Vein specialists note that many men they treat have more severe vein problems than women because they’ve had them longer and tend to wait until their pain becomes unbearable--or worse--their veins start to bleed. Don’t be one of those guys!
When is the last time you went out for beers with the boys and talked about varicose veins? Maybe you should try it!
Venous Insufficiency in Men
If you’re like most guys, you figure that varicose veins are a woman’s problem. Certainly nothing you have to worry about, right? Think again! Exact numbers are elusive, but it is estimated that between 15-50 percent of men will suffer from some form of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), including varicose veins, by the time they reach their 60s.
Men experience the same varicose vein and venous insufficiency symptoms as women: leg pain and leg swelling, heaviness of the legs, general leg fatigue, and leg muscle cramps. Still, there is evidence that men are way less likely to seek vein treatment until their symptoms become unbearable. And—here’s the kicker—men are known to be at risk for more severe venous disease if they ignore the symptoms.
The fact is, everyone in this situation, man or woman, needs to consult with a qualified vein specialist to determine whether their vascular system is compromised, and what can be done to improve venous blood flow back to the heart before more serious, permanent damage is done.
Most men don’t shave their legs (or even look at their legs). As a result, troubled leg veins tend to be obscured beneath a swath of leg hair.
Bulging veins are associated with bulging muscles. Muscle magazines have normalized the image of bulging veins on ripped men. Now some men associate their swollen leg veins—and the accompanying pain—with exercise and lactic acid build-up. Any bulging blue or purple veins should be examined by a vein specialist immediately, even if no pain is present.
Men don’t talk about it. When is the last time you chatted about varicose veins with your buddies over a couple of beers? Maybe you should try it. Your friends might just thank you.
Varicose Veins is a “Woman’s Problem!” Vein specialist Dr. James Jiminez of the Vein Center of Florida has noted that men are reluctant to seek out medical treatment. “Because the condition is primarily seen as a woman’s problem, men are not always prompt about seeking treatment for their condition,” he says. “This can lead to worsening symptoms and complications that are much more challenging to treat in the advanced stages of the disease.”
Tempe-based vein doctor nurse practitioner, Jilanne Rose of Advanced Vein Institute of Arizona, has also found that men tend to wait until their vein problem starts to interfere with work—or their golf game.
“It is hard to speculate why sometimes people don’t notice—or they simply ignore—what is happening with their bodies,” she says. “Sometimes, it just takes a little prodding from someone who cares, to get people to seek a treatment that will make their lives more comfortable and more active than they have been in a long time.”
Jilanne adds that it is easier than ever to improve vascular health.
“Varicose vein treatments are less invasive, less painful, less expensive and more successful than they have ever been. Most patients are back on their feet the next day and can resume all activity within a week!”
Like any chronic medical condition, varicose veins in men will progress without treatment and can lead to serious complications such as skin breakdown and even blood clots. However, a qualified vein specialist can precisely determine the health of your lower extremity veins, and help you make informed decisions about what treatment (if any) is right for you.