For years varicose veins have sometimes been viewed as “Grandma’s Disease” or something that only women had to deal with. On the contrary, experts suggest the problem is just as common in men with Men’s Health reporting as much as 56% of men suffering from varicose veins. The difference is men are much less likely to seek treatment. However, a common myth remains that varicose veins is a woman’s disease. Here are three things you likely did not know about varicose veins in men’s legs:
- It is a big deal!
Varicose veins are not normally a serious, life threatening issue, but when left untreated, you may be putting yourself at risk for developing some serious vascular problems in the future. The presence of varicose veins does not mean you will experience a complication, but the longer you wait before seeking evaluation the higher your risk in developing a more serious condition. Varicose veins can potentially lead to discoloration, bleeding, skin ulcers, and a heavy leg sensation that can negatively impact your activities of daily living.
- Treatment is easier than you think.
With most varicose vein treatments you can be back on your feet the same day with limited restrictions. For procedures such as Endovenous Laser Therapy or Radiofrequency Ablation Endovenous Therapy a heat source is utilized to seal off diseased veins and blood is naturally rerouted to healthy veins. All procedures are minimally invasive and performed in office allowing patients to be up and walking shortly after the procedure. At Premier Vein Clinics in Knoxville the main goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms allowing you to regain quality of life and restore your healthy legs.
- There are steps you can take to care for your veins now to reduce your risk of varicose veins later.
While there are unavoidable risk factors such as family history and previous leg trauma, there are steps you can take to lessen your risk or delaying onset of varicose veins.
- Avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting. When your body is stagnant your blood has a tendency to do the same allowing it to pool in your veins. If your occupation requires you to stand or sit for the majority of the day try shifting positions, swaying from side to side, and take breaks when possible to either take a brisk walk or sit for a few moments. Most importantly, try to take at least one ten minute break during the day to get horizontal elevating your feet above your heart to alleviate pressure and allow gravity to normalize blood flow.
- Exercise is the easiest way to promote good cardiovascular and venous health. Specifically strengthening your calf muscles can play a crucial role in maintaining blood flow from your legs back to the heart.
- Watch what you eat and avoid foods high in sodium as these can lead to fluid retention adding pressure to the vein walls.
So the moral of the story for the men is if you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins, such as pain, swelling or ropy-looking veins, discuss this with your primary care physician or take our self guided assessment to see if you could benefit from a consultation with one of Premier Vein Clinic’s experienced vascular surgeons.