary component of venous disease. One study was conducted on 46 pairs of twins, the study concluded that unadjusted heritability was 60% for venous capacity and venous compliance was 90%.
Are Young People Affected by Varicose Veins?
Given the nature of the modern lifestyle, many young people find themselves working at a desk or spending most of their school and study time in front of a screen. This translates to a lot more sitting down and possibly less exercise. And while all of this can be contributing factors to a young person seeing the beginnings of varicose veins, family history continues to be a common indicator that someone might experience some of these symptoms earlier on in life.
Common causes that might contribute to varicose veins in young people include:
- Genetics: The genetic ties to venous disease are a big factor when it comes to varicose veins in young people. Having one close family member that has suffered from varicose veins will increase the chances of someone —even if they are young— experiencing mild to more severe symptoms at a younger age.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Sitting down for long periods puts a lot of stress on the venous system. While a person sits down, the veins, hips, and thighs are working in overdrive. They must work harder to push blood back up to the heart against gravity. This can happen too when someone is standing up for long periods.
- Being overweight or obese: Carrying around a few extra pounds can also put a lot of pressure on the venous system. It forces the veins and the valves to work harder. Combine obesity with a sedentary lifestyle and you have two contributing factors that might exacerbate the condition.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the body is going through a myriad of changes including weight gain and hormonal changes. Both of these can increase the propensity for varicose veins.
All of these factors can increase a young person’s chances of developing varicose veins and seeing negative consequences. When a young person qualifies for more than one of these factors, the changes compound. For example, a young person that is overweight has a close family member with varicose veins and does not get enough exercise, which might increase the chances of spider veins or varicose veins appearing early on in life. Some studies suggest that height can even be a factor in some circumstances.
How Can a Young Adult Improve Their Circulation and Leg Health?
Like most things associated with health, varicose veins are treated better when caught early and their underlying cause is treated or addressed. If the varicose veins are caused due to hereditary reasons, then a young adult can be extra mindful and careful about their lifestyle to prevent further advancement of the condition.
If the underlying condition causing the varicose veins is obesity, then working towards improving weight management is a good way to keep an eye on a person’s vein health. Consulting with a vein specialist will give a young patient a better idea of how they can prevent the problem from getting worse and maybe even seeing significant improvement.
Consult a Vein Expert and Treat Your Varicose Veins Early
Understanding the causes of varicose veins and what makes them worse will help patients combat the uncomfortable symptoms they experience. Speak with a vein specialist and find out what you can do as a young person to prevent varicose veins later in life.
Are you seeing early signs of varicose veins? Call EP Varicose Veins and learn more about the treatment options.