Hormonal changes during menopause can affect your veins, leading to varicose veins.
Your body undergoes many changes during menopause, including developing a higher risk for varicose veins. Although menopause does not directly cause varicose veins, it alters a woman’s hormonal balance, impacting the veins.
The link between varicose veins and menopause
Menopause causes your estrogen and progesterone levels to drop gradually. With less estrogen and progesterone in your body, your vein walls become thicker and less flexible. The valves in the veins tasked with pumping blood back to the heart subsequently harden, restricting proper blood flow. Blood becomes trapped within the weakened vein, enlarging it into a varicose vein.
Additionally, because estrogen helps your body burn fat, a drop in estrogen can lead to weight gain. This extra weight puts more pressure on your veins, allowing blood to pool within the veins, which increases the chances of varicose veins forming.
Age also plays a role. As you age, your vein valves naturally weaken. Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 50. Combined with the hormonal changes, the vein valves struggle to fight against gravity in pushing blood upward to the heart. As a result, varicose veins develop on your legs and feet.
How to reduce the pain of varicose veins
Varicose veins can be painful no matter when they occur. But you can reduce the discomfort, swelling, throbbing, and cramping sensations with some at-home conservative methods:
Stay Active. Exercising not only sheds pounds but can keep the blood flowing smoothly in your legs, too. Simple, low-impact workouts such as walking and biking engage the calf muscles to support the natural blood-pumping action. Try to move around as much as possible during your workday instead of staying seated or standing all day.
Eat Vein Healthy Foods. Avoid foods packed with sodium, sugar, and saturated fats. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean meats such as poultry and fish are best for your vein health.
Wear Compression Stockings. Compression stockings use tightly woven elastic to apply gentle pressure from the ankles to the calf or thigh to promote circulation in the veins.
Elevate Your Legs. Propping your legs on a pillow for as little as 15 minutes a day helps blood move upward to the heart.
Manage Your Blood Pressure. A crucial part of your vascular health and overall health is controlling your blood pressure. If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension, take your medications regularly and work with your doctor on controlling high blood pressure.
These conservative methods help reduce varicose vein symptoms. However, if you want to eliminate the bulging veins, you’ll need an office procedure performed by a vein specialist. Today’s varicose vein surgeries are minimally invasive and performed in a short one-hour or less session. Once your varicose vein is treated, you’ll have better blood flow and smoother, healthier-looking skin.
Time to treat your veins
At Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), our mission is to ensure you have healthy, pain-free veins. We offer both conservation and surgical methods to reduce the pain and appearance of varicose veins. We’ll discuss your options and find the one most suitable for your preferences.
Contact one of our offices today for a consultation, or call 1-800-FIX-LEGS to speak to a dedicated Patient Services Representative. You can also schedule easily online.