People who are overweight are no strangers to venous conditions like varicose veins. Varicose veins develop under the surface of the skin and appear swollen, overfilled, and bulging. They can be caused by a number of reasons, including gaining weight. Even pregnant women may develop this condition due to the weight gain associated with gestation.
Added weight also increases pressure to the veins in the legs as blood tries to flow upward toward the heart. In pregnant women, this pressure is combined with the fact that blood volume in veins increases to sustain the baby in the womb.
Because the blood cannot easily flow back to the heart when people are overweight or obese, it tends to pool in the legs. This additional pressure then causes varicose veins to develop.
If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce pressure and swelling in veins. There are additional methods everyone can practice to help with varicose vein symptoms, thereby reducing their appearance in time.
If you are actively exercising to reduce vein symptoms and to lose weight, try wearing compression stockings. These stockings help to force blood upward from the feet and legs.
When exercising the lower body (i.e. leg lifts), keep your legs level with your heart or lift above the head to reduce the impact you are placing on them.
Stretching is an important part of exercise that can help reduce signs of varicose veins. Stretch the legs, ankles, and feet, and hold each position for 10 seconds—you can even do this sitting at your desk. Sitting or standing for long periods of time will only add weight to the legs. If you are required to sit or stand long amounts of time, take a quick stroll around your office or outside to get blood moving.
Losing weight goes hand-in-hand with a healthy, balanced diet. Low-sodium diets are essential for those at risk for varicose veins. Sodium intake increases water retention and therefore blood flow. Too much blood and water retention can put stress on the veins and make them susceptible to venous conditions. Additionally, consumption of bioflavonoids (a type of antioxidant) strengthen the cell walls of veins, reduce inflammation, and thins blood so cells receive more oxygen.
To help our patients lose weight and alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins, Goldman Vein Institute also offers the hCG diet.
Don’t let unsightly veins impede on your daily life, contact Goldman Vein Institute for varicose vein treatment. Our doctors will address all of your concerns and develop the best treatment plan for your condition.