Varicose veins occur when blood accumulates in weakened or damaged veins, causing them to bulge and develop a blush color. Varicose veins do not cause weight gain. However, carrying around excess weight is considered a risk factor for developing this vein problem. It’s important to understand how weight gain affects the risk of having these veins occur, so you can take steps to prevent them from becoming worse.
Why Can Weight Gain Lead to Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins develop when valves inside your veins become weak, which causes them to have trouble keeping blood flowing through. Instead, blood pools up inside the affected veins, resulting in a large, bluish, and bulging appearance. In some cases, the affected veins can cause discomfort and other symptoms that can get worse over time. When you have excess weight, this adds pressure to your veins and increases the risk of ending up with damaged or weakened valves.
Varicose veins can occur in different parts of your body, but they typically develop in the lower legs. Valves inside the veins in this area of your body already work hard at overcoming gravity to push blood through. Weight gain can make it even harder for these valves to keep blood flowing through your veins, increasing your risk of having varicose veins.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Worsening Varicose Veins
Varicose veins might not cause discomfort at first. However, they can end up causing itching, burning, aches, and other problems if they get worse. If you already have this vein problem, you can take certain steps to stop it from getting worse. These steps include the following:
- Exercise: Getting physical activity, such as walking or doing other cardio activities, can help lower your risk of additional weight gain. Regular exercise can also help you lose excess weight, which might help ease symptoms of varicose veins.
- Diet right: Eating a healthy diet, especially one that is low in salt and high in fiber, can help reduce your risk of having varicose veins become worse. A nutritious diet can also help you maintain a healthier weight and keep you from gaining more pounds.
- Keep your legs moving: Blood tends to pool more when you sit or stand for long periods of time. Moving around often helps keep blood flowing through your veins, which can stop varicose veins from causing noticeable symptoms. Plan on getting up and moving around often throughout the day.
- Wear compression stockings: Compression stockings are designed to put pressure on your legs to make it easier for blood to move through your veins. Wearing these types of stockings during the day might help ease symptoms of varicose veins as blood begins to pool less in the affected veins.
- Consider getting your varicose veins treated: Treatments such as Closurefast, Venaseal and Varithena can in some cases make a big difference in how your legs look and feel.
Finding Varicose Vein Treatment in Oregon
When you’re looking for common treatments for varicose veins, contact Inovia Vein Specialty Centers to schedule a consult and view our varicose vein treatment options. During your visit, you can meet our vein physicians in Bend, Portland, Happy Valley or Tigard Oregon and learn more about which treatment might work best for you. Our doctors can help you find an effective way to eliminate your venous insufficiency problems, so you don’t have to keep dealing with discomfort and other symptoms.