varicose veins surgeon

The risk of developing vascular conditions such as spider veins or  deep vein thrombosis (DVT) peaks and falls at different times in life, depending on a wide variety of factors, one of which is our hormones. However it is important to know about this link so that you can keep an eye out for symptoms during the right times and contact a varicose veins surgeon or seek dvt treatment if required.

What are hormones?

Hormones are essentially chemicals within the body that coordinate different functions by sending messages to different organs and tissues. Various glands in the body secrete different substances known as hormones, which carry the instructions on what to do and when to do it. The entire process is known as the endocrine system.

The glands within the system are all over our body, some, such as the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus are in the brain, while others such as the thyroid gland are in the neck and the adrenal glands are all over the body.

But, not all hormones were created equal. Different ones are present in the body in different quantities depending on your gender, age, the food you eat, how stressed you are and your health.

What are varicose veins?

A varicose vein is a vein that is close to the surface of the body, that has become enlarged or twisted and is now visible on the body. They occur when the one way valves within the vessels become weaker than usual and can no longer control blood flow as effectively as before.

While this brings along a number of health risks, they can also be painful and can  look displeasing, so many people seek treatment for this.

But how are these two connected?

There are certain hormones produced within the body that can weaken the walls of the blood vessels when their levels fall. One such example is the hormone progesterone, which is produced in both males and females, although it tends to be present in different levels for each.

Women in particular experience fluctuations in the level of progesterone each month, during their menstrual cycle. Levels increase when the body releases it just after ovulation, in an attempt to thicken the lining of the womb. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, then the hormone level will drop again.

High levels of progesterone are also present in the body during a pregnancy, and the hormone can also be found in the most commonly prescribed birth control medication: the oral contraceptive pill.

For women going through menopause, the levels of the hormone begin to fluctuate again, and of course, for anyone who is undergoing hormonal therapy such as people who wish to transition, they will experience changes in their hormone levels too.

So, there is  a number of instances where progesterone is present in high or low quantities, and all of this matters because this secretion in particular is known for its ability to relax the walls of blood vessels.

This means the pumping is less efficient and blood starts to build up in the veins, which puts more pressure on the weakened valves. Finally, this pooling of blood in the surface level veins, results in a spider or varicose vein.

What are the risks of varicose veins?

Ranging from mild to severe, there is  a variety of health risks associated with this problem. Often varicose veins  lead to swelling, particularly in the legs, which can result in very painful ulcers or open sores that prove difficult to heal, leaving you exposed to infection.

They have also been identified by doctors as a low risk factor for DVT and  pulmonary embolism. However, not everyone with a varicose vein will be at risk of these things, so remember to consult with your doctor.

In addition to these things, some people may feel self conscious at the sight of the veins.

Treatment

So, what could you  do if you have developed varicose veins?

Well, there is  a number of different ways to deal with these problems. In some cases, a simple routine of exercise and medication may sort your problem, but it’s hard to know what exactly is going on inside your body.

The best advice is to always consult an expert health care professional. As a specialized varicose veins surgeon, Dr Adrian Ling is dedicated to helping patients in Melbourne with their vascular issues.

Dr Ling has been carrying out dvt treatment, vascular health checks and a range of varicose vein diagnostics and treatments for many years, resulting in an excellent reputation for patient care.