Weight issues are extremely common in the United States. In fact, nearly a third of Americans are overweight and roughly two-fifths struggle with obesity, according to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Obesity is linked to a host of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, and some types of cancer. It’s also tied to vascular issues, including all-too-common varicose veins.
At Phoenix Heart, PLLC, our team helps patients manage vein health issues with medical treatments and healthy lifestyle changes. If you’re overweight or obese, here’s how those extra pounds could be affecting your veins, and what we can do to help.
The link between extra pounds and vascular health
Most of us understand the connection between extra weight and joint health: Not surprisingly, carrying around extra pounds puts additional strain on your joints, leading to joint pain and increasing your risk of arthritis.
Fewer people realize that these extra pounds can have a negative effect on your veins, too.
When you’re overweight or obese, the added weight places more pressure on your veins. Over time, tiny valves inside your veins weaken, failing to keep blood moving forward toward your heart. Instead, the blood can sometimes slip backward or “pool up” inside your veins.
Added pounds can weaken vein walls, leading to additional problems with blood flow. You can also develop chronic vein health issues, like varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, a clotting problem that can lead to an increased risk of strokes.
In fact, the link between obesity and vein health is so strong, it has earned its own name: phlebesity.
The impact of weight loss on vein health
If being overweight leads to problems with your veins, it makes sense that losing weight could help “undo” those problems — and it can, in these important ways.
Reduced strain on your veins
If you’re overweight, dropping those extra pounds can lead to a direct decrease in pressure on your veins. Less pressure means decreased risks of vein valve problems, circulation disorders, and varicose veins.
Better circulatory health
Losing extra pounds improves overall circulation by reducing inflammation that can damage your veins, too. Better circulation lessens the risk of dangerous blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, serious complications that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and limb death.
When your circulation is impeded, physical activity can lead to vascular discomfort and swelling in your legs, which in turn makes physical activity even more difficult. Losing weight improves vein health, so you’re able to take part in the activities you enjoy without pain and limb fatigue.
Prevention of future problems
Finally, because a healthy weight is associated with improved vein health, losing those extra pounds can help prevent future vein problems, too. That means a lower risk of varicose veins and deep clots, along with their potential complications.
Take steps toward better vein health
Losing weight is healthy for your veins and your overall wellness as well. To learn more ways we can help you improve your cardiovascular health, request an appointment online or over the phone with the Phoenix Heart team.
We’re conveniently located in Glendale, Goodyear, Scottsdale, Anthem, Avondale, Laveen Village, and Black Canyon City, Arizona, today.