Could your height be a risk factor for varicose veins?

height and varicose veins riskA new study has revealed that the likelihood of developing varicose veins can be significantly impacted by a person’s height. Researchers claim this is the largest genetic study ever carried out on venous disease and varicose veins and its results have certainly proven interesting.

So, how could your height impact your chances of developing varicose veins?

What the study found

The study, carried out by the Stanford University School of Medicine, used genetic data from the UK Biobank, which contains information on a staggering 502,619 people. Their ages ranged from 40 to 69 and the researchers were able to identify 30 genetic regions linked to varicose veins.

An artificial intelligence machine was used to search for any previously unknown risk factors. It was then that the link between height and varicose veins was discovered. To be sure they’d read it correctly, the researchers then used Mendelian randomisation to confirm the findings, which it did.

This isn’t the first study to link the risk of varicose veins with height. A small number of studies carried out between 20 and 30 years ago also revealed a link. However, this is the most significant study to confirm the association.

According to the study, the taller you are, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins. Experts aren’t quite sure why this is, but they are hoping the study results can reveal more about the biological changes which occur in those at risk of varicose veins. This, in turn, could help with the development of new treatments.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins

If you are suffering from varicose veins, it’s crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible. Varicose veins don’t just look unpleasant, they can also pose a serious health risk if left untreated.

The good news is, there’s plenty of treatments available today. Many treatment options are also minimally invasive, giving you the option to have them carried out in your lunch hour if you wanted to. Book a consultation today with a specialist at Cornwall Vein Clinic and see what options are available to you.

Could your birth control be putting you at risk of varicose veins?

birth control and varicose vein riskBirth control has many great benefits for women. Not only can it prevent you from getting pregnant, but it can also be used to treat painful conditions such as endometriosis, as well as help to regulate your cycle. However, like any drugs, birth control pills also come with a number of potential nasty side effects.

A couple of side effect you may not be aware of, are the development of varicose veins and blood clots. While it isn’t guaranteed you’ll develop either of these conditions, you still need to be aware of the risks involved. Here, you’ll discover more about the link between varicose veins and birth control.

How can birth control impact your risk of varicose veins?

Although varicose veins are a largely hereditary condition or caused by occupational hazards, there is a chance they can be triggered by birth control pills. This is because the pills contain oestrogen and progesterone hormones. These are the same hormones which are produced by the body during pregnancy.

The hormones can cause the blood flow throughout the body to slow down, in turn causing the veins to work harder to push blood back up to the heart. It is this which increases the risk of varicose veins developing.

What about blood clots?

Research has shown that blood clots aren’t caused by birth control pills. However, they can increase your risk of developing them. This again is down to the same hormones which cause the blood flow to slow down. They also increase the blood clotting factors within the body.

So, if you have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, you’ll need to talk through your birth control options with a doctor. They’ll be able to assess your risk and decide which pills would be better suited.

Can you take birth control if you already have varicose veins?

It’s typically absolutely fine to take birth control alongside varicose veins. However, it is recommended you get your varicose veins treated anyway. This is because, if you don’t the condition could worsen over time. This would lead to further complications and could prove to be extremely uncomfortable.

The earlier you seek treatment for varicose veins, the less invasive the treatment will be. So, why not book a consultation with a vein specialist today to eliminate those varicose veins once and for all?

Young women encouraged to get their varicose veins treated

young women should seek early varicose vein treatmentWhen you think of varicose veins, it’s common to associate them with older age. However, the truth is, varicose veins can develop at any time in your life.

Young women are just as susceptible at developing varicose veins as older women, but up until recently, treatment may have been discouraged. This is because some experts preferred to treat varicose veins once a woman had stopped having children. Now, however, the guidelines are changing, recommending treatment be carried out before pregnancy.

Here, you’ll discover why it’s important for young women to seek treatment for their varicose veins as soon as possible.

Why seeking treatment prior to pregnancy is recommended

If you do plan on getting pregnant, you’ll want to get your varicose veins treated before you do. This is because, during pregnancy, you have an increased risk of developing clots. There’s also the chance the condition could worsen due to the additional pressure placed onto the legs during pregnancy. If this happens, they could become a lot more complex to treat.

The risks of leaving varicose veins untreated

A lot of young women don’t realise they actually need to seek treatment for varicose veins. They’re mistakenly viewed as a cosmetic-only issue, so spending money on treatment seems more like a luxury than a necessity. However, when left untreated, varicose veins can actually become pretty serious.

There’s a risk that blood clots could develop as the veins don’t function properly. If left for a long period of time, these blood clots can travel up towards the heart, potentially leading to a stroke or heart attack.

Benefits of seeking early varicose vein treatment

There’s always a risk the condition could worsen over time if it isn’t treated. This wouldn’t just make the varicose veins uncomfortable, but it would also make treatment more difficult. The more complex the treatment is, the more expensive it will be and the longer recovery time you’ll need.

Seeking early varicose vein treatment could help you to prevent so many unpleasant side effects of your varicose veins. It also increases the chance you’ll be suitable for less invasive treatments. So, if you’re a young woman concerned about varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein specialist today to find out your treatment options.

Are your varicose veins holding you back?

varicose veins and physical performanceAn avid runner has recently revealed how having her varicose veins treated has helped to boost her physical performance. Initially, 60-year old Wendy Hookway, thought her performance issues were down to her simply being unfit. However, after having her veins treated, she discovered she could easily run further.

Like Wendy, many people are unaware of the physical impact that varicose veins can have on their health. Here, you’ll discover how your varicose veins could currently be holding you back.

The physical symptoms of varicose veins

Contrary to popular belief, varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue. They can cause all kinds of physical symptoms which could be holding you back. These include:

  • Aching
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Cramping
  • Pain

While some exercise can help to ease the symptoms of varicose veins, excessive exercise can actually make them worse. All of the symptoms are caused because of the additional pressure placed upon the veins to pump enough blood back up to the heart. Depending on the severity of the physical symptoms, it can prevent you from leading a more active lifestyle.

Emotional symptoms can be just as limiting as physical ones

It’s not just the physical symptoms of varicose veins which can hold you back, it’s the emotional ones too. Most varicose vein sufferers are embarrassed about the condition. So, they try to hide it by keeping themselves covered up. This may be fine in winter, but in nicer weather, it can cause you to become extremely uncomfortable.

The embarrassment can also prevent you from wearing what you want to wear. It can also limit your enjoyment if you go on holiday and don’t feel confident baring your legs.

What can you do?

Whether your varicose veins are currently holding you back, or whether you’re worried they might do, there’s one thing you can do – get them treated!

Many people don’t realise the sheer number of treatment options available for varicose veins these days. Long gone are the days when surgery was the only treatment on offer. Now, you can benefit from numerous non-invasive techniques; especially if you treat the condition early on.

Varicose veins really don’t need to hold you back. Book a consultation today to learn more about the different treatment options available to you.

Did the 2018 summer heatwave play havoc with your varicose veins?

varicose veins and summer heatThe summer of 2018 saw record-breaking temperatures, with experts predicting the warmer weather will continue throughout the autumn. As many rejoice at this unusual UK weather event, others are struggling to stay comfortable.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you may find the higher temperatures are making them even more uncomfortable than usual. Here, you’ll discover how the heat can impact varicose veins and what you can do about it.

How the summer heat impacts varicose veins

When your body gets too hot, it naturally tries to cool itself down. Part of this natural process is to dilate the veins in order to push more blood up towards the skin’s surface. At the same time, you start to sweat, and this combined with the extra blood flow, cools down the blood on the skin’s surface. This, in turn, cools down the entire body.

Varicose veins are typically found just under the skin, where that extra blood is being pumped to. As they already don’t function correctly, the extra blood volume can place them under additional pressure. It is this which causes the symptoms of varicose veins to worsen.

The symptoms it can cause

The most common symptoms you’ll experience in the summer heat, are swelling, aching and cramps. All can be particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with.

As the veins need to work harder anyway to pump blood up to the heart when you have varicose veins, aching is a common symptom. However, the extra blood being sent through the veins to cool the body down, puts even further pressure onto them, worsening the aching feeling you experience.

Similarly, the extra pressure placed on the veins to cool the body down, can cause further problems with circulation. It is this which can lead to swelling, especially within the feet and ankles.

Cramping also occurs due to the pressure the veins are under, although it could also be a sign of dehydration or a lack of salt.

What can you do about it?

Unfortunately, the only way to really stop these unpleasant side effects is by seeking treatment for your varicose veins. While there are things you can do to ease the symptoms, such as wearing compression stockings or keeping yourself cooler, these are only temporary solutions.

Left untreated, varicose veins will never disappear by themselves. So, if you want to ensure you don’t experience the same issues next year, you’ll want to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact us today to find out just how simple and affordable varicose vein treatment can be.

Early Treatment of Varicose Veins Leads to Better Ulcer Healing

New research has shown that the early treatment of varicose veins leads to better, faster ulcer healing. While many people largely associate varicose veins as a mere cosmetic problem, the truth is they have the potential to lead to more severe health conditions.

The longer varicose veins are left untreated, the worse they become. Ulcers are a particular concern, developing due to poor circulation within the lower leg. These can prove challenging to treat, but as the research confirms, treating them early is the key to better ulcer healing.

Treatment within two weeks increases healing by 12%

The new research conducted by the Imperial College, London, revealed that treating ulcers within two weeks by closing off the veins increases healing by 12%.

There were 450 patients with venous ulcers from the UK, involved in the randomised trial. Half of them received treatment within two weeks while the other half received treatment only after the ulcer had healed or after six months if the ulcer still hadn’t healed. They were all required to wear compression stockings too.

Results showed that patients who were treated within two weeks, saw their ulcers healed within 56 days. The patients whose treatment was delayed had a longer healing time of 82 days.

The number of leg ulcer cases is increasing

Part of the reason this new research was conducted is because leg ulcers are on the rise. Obesity rates continue to increase, and our population is ageing, causing concern leg ulcers will continue to be a major problem for our healthcare sector. This means finding ways to treat the ulcers in a cost-effective manner. Identifying that early treatment speeds up ulcer healing is therefore crucial to the industry.

There’s also the fact that leaving ulcers untreated can lead to painful open sores and the development of serious complications. Amputation could eventually be required, which is ultimately much more traumatising to the patient and costlier to the NHS.

What treatment options are available?

There are numerous ways to treat varicose veins and prevent the development of ulcers. Laser treatment does tend to be one of the more effective options. This successfully closes off the faulty vein, leading to faster ulcer healing.

Other treatments are also available, and the type of treatment used on a patient will depend upon numerous factors. Therefore, those who do suspect they have varicose veins should book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the best course of treatment.

Work in a Sedentary Job? You Might Want to Watch Out for Varicose Veins

can a sedentary job cause varicose veinsIf you work within an office environment, or a job which requires you to sit still for long periods of time, your risk of developing varicose veins is pretty high. When you’re not moving your legs for hours at a time, blood can start to pool within them. This doesn’t just increase your risk of varicose veins, it also increases the risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots.

Here, you’ll discover why sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins and what you can do to reduce your chances of developing the condition.

Why do sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins?

The reason varicose veins develop is largely down to poor circulation within the legs. The calf muscles are responsible for helping to pump the blood back up to the heart. As you walk, the muscles contract, pushing the blood up the legs against gravity.

If you don’t walk around much during the day, the blood isn’t going to be pumped back up effectively. This causes it to start pooling in the veins, placing them under a lot more pressure. Eventually, this can lead to the development of varicose veins, as well as serious blood clots.

What can you do to prevent varicose veins?

If you do work in a sedentary job, there are ways you can attempt to prevent varicose veins from occurring.

If you’re sat at a desk all day, for example, you can carry out desk-based exercises to keep the legs more active. These include pedalling your feet, lifting the legs up and down, stretching the ankles and elevating the feet above the heart. All of these can help boost blood circulation in the legs. You can also wear compression stockings, though these are largely designed for temporary use.

Why early treatment is crucial

If you do develop varicose veins, early treatment is crucial. Not only does this guarantee a less invasive treatment method, but it also comes with many health benefits. Leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to more serious complications, such as deadly blood clots which can travel up to the heart.

The type of treatment you’ll be offered will depend upon how severe the varicose veins are. Book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine which treatment method is right for you.

Could varicose veins affect your career options?

A candidate who applied to join the Army in India has been turned down because they suffer varicose veins. Despite undergoing surgery to eliminate the condition, a court has ruled the patient isn’t fit to join the military due to the symptoms varicose veins produce.

For many, varicose veins are viewed solely as a cosmetic condition and it doesn’t cross their mind it could impact their career choices. So, can having varicose veins really affect your job? Here, we’ll look at how venous disease can impact your career options.

Which careers could varicose veins pose a challenge?

Although varicose veins won’t necessarily affect your chances of getting into the military, as the recent case highlights, there are some careers which can be more challenging for those suffering from this condition.

Any career which requires you to keep the legs in one place for long periods poses a risk of varicose veins. So, office workers, hairdressers, retail workers, pilots and security guards, for example, are considered to be at higher risk of developing varicose veins.

How could varicose veins affect your job?

can your job cause varicose veinsIf you do have varicose veins, there is a possibility they could impact your career if it worsens the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

  • Prolonged periods of standing or walking: for workers who are standing or walking for at least 75% of their time, such as those working in retail or hospitality, or as a hair stylist or security guard, this can pose a serious risk.
  • Limited physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting: we should do everything in moderation, so just as prolonged standing can cause problems, so can sitting for long periods of time as it affects blood circulation. Keeping your legs crossed can make it worse.
  • Heavy lifting: this can increase venous reflux and worsen varicose veins so always use the proper technique whether you’re a personal trainer or factory worker.
  • Low air pressure: not just affecting pilots or cabin crew, this can also be a problem for those who have to fly frequently for their jobs. The pressure in the cabin reduces the amount of oxygen absorbed by the blood, often causing swelling in the legs and feet.

The importance of seeking treatment

Thanks to the huge range of varicose vein treatments available, the condition doesn’t need to affect your career. Whether you’re suffering from mild or severe varicose veins, there’s a treatment to fit you.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential, even if it doesn’t impact your job. When left alone, the condition is only likely to become worse and can lead to more severe health consequences.

If you’d like to seek varicose vein treatment, book a consultation with our vein experts today.

Behind the headlines: is the NHS really going to stop treating varicose veins?

Last month the NHS announced it was drastically limiting a number of routine procedures they deemed ‘futile’ in an attempt to save taxpayers’ money. Varicose vein surgery is one of the 17 procedures that made the list alongside surgery for snoring, grommets for glue ear Carpal Tunnel Syndrome release and haemorrhoid surgery, but what does this mean for varicose vein sufferers?

NHS bosses hope to save £200m a year by reducing these ‘unnecessary’ procedures and Steve Powis, the medical director of NHS England, believes that this is just the start: “I’m confident there is more to be done. “We are also going to ask, ‘Are there other procedures and treatments we should add to the list?’ We have to spend taxpayers’ money wisely.”

There was much coverage in the media on this announcement from the NHS and many varicose vein sufferers may have been concerned that they were going to be left to cope with the embarrassment, discomfort or worse of varicose veins.

However, Vascular Surgeon Mr Ken Woodburn of Cornwall Vein Clinic reviewed the consultation document presented by NHS England and the actual position of the NHS is that, instead of surgery, patients should first undergo alternative, very effective keyhole local anaesthetic endovenous procedures if they are experiencing the symptoms of varicose veins.

Unfortunately for varicose vein patients in Cornwall the suggested local criteria for treatment is more restrictive than in the NHS document and patients with varicose veins symptoms in Cornwall currently do not receive treatment on the NHS unless they have complications from their veins. This is unlikely to change in the near future, making self-pay the only option for many patients with varicose vein symptoms.

It is true that varicose veins that are purely cosmetic without any of the associated symptoms will not receive treatment on the NHS but that has long been the case. For those patients that do not meet the local NHS criteria, the full range of varicose vein treatments is available at the Cornwall Vein Clinic. Call us on 01872 308 520 to discuss your options.

What is the best solution for varicose veins?

If you’ve ever researched how to treat and eliminate varicose veins, you’ll likely have come across a lot of different solutions, from natural remedies you can create at home all the way to surgery – there’s a huge choice of treatment options out there.

So, what are the best solutions for varicose veins? Here, you’ll discover the best ways to ease the symptoms and eliminate those unsightly veins once and for all.

 Compression stockings

Compression stockings aren’t an actual treatment, but they can prove beneficial at easing the symptoms. They’re also often used after varicose vein treatment until the legs heal. If you have varicose veins and you’re planning on jetting off on holiday, you are advised to wear compression stockings throughout the flight to prevent the risk of blood clots developing.

So, if you have varicose veins and you’re looking for temporary relief, compression stockings are a great investment.

Endovenous Laser Ablation

Endovenous laser ablation is one of many varicose vein treatments available. The technology has been recently improved, offering a less invasive, higher accuracy laser treatment.

It basically uses laser energy to seal off the vein. The great thing about this treatment is it can be used to treat more complex varicose veins.

Cyanoacrylate Glue

Cyanoacrylate glue is one of the newest varicose vein treatments on offer. It glues the veins shut, using an ultrasound guided technique. Unlike some other treatments, this one doesn’t require numerous local anaesthetic injections or bandages after it’s been performed.

This type of treatment isn’t suitable for everyone, so you will need to double check with a vein specialist to determine whether or not it’s right for you.

VNUS Closure procedure

If your varicose veins are particularly severe, the VNUS Closure procedure could be the best option. It’s a much better alternative to traditional vein stripping and is performed under local anaesthetic.

Radiofrequency energy is delivered into the vein, which heats up the vein walls; the collagen within the walls then shrinks, causing the veins to close. It’s a high-tech procedure producing excellent results.

The above is just some of the best solutions for varicose veins. However, it’s really important you seek a consultation with a vein specialist to determine which treatment is best suited to you.