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Are spider veins related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

Are spider veins related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 14, 2018
Reviewed AtApril 5, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I am a 32 year old female, who weighs 150 lbs and 5.9 feet tall. I have been experiencing a burning, stinging, or intensely sharp pain in different areas of my body, which always seems to be coming from a vein or artery on my neck where carotid is, in the leg, foot, arm, and temple. I have also noticed spider veins appearing in different locations. I have EDS (hypermobile type), a mildly dilated aortic root, and I am on beta blockers for arrhythmia and blood pressure. I have been experiencing occasional light-headedness and fatigue. Sometimes, I have shortness of breath, especially, when in the heat, but when I take my BP, it has been good lately. Should I be concerned? Is stinging, burning or sharp pain normal along veins, or is it possible it is just nerves that run alongside the vessels that I am feeling instead? Spider veins showing up on legs, ribcage, feet, and all over my breasts. I have multiple spider angiomas on arms and legs as well.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • People suffering from EDS (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome) tend to develop neuropathy like symptoms, that is tingling sensations. This could be a result of neuropathy or just somatic in nature.
  • Important here is that, if all your parameters and blood work, ultrasound are within normal limits, this is not going to harm you. But, I understand the pain it causes. The pain can be reduced by taking drugs like Nortriptyline that helps wonder in these situations by reducing the sensations due to any veins or nerves.
  • Discuss with your doctor to start you on 25 mg of Nortriptyline and see the magical effects. Have you ever got your echocardiogram of heart and liver ultrasound done? Do you take alcohol?
  • In case your liver has not been evaluated, just get it evaluated once to be sure that spider angiomas are not being caused by any liver issues.

I hope it helps you. Please feel comfortable to ask me, if you have any query in mind.

For further queries consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

Thank you for your response. Yes, I have yearly echocardiograms done to monitor if there are any changes in my aortic root dilation, and my next one will be next month. As far as I know, other than what is on routine blood work, I have not had any other tests done on my liver. I had an ultrasound of my gallbladder two years ago, but I still have pain under my right ribcage nearly every day. The sensations I described seem to be worse at night and even wake me from my sleep. Not sure if related, but I also have an increased need to urinate after lying down as well. Despite limiting my fluid intake before bed and attempting to empty my bladder a few times before actually falling asleep, I still have to get up in the middle of the night to go. I am not very concerned that it is related to my issues, but I do feel the need to mention that MS does strongly run on my mother's side of the family, including my mother. Is having these issues primarily at night normal for EDS?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • EDS is not related as such to all of your issues. But yes, nerve pains and spider angiomas like phenomenon can be a related. The ribcage pain that you are having could be a part of acid reflux that you might be having, as a result of taking so many medicines.
  • I suppose you should ask your doctor for an ultrasound regularly to check for liver status. My strong recommendation is to discuss with your doctor to prescribe you Nortriptyline for the various symptoms, that would help you in all your symptoms.
  • These are not symptoms of MS (multiple sclerosis). As MS usually presents with visual issues with other neurological symptoms.

I hope it helps you. If you have any further query, please ask me.

For more information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Anshul Varshney
Dr. Anshul Varshney

Internal Medicine

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