Varicose Vein Pain and Obesity: The Effects of Weight Gain on Vein Disease

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As you probably know, carrying extra weight can cause or increase the likelihood of developing health problems, such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. What you may not know is that excess weight can also affect your vein health. Obesity can also lead to circulation issues and affect overall organ health. If you have recently gained weight, you may be experiencing leg pain and/or cramping. You may also be seeing the signs of varicose veins. No matter the reason for your weight game, whether it’s a less active lifestyle or a poor diet, the increased weight that is being supported by your body can cause damage to the valves within the vein walls. This damage can lead to venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

How Does This Happen?

The excess weight you are carrying can put pressure on your veins, causing extra strain that can weaken the veins so that they don’t efficiently pump blood from the heart throughout the legs. This causes the blood to pool or backup, leading to venous reflux. This is what causes varicose veins and varicose vein pain, with its bulging, twisted veins that often protrude through the skin. Vein disease can then progress to more serious conditions that can cause swelling, skin changes/ulcers, itchiness, and fatigue.

Varicose Vein Pain Can Lead to Vicious Cycle

Because varicose vein pain and disease can lead to cramps and pain in the legs, along with fatigue, this can make people less likely to exercise. It can lead to a more sedentary lifestyle because it becomes uncomfortable or even painful to exercise. This can lead to additional weight gain. Additionally, those who already suffer from varicose veins may think that the condition will be exacerbated by exercise. And as the condition worsens, the less likely they are to go out and exercise.

Getting Exercise is Important

Even losing just a little weight can help, and exercising is a great benefit to your overall health. You may need to start slowly and then work up to a more rigorous routine, but you need to do it! Shedding those extra pounds will enhance your circulation and help your body work more efficiently overall.

If you want to know more about the relationship between weight and vein disease, just call us at St. Louis Laser Vein Center. We will schedule a consultation where we can discuss this important issue to help you keep your veins and you healthy and free of vein disease!