Can Stress Result In Varicose Veins?

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Woman holding her leg with the words "stress and varicose veins."

We live in a stressful world. People deal with stress constantly, and for many, managing daily life can induce occasional periods of stress. While most people experience stress with symptoms like headache and fatigue, ongoing stress can exacerbate the existing symptoms with the addition of anxiety and depression.

Stress is no small thing, and if left untreated, it can have physical symptoms that can manifest into varicose veins. These are enlarged, swollen, bulging and twisting veins under the skin. Varicose veins primarily affect legs, ankles, and feet. They can be painful and disfiguring and when inflamed, can become tender to touch.

How varicose veins are formed

Stress causes blood pressure to rise; therefore, the pressure on your veins also rises. If your stress is chronic, your veins do not get a chance to alleviate the added pressure, and they will struggle to properly pump the blood back up to your heart. This will cause pooling of blood in veins, resulting in the formation of varicose veins. [1]Occasional stress won’t have much of an effect on healthy veins, but consistent stress can take a toll on your overall health, including your veins.

Be wary of stress eating

When you are under stress, your body releases a stress hormone known as cortisol. It enhances blood sugar levels so that your body can have more energy to deal with stressful situations. When your stress is ongoing, your cortisol level remains high, signaling your body that you need more energy so you eat more food. Stress-induced eating can result in an intake of salty food, which will contribute to rising blood pressure. As you eat more, you gain weight that can result in obesity. Extra body weight, can cause damaged veins to be weakened, further promoting the development of venous insufficiency issues. [2]

Stress may interfere with your treatment plan

Constant stress can impact the effectiveness of temporary treatment plans for varicose veins. As stress causes you to eat more, it will be harder for you to stick to a healthy diet plan that will help alleviate symptoms of varicose veins. Stress can also decrease your motivation to exercise, which helps improve circulation and strengthen leg muscles. This makes it very important to see a doctor for treatment of your varicose veins. [3]

Dealing with stress

There are many ways to help manage stress. Exercise is a great option as it will boost your mood and provide a number of health benefits. For people who may be apprehensive about exercise, low impact activities like walking, biking, or swimming can be great options to become more active. You should also note that exercise does not have to take up a major chunk of your day; half an hour of exercise can help improve your stress and varicose veins. While exercise is an option for relieving stress and symptoms of varicose veins, it is important to listen to your body and slow down or stop if you experience discomfort or pain.

Eating a balanced diet can also help your stress and varicose veins by improving your overall health. Choosing to eat home cooked meals instead of fast food can help give you more energy throughout the day and help you feel full longer.

Other ways to manage your stress are to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, meditating, or doing activities you enjoy. However, these stress management tips are not a permanent fix to your symptoms. Varicose veins and other vein disease symptoms result in a weakening of your vein’s valves. When your valves are not strong, they cannot successfully pump blood, letting it pool in your legs. A permanent, outpatient fix would be to treat the underlying condition with endovenous laser therapy (EVLT). This treatment seals off malfunctioning veins in order to allow healthier, stronger veins to take over naturally.

Getting treatment for stress and varicose veins

If you suffer from stress and varicose veins it is important to see a doctor who specializes in vein health so you can find a treatment plan that works for you.

To get a treatment plan specific to your needs you can contact a USA Vein Clinics facility near you. We have over 80+ clinics located across the country, from coast-to-coast. You can be assured that the expert doctors at USA Vein Clinics will find a minimally invasive, outpatient treatment plan that can get you back to a fulfilling and less painful life.

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