If you’re overweight, the extra pounds put extra pressure on your veins. This can make you more vulnerable to vein disease. Your vein valves may deteriorate over time due to weight gain, and the valves may no longer be able to direct blood flow in the direction of the heart. When the blood starts to flow backwards in your veins due to damaged valves, it is called "venous reflux". With continued reflux overtime, our veins get bigger causing symptoms such as pain, swelling, tiredness, restlessness, heaviness and cramping. These are some of the most common symtoms associated with vein disease.
With this in mind, it makes sense to conclude that losing weight may help reduce symptoms related to your varicose vein disease. Although losing weight can benefit your veins and general health, damaged or dysfunctional vein valves cannot be reversed simply with weight loss.
Other Causes of Varicose Veins
There may also be other underlying reasons for your varicose veins, which may not be related to weight gain. Below are some common causes of varicose veins, apart from being overweight:
- Genetics: Studies show a clear link between varicose veins and your family history. If any immedidate relative in your family had varicose veins, your chances of developing varicose veins are 50 percent higher than someone with no family history of this condition. Weak vein valves can be inherited the same way you inherit your hair or eye color.
- Age: Age can also be a risk factor. Over time, valves that propel blood to the heart become weak. Maintaining a healthy weight and good eating habits can mitigate the negative impact of aging on your veins.
- A Sedentary Lifestyle: Sitting or standing for a long time places an undue strain on your veins. It also forces your circulatory system to work harder. If you work at a desk all day, you should take breaks regularly and walk around. Similarly, if your work requires you to stand all day, sitting down and putting your feet up can improve blood circulation.
The Root of the Problem
Targeting the root of the problem is the only way to treat varicose veins. By blocking the problematic vein, non-surgical (minimally invasive) treatments aim to treat the underlying cause of varicose veins.
The treatment diverts blood to your healthy veins once the defective vein is closed. Your body will then resorb the treated vein. Stopping blood flow to the diseased vein can lessen the signs and symptoms of varicose veins.
Why It’s Still Important to Lose Weight
With varicose vein treatments already available, you may wonder why you should even try to lose weight to address your vein condition. Weight loss doesn’t have to be your only motivation to exercise. Engaging in healthy weight-loss activities is also excellent for your vein health and blood circulation.
Losing weight may not completely eliminate your varicose veins, but it will help prevent your condition from worsening. If you want to know about effective ways to get rid of varicose veins, consult an expert in vein diseases like Dr. Vinay Madan at the Center for Varicose Veins. Dr. Madan has more than 25 years of experience in treating vein diseases. Schedule an appointment today by calling or sending us a message.