Surprising Risk Factors for Varicose Veins You Need to Know

Varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic concern; they can lead to discomfort, pain, and more serious health issues if left untreated. While many people are aware that prolonged standing or hereditary factors can lead to varicose veins, there are several surprising risk factors that are often overlooked. Dr. Preethi Mrinalini, a leading expert at Marinas Clinic and recognized as the best female surgeon in Chennai, sheds light on these lesser-known factors.

Understanding Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that typically appear on the legs and feet. They occur when the valves in the veins that regulate blood flow become weak or damaged, causing blood to pool and the veins to swell. Symptoms can include aching pain, swelling, heaviness, and visible bulging veins.

Surprising Risk Factors for Varicose Veins

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: While standing for long periods is known to contribute to varicose veins, sitting for extended periods can be just as harmful. When you sit for too long, blood flow in your legs decreases, which can lead to pooling and increased pressure in the veins.
  • Hormonal Changes:Hormones play a significant role in the development of varicose veins. Pregnancy, menopause, and the use of birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy can increase the risk. These hormonal changes affect the elasticity and strength of vein walls. Pregnant women are particularly susceptible due to increased blood volume and pressure on the veins from the growing uterus.
  • Obesity:Excess body weight puts additional pressure on the veins in your legs, increasing the likelihood of varicose veins. The added weight can cause veins to enlarge and valves to weaken. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is crucial for preventing varicose veins.
  • Occupational Hazards:Certain professions that require prolonged sitting or standing can elevate the risk of developing varicose veins. Jobs such as teaching, nursing, hairdressing, and office work are common examples.
  • Genetics:While not entirely surprising, the hereditary nature of varicose veins is often underestimated. If your family members have varicose veins, your risk increases significantly. Understanding your genetic predisposition can help you take proactive measures to prevent or manage the condition.
  • Gender:Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men, largely due to hormonal influences and pregnancy. However, men are not immune, and they should also be mindful of the risk factors and symptoms associated with varicose veins.
  • Age:As you age, the wear and tear on the valves in your veins can cause them to function less efficiently. This natural aging process increases the likelihood of varicose veins. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding long periods of inactivity can help mitigate this risk.
  • Injury or Trauma:Past injuries or trauma to the legs can damage the veins and increase the risk of varicose veins. This includes fractures, surgeries, or even severe bruising. If you’ve experienced significant leg injuries, monitoring your vein health is essential.

Preventing and Managing Varicose Veins

Understanding these surprising risk factors is the first step toward prevention and management. Dr. Preethi Mrinalini recommends several strategies:

  • Exercise Regularly: Physical activity, especially walking, helps improve blood circulation in the legs and reduces the risk of varicose veins.
  • Elevate Your Legs: Elevating your legs when resting can help reduce pressure on the veins and improve blood flow.
  • Wear Compression Stockings: Compression stockings provide support to the veins and can help prevent blood from pooling.
  • Healthy Diet: A diet rich in fiber and low in salt can prevent constipation and water retention, both of which can contribute to varicose veins.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration supports overall vascular health and helps maintain good circulation.
  • Consult a Specialist: If you notice symptoms of varicose veins, seeking medical advice from a specialist like Dr. Preethi Mrinalini at Marinas Clinic is crucial. Early intervention can prevent complications and improve your quality of life.


Varicose veins are a common condition with several surprising risk factors beyond the well-known causes. By understanding these factors and taking proactive measures, you can reduce your risk and manage symptoms effectively. Dr. Preethi Mrinalini, recognized as the best female surgeon in Chennai, and her team at Marinas Clinic are dedicated to providing expert care for varicose veins. Whether through preventive advice or advanced treatment options, they ensure patients receive the best possible outcomes. If you’re concerned about varicose veins, consult with Dr. Preethi Mrinalini to explore your options for maintaining healthy, pain-free legs.