Varicose veins are one of the most common signs of vein disease. Vein disease results from the valves in your leg veins malfunctioning, causing the veins to have difficulty circulating blood back to your heart. When the valves become too weak, blood will begin to pool in your veins forming varicose veins.
There are a lot of myths on the internet about the treatment of varicose veins. Some sources claim that home remedies and lifestyle changes are all you need to “cure” varicose veins. A popular lifestyle change to get rid of varicose veins is maintaining a healthy diet and exercising more regularly. But do varicose veins go away if you lose weight?
Fact or Fiction?
As stated previously, varicose veins are caused by the valves in your veins malfunctioning and becoming weaker. Someone who is overweight or obese is more prone to vein disease and varicose veins because their extra weight puts additional pressure on their veins. The added pressure over time is likely to cause the valves in their veins to weaken.
It is not a stretch, then, to assume that losing weight may be a good prevention tool for people who are predisposed to vein disease. However, losing weight, while helpful in avoiding the development of this common condition, cannot heal already weakened or damaged valves in your veins or prevent them completely.
The only way to treat varicose veins is to target the source of the problem. Non-surgical treatments, like Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT), Varithena vein treatment, and Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy, target the root cause of varicose veins by closing those diseased veins. By closing off the vein, the blood will be rerouted to your other healthy veins and the treated vein will be absorbed by your body. Preventing blood from flowing to the damaged vein, will help reduce your painful symptoms.
Then What Is the Point of Losing Weight?
If losing weight won’t help heal your varicose veins, you may be asking why bother to lose weight at all. But doing activities to lose weight can reduce the uncomfortable or painful symptoms associated with varicose veins, improve overall circulation, and help in maintaining the results of after vein treatment.
Exercise: Exercising regularly promotes healthy blood circulation, which can assist in pushing the pooled blood in your legs back to your heart. This works by stimulating the specific muscles in your legs that squeeze deep veins as you move. Moving the blood more easily from your veins up toward your heart will relieve pressure from overworked veins.
Finding exercises that are right for you can be a challenge, especially if your varicose veins are causing you pain. Some low-impact exercises to try include swimming, walking, aerobics, stretching, yoga, or cycling. All of these exercises increase blood circulation and put little to no impact on your legs and veins.
Eating healthy: Changing your diet is a major part of managing your weight and staying healthy. Eating foods that are high in sodium can lead to increased water retention, putting more pressure on your veins. By avoiding foods with lots of sodium, you can cut down on the water your body retains, thus relieving some of the pressure from your veins.
Additionally, eating foods with fiber helps ease your bowel movements. You may be wondering why we are talking about bowel movements in an article about varicose veins, but constipation can put strain on already weakened valves. Making sure you are having healthy bowel movements will assist in minimizing vein disease symptoms.
Is There a Way to Prevent Varicose Veins?
While it may seem like exercising, eating healthy, and losing weight can fully prevent varicose veins from occurring, this is not true. Making healthy changes to your lifestyle can help reduce your risk of developing varicose veins, but they cannot completely prevent them. The most common risk factors of varicose veins are:
- Being overweight or obese
- Having a job that requires long periods of standing or sitting
- Family history of varicose veins
- Being over the age of 45
- A history of blood clots and/or vein disease
- Are or have been pregnant
If you have any of these risk factors, it is important to stay on top of your health to try to reduce your risk of developing varicose veins.
Signs and Symptoms of Varicose Veins
Many people associate varicose veins with the visible, twisted, bulging veins, but they can cause other signs and symptoms as well. These signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in your legs that is relieved when your legs are elevated
- Slow or non-healing wounds on your legs or feet
- Skin discoloration or changes in the texture of the skin on your legs
- Swelling in your ankles or feet
- A feeling of heaviness or cramping in your legs
- Burning or itching in your legs
- Restless legs, especially at night
Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic problem and can negatively impact your quality of life. If you want to learn more about vein disease symptoms take our 2-minute quiz today.
Where to Find Treatment
USA Vein Clinics is a network of trusted care facilities that are committed to treating vein disease through the use of minimally invasive treatments, like EVLT, Varithena, and Sclerotherapy. We have numerous locations in many states across the nation. Our mission is to help people have convenient access to non-surgical, outpatient vein treatment no matter where they live. Our vascular specialists are experienced in treating all forms of vein disease without the use of surgery. At USA Vein Clinics, we ensure our patients are informed and comfortable throughout the entire treatment process.
You do not have to suffer from uncomfortable or painful symptoms caused by underlying vein disease. Contact our scheduling coordinators at 888.768.3467 or schedule online on our website today.