ZocdocAnswersWhat's the reason my mother's veins seem shrunken and clustered?

Question

What's the reason my mother's veins seem shrunken and clustered?

My mom is about 46 years old. She weighs 48kg. She suffers from polycistic kidney disease as well as anemia. A few months ago she noticed the veins in her legs getting shrunken, black and kinda clustered. The veins kinda zigzag weirdly. Could you please elaborate on what might be the reason for it?

Answer

This is an important question for your mother to discuss with her doctor. It sounds as though your mother might be suffering from varicose veins, a relatively common phenomenon with aging, particularly in women. This is likely not related to her polycystic kidney disease or her anemia. However, it is also possible that such changes could also be related to something more serious such as a blood clot. Typically blood clots occur in deeper veins in the legs, but if blood flow is disrupted in the larger veins it may need to create collateral flow in the smaller veins which are closer to the surface. Overall, the best thing for your mom to do is to point these changes out to her primary care physician or kidney doctor right away. He or she will be able to go over your mom's symptoms with her to make sure she has had not other signs (swelling in her legs, pain, trouble breathing) that could be suspicious for a blood clot. In addition, her doctor can examine the area in her leg to see if there are any findings suggestive of another diagnosis. Hopefully this will turn out to simply be a cosmetic thing, and if it is really bothering her, a dermatologist can help remove varicose veins.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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