Your cardiovascular system is a complex network of arteries and veins that work together to keep your muscles and organs well-oxygenated and healthy. With that in mind, it makes sense that you may wonder about small variations in the appearance of your veins. The truth is that everyone’s veins bulge in specific circumstances, so bulging veins probably aren’t caused by anything serious.
Why Do Veins Bulge?
To help preserve your peace of mind, we have compiled a brief list of normal circumstances that could cause your veins to visibly bulge. If you see changes in your veins that cannot be explained by any of the following situations, then you need to speak to your Beverly Hills veins specialists. The dedicated staff at Beverly Hills Vein and Cardiovascular Institute will secure an examination appointment for you to ensure that your cardiovascular system is functioning properly.
You’ve Been Exercising
When you exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen from your body. That means your heart has to pump harder and get more oxygenated blood to the parts of the body that need it. As a result, your blood pressure temporarily increases during that time period. The increased pressure may cause your veins to swell slightly, bringing them closer to the surface of your skin.
Your body needs a lot of water to function properly. If you’re severely dehydrated, then your blood is actually more viscous. This makes it more difficult for your body to circulate your blood normally and causes an increase in blood pressure. The next time you see your veins bulging, you may want to think about how much water you’ve had in the last couple days. If you’re like most of us, the answer is “not enough.”
You’re Consuming Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol consumption is bad for your body in a number of ways. When it comes to your veins, it can be particularly tricky. Low levels of alcohol consumption can result in a slight opening of the veins. On the other hand, high levels of alcohol actually causes your body to release chemicals that physically constrict your veins. That means that the same amount of blood is moving through a smaller space. This results in high blood pressure. Both of these situations can result in your veins being more visible.
You’re Getting Older
As we age, our skin loses thickness and elasticity. Therefore, the layers of skin hiding our veins do get noticeably thinner over the years. This can mean your veins are becoming increasingly visible, especially on your hands, where you have many important veins and very little fat tissue.
It’s Just Hot Outside
You may actually be able to blame your enlarged veins on the weather. In high temperatures, the valves don’t work as efficiently as they would normally. This causes the veins to enlarge because your blood is having a more difficult time getting from place to place.
When to Go to the Doctor
Regardless of the situation, you should be having a physical once a year to monitor your blood pressure and other important stats that help your doctor identify potential problems. However, there are situations where enlarged veins indicate a serious issue, so you will want to see a doctor if your enlarged veins cannot be easily explained by a temporary condition such as exercise or extreme heat.
There are also cases where enlarged veins are simply a cosmetic issue. Roughly 20% of men and 40% of women over the age of 40 have varicose veins. Luckily, we now have leg vein treatments to help alleviate that condition. Whether your enlarged veins are temporary, serious, or cosmetic, you can count on your local cardiologist and vein specialist for help.