Sedentary youngsters falling prey to varicose veins

Bengaluru: Jyothi, a 35-year-old IT professional, started experiencing severe pain in her legs. After sitting for two to three hours, her ankles and feet would swell up.

She initially thought it was due to her recent menopause. But eventually she began to experience dark purple vessels which were visible on her thighs and calves. After consulting her physician, she was confirmed that it was varicose veins and asked her for early diagnosis and treatment with regular check-ups.

However doctors inform that not everyone can stop at this stage. “In most of the cases continuous treatment and advised follow-ups are recommended,” said Dr Vishnu M., a vascular surgeon in Aster CMI Hospital, Bengaluru.

Varicose veins are turning out to be a major health concern these days among urban people, including the younger generation. Doctors say it is becoming a common problem across the country with more than 10 million cases annually.

 Though it is more likely to happen to elderly people, but now even young people are experiencing this problem, which can be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles, early-onset obesity and hormonal disorders, Dr Vishnu added.

Symptoms may vary from skin pigmentation in the legs, pain, swelling, itching, bleeding from ruptured varicose veins and clotting in the veins. A study by Stanford University says that increased height also adds to the risk of varicose veins.

Dr Kiran Chouka, consultant-orthopaedics at Fortis Hospital, Rajajinagar, said, “Overweight people are generally at a higher risk of developing a varicose vein. However, other risk factors such as lack of leg movement, leg trauma, standing or sitting for hours in a wrong position also makes you vulnerable. Varicose veins occur more often in women than men due to the hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.”

He also said that a lack of physical activities could be the possible reason for varicose vein. Wearing heels for long hours and wearing tight clothes around the waist or thighs makes the varicose condition worse, he added.

“Being active, indulging in physical activities such as walking or jogging for 30-45minutes every day helps blood move through your veins. Take a break in between at workplace/home, avoid sitting or standing for a longer period,” Dr Chouka advised. 

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