Do you want to avoid venous disease, such as varicose veins, spider veins and other vein problems that ruin the smooth appearance of your skin? Great news! Your Houston vein doctor is glad to suggest several ways you can avoid vein disease.

Vein disease is a common problem in the United States, according to the Society for Interventional Radiology, affecting approximately half of all adults in the nation. Between 15 and 25 percent of all people suffer from varicose veins, which are those twisted, bulging rope-like veins that can develop on your legs.

Certain risk factors can increase the likelihood that you will develop vein disease. Some of these risk factors are beyond your control. These risk factors include advancing age and family history. You are at higher risk if you are female. Pregnancy, especially multiple pregnancies, increases your risk of developing varicose veins and accelerates the worsening of these diseased veins.

Vein disease causes veins to function poorly. Malfunctioning veins allows blood to flow backwards and downwards into your lower legs and feet. The excess blood pools there causes veins to bloat, twist and appear as varicose veins.

Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce your risk of vein disease. Many of the suggestions focus on preventing the pooling of blood in your lower legs.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Venous Disease

  • Adopt a few lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing venous disease.
  • Elevate your legs as often as possible. For best results, elevate your legs so that your feet are higher than your heart – this helps blood drain from your feet.
  • Exercise daily. Physical activity, such as walking, climbing stairs, bicycling and swimming, stimulates blood circulation in your lower legs. Aim for at least a half hour of exercise each day.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or standing. If you must sit or stand for a long time, flex your ankles frequently. Take short walks whenever possible.
  • Wear compression stockings. This special hosiery squeezes excess blood up and out of your lower legs to prevent pooling.
  • Learn your ideal body weight and work towards achieving and maintaining this healthy weight. Excess weight applies pressure to your veins.
  • Avoid applying excessive heat to your legs. Reduce time in saunas, baths and hot tubs. Heat causes your veins to dilate, or open up, which allows blood to pool in the veins more easily.
  • Consume a low salt, high-fiber diet to reduce pressure on veins associated with water retention and constipation.
  • Talk to your Houston vein doctor to learn more ways to reduce your risk of developing venous disease.