About two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are overweight – that’s two out of every three people, according to data from the CDC. Of those, about half are considered clinically obese. To date, there have been many studies showing the dangerous health effects of obesity and the toll it can take on your health. But the fact is, even being mildly or moderately overweight can have serious implications for your health, including the health of your veins. In fact, being overweight is one of the most common risk factors for developing varicose veins and spider veins, which makes maintaining a healthy weight even more critical for enjoying good health, especially as you get older or if you have other risk factors for developing these ugly and often painful veins.
Weight Gain and Varicose Veins
Your circulatory system is “in charge” of transporting oxygen and nutrients via the blood throughout your entire body. As the heart pumps, it sends oxygen-rich blood coursing through the arteries, where the blood picks up nutrients and drops off wastes as it makes its way through your body. Eventually, the arteries “connect” with vessels, and the blood is returned to the lungs where it picks up oxygen before being “pushed out” again by the strong pumping mechanism of the heart. But although the heart’s beating mechanism is strong, it’s not strong enough to complete this cycle of circulation throughout the entire body. It needs some help. And that’s where your veins come in.
Our veins are “dotted” with a series of tiny valves that open and close repeatedly to help keep blood flowing in the right direction – back to the lungs and heart. If those valves become damaged or weakened, they don’t open and close properly, and that means blood flow can be slowed or hampered. Vein walls begin to weaken and bulge as “slowed-down” blood collects behind these damaged valves. And that’s how varicose veins occur.
When we gain weight, we increase the load on our circulatory system, placing greater pressure on these tiny valves, which must work harder (just like the heart muscle) to circulate blood through an increasing mass of fatty tissue. The load on the heart is also increased as muscles need more oxygen to move a heavier body, and that means more blood must try to flow through veins which may already be compromised. When we lose weight, we can decrease the pressure on those valves, but sometimes, the damage has already been done.
Getting the care you need for better vascular health
If you’ve developed varicose veins as a result of weight gain, the good news is that today there are more vein treatment options than ever to help restore better circulatory health. At Tri-City Cardiology Consultants, we use the most advanced vein treatment options for optimal outcomes in every patient we treat. As a leading cardiology practice in Arizona, we make sure each treatment plan is based on a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of existing vascular issues as well as overall health and wellness. If you have varicose veins or spider veins, we can help. Call us today at (480) 835-6100 to schedule your personal evaluation and consultation.