Bulging veins (also known as varicose veins) is a common problem globally with about 23% of American adults suffering from the condition. Normally, bulging veins do not display serious symptoms but they should be treated as soon as the develop to avoid related health problems.
What causes bulging veins in your legs and feet?
All veins have valves that control the movement of blood in the body. When the valve has a malfunction, the blood fails to flow upward thus causing the veins to bulge. Other causes of varicose veins include:
- Limited or lack of movement, often a sedentary lifestyle
- Obesity, or excess wieght
- Obstructing blood flow – this can be wearing tight clothes or stockings
- Thrombophlebitis i.e. swelling and inflammation
It is very important to understand that veins can possibly bulge normally and you don’t have to be worried in any way. Examples of this would be: you can experience varicose veins due to low body fat and thin skin that’s caused by aging. You may also see your veins bulging due to high blood pressure caused by strenuous activity. If you experience bulging veins because of any of these reasons, they may just be a common bulging vein. Pregnant women usually experience bulging veins due to limited movement, added weight and sometimes the diet. Some of the symptoms may include:
- Itching or tingling
- Hardening of veins
- A heavy feeling in the area affected (legs, arms, etc.) or restlessness
In most cases, this condition improves within 3 to 4 months after the baby is born although some women have claimed the condition have not improved even after delivering. A recent study shows that varicose veins may progress over time in women who have poor blood circulation. If you are pregnant and are experiencing any of the about symptoms or you can visually see bulging veins, a good idea would be to call a vein surgeon to discuss before they potentially get worse.
When are bulging veins/varicose veins unhealthy?
Besides being linked to a blood clot, varicose veins can cause these conditions:
- Pulmonary embolism – this condition occurs when a blood clot is transported to the lungs. Affected persons may experience chest pains and shortness of breath depending on the severity of the condition.
- Superficial vein thrombosis – this is a type of blood clot that forms underneath the skin. Common symptoms include inflamed skin along a vein, limb pain and skin warmth near the affected vein.
- Deep vein thrombosis – refers to a blood clot that forms deep in the veins. Although you may not see any symptoms, leg pain or swelling might indicate you have a blood clot deep in your veins.
When to seek medical attention:
Varicose veins can result in a serious health condition and in some cases you may have to seek help from an experienced professional. If you experience any of the following physical issues/symptoms, seek medical attention to avoid related health problems in the future:
- Leg swelling
- Leg pain
- Tingling or numbness
- Skin ulceration
- Restricted use of limb
Finally, if you are not informed about varicose veins or you suspect any of the symptoms you are experiencing is related to the condition, seek help from a vein specialist. Additionally, it is important to gather relevant information and research about varicose veins to understand bulging veins better.
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