The Link Between Obesity and Varicose Veins

Vein specialists offer numerous treatments to get rid of varicose veins, but is there a way to prevent them from forming in the first place? Maybe so.

Dr. Michael Gioscia is a board-certified surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive treatment for conditions that affect your vein health. He leads our team here at the Vein Institute of Westchester in White Plains, New York. 

He has dedicated much of his impressive medical career to devising effective strategies for successfully treating and preventing the recurrence of varicose veins. He’s happy to provide information about obesity and its link to varicose veins.

Understanding veins

Arteries and veins play different roles in your circulatory system. Arteries are the major blood vessels that deliver nutrient-rich and freshly oxygenated blood from your heart to the rest of your body. 

Veins are the blood vessels that carry the used blood back to your heart and lungs for replenishment before it’s sent back into the arteries. 

Your veins have small, one-way valves inside that open and shut regularly. This action helps control blood flow through the vessels and keeps it moving in an even stream toward your heart.

Dysfunction of these tiny valves as well as stiffening and other damage done to the normally elastic vein walls disrupts the flow and causes blood to pool in the vein. This leads to the twisted, rope-like vessels we identify as varicose veins.

What does obesity have to do with varicose veins?

Any vein in your body can develop a varicosity. Some hemorrhoids, in fact, are a type of varicose vein. But varicose veins are most common in your legs because of the extra strain they’re under to transport blood upward toward the heart against gravity.

Excess weight places additional stress on your circulatory system because the increased body mass related to obesity means your vessels must work harder to deliver, distribute, and return blood to your heart. This can eventually lead to the damage that results in varicose veins.

Other conditions linked to obesity — including elevated blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease — can also threaten your vein and artery health. 

And excess weight often makes it difficult to remain physically active. This can cause weakening of various leg muscles that your veins rely on to help move blood toward the heart.

Can weight loss cure varicose veins?

Unfortunately, losing weight won’t cure varicose veins. But weight loss can help prevent new varicosities from forming once you’ve undergone treatment.

How do you treat varicose veins?

There are numerous effective treatments available for varicose veins. During your initial consultation, Dr. Gioscia takes the time to fully evaluate your leg veins and devise the most effective plan. 

This isn't a one-fix-for-all practice. Dr. Gioscia is an expert who has extensive experience in all possible solutions, which may include therapies such as:

For more information about the treatment and prevention of varicose veins and other conditions that affect your circulatory health, schedule an evaluation at Westchester Vein Institute today. We’re here to help.

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