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Does Being Overweight Increase My Risk for Varicose Vein Disease?

Does Being Overweight Increase My Risk for Varicose Vein Disease?

There’s seemingly no end to the list of health complications that are possible when you carry excess weight, and venous issues like varicose veins are included in the mix.

In fact, it may be no coincidence that nearly 1 in 3 adults in the United States is overweight and one-third of adults have varicose veins.

To help you better understand the connection between being overweight (or having obesity) and the risk for varicose veinsDr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at The Vein Institute at Upper East Side Cardiology take a deeper dive into the subject below.. 

Weight as a risk factor for varicose veins

There are a number of factors that place you more at risk for varicose veins, including:

When it comes to the last item on this list — being overweight — research shows that having obesity not only places you at greater risk for lower limb venous disease, but you’re more likely to show symptoms of venous disease, i.e. varicose veins.

Why weight matters to your vein health

When you’re carrying excess weight, you’re placing more pressure and more stress on many different areas of your body, from your joints to your vascular system. Put simply, when it comes to the latter, your blood vessels need to work harder to deliver blood to more of you.

This workload is intensified in your lower limbs, where your veins have to fight both gravity and distance to ferry blood back to your heart. To help in the effort, these veins feature one-way valves that close off as blood passes through. If the valves weaken and they don’t close all the way, blood slips backward, which can engorge the blood vessel, creating a varicose vein.

This valve weakness is called chronic venous insufficiency, and the condition affects about 25 million Americans, many of whom are both overweight and have outward signs of the disease, namely varicose veins.

Another issue that links weight to varicose veins is that people who are overweight or have obesity are often more sedentary. This matters because the veins and valves in your lower legs rely on movement and strong calf muscles to help push blood back up to your heart.

There are solutions

If you want to lose weight to improve your health and reduce your risk for varicose veins, we applaud this decision. While you embark on this weight-loss journey, we can quickly and easily eliminate existing varicose veins because, once they’re formed, these veins will not go away on their own, no matter how much weight you lose.

For expert treatment of your varicose veins, we invite you to call our New York City office on the Upper East Side at (212) 752-3464 to schedule an appointment.

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