The Relationship between Healthy Weight and Healthy Veins
If you are concerned about developing spider or varicose veins later in life, one of the most important steps you can take toward prevention is maintaining a healthy weight. Although weight is not the only risk factor for diseased veins, those numbers on the scale can have a direct correlation to your odds of developing varicose veins. If you want to avoid those unsightly and often painful bulging, twisting veins, consider how your body weight might contribute to their appearance.
Understanding Venous Insufficiency
Varicose veins are a visible sign of venous insufficiency, which frequently occurs in the lower legs. Tiny valves inside the veins are responsible for keeping blood flowing in the same direction – back to the heart. Because these valves must work against gravity in the lower extremities, they can wear out or become damaged over time.
When the valves don’t function as well as they once did, blood can begin to pool in those lower veins. This leads to swelling of the vessels and the formation of varicose veins. If left unchecked, these veins can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like heaviness or achiness in the legs, skin irritation and discoloration and the formation of open sores around the ankle.
Weight and Venous Insufficiency
Because the valves in the lower legs already have to work harder to get the blood back up to the heart, additional factors that stress the vessels can make the problem worse. One of the biggest stress factors is additional weight gain. Those excess pounds make it even more difficult for blood to flow in an upward direction, increasing the likelihood the overtaxed valves inside the vessels will wear out prematurely. The more weight you gain, the more stressed those valves can become.
In addition to causing varicose veins to develop, excess weight can also make current venous insufficiency worse. This can produce physical symptoms to accompany the varicose veins or exacerbate symptoms that already exist. The extra pounds can also take their toll on your heart and other body organs, negatively impacting your health overall.
The good news is that while obesity can increase the risk of varicose veins, maintaining a healthy weight can also decrease that risk. In fact, healthy weight maintenance is the first and most important step toward varicose vein prevention. Losing weight can also prevent current venous conditions from worsening.
If you already have the telltale signs of venous insufficiency appearing on your lower legs, Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan can help. Contact our office today at 212-204-6501 to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Lev and find out how we can help you say goodbye to unsightly, uncomfortable varicose veins for good.