Have you found yourself engrossed in the various venous afflictions that can disrupt life’s equilibrium? If so, the term Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) has likely emerged on your enlightening journey. The combination of “deep” and “vein” might conjure up images of excruciating pain. But before you start losing sleep over the thought of this condition, let’s take a moment to put things into perspective.

 

While DVT can unleash some pretty severe side effects, let’s not jump to conclusions. By diving deeper into the realm of Deep Vein Thrombosis and embracing preventative measures, you can boldly reduce the odds of developing this condition.

 

Unraveling the Enigma: Decoding Deep Vein Thrombosis

 

Picture this: blood clots throwing a wild party right within your deep veins. Yes, when these unruly clots decide to form, they go all out, obstructing and even blocking blood flow.

 

Why do blood clots think it’s fun to block up your deep veins? Because of Virchow’s triad, aka the 3 primary causes for Deep Vein Thrombosis:

 

  1. Stasis of blood flow: When you’re immobile for long periods, you reduce blood circulation. This can happen when you’re injured and can’t walk around as much. Or when you’re a jetsetter who spends a lot of time on lengthy flights.
  2. Endothelial injury: “Endothelial”  is a type of cell layer. It lines your blood vessels and forms a barrier between the bloodstream and the tissues that surround it. When endothelial cells are damaged, which can be caused by inflammation, surgery, or trauma, blood clots may form.
  3. Hypercoagulability: This is when your body turns into an overzealous blood clotting factory. Hypercoagulability can be inherited or caused by pregnancy, hormone therapy, smoking, cancer, and certain medications or autoimmune disorders.

 

Deep Vein Thrombosis: What To Look Out For

 

Deep Vein Thrombosis can consist of persistent leg pain, cramps, and swelling of your feet, ankles, and calves. It can also cause skin discoloration and makes your legs feel unusually heavy.

 

DVT can make veins more visible and can even travel to your lungs to cause some toilsome trouble. Here are some other health risks of DVT to be aware of

 

Pulmonary Embolism

 

Pulmonary embolisms happen when blood clots travel into your lungs and block pulmonary arteries. When this occurs, blood flow is blocked, damaging lung tissue and impairing oxygen production.

You may be experiencing a pulmonary embolism if you have the following symptoms:

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Cough accompanied by blood-streaked mucus
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting or unconsciousness
  • Sweating

 

Though pulmonary embolism is the most serious symptom of Deep Vein Thrombosis, it’s also the rarest. Nonetheless, if you spot signs of a pulmonary embolism, get to a doctor right away to stop blot clots from persisting.

 

Post-thrombotic Syndrome

 

When inflammation and blood flow obstruction join forces, this mischievous duo puts pressure on your veins and forms those pesky blood clots that DVT is notorious for.

 

Post-thrombotic syndrome can damage your vein walls and valves, inducing pain, swelling, and several long-term complications. This includes venous insufficiency, venous hypertension, dark pigmentation, and skin ulcers.

 

Stroke, Heart Attack, or (Even) Death

 

Unfortunately, any of these outcomes can be a result of DVT, which is why it should be paid special attention. If a blot clot from your deep veins breaks free, it can travel to your vital organs. If it reaches your brain, it can block blood and lead to a stroke. If the blood clot travels to your heart, the blockage caused can result in a heart attack.

 

While the chances of DVT causing stroke, heart attack, or death are low (phew!), it does up the risk factor for these side effects. That’s why treating DVT should be a major priority. Here are some preventive measures to keep DVT from adding unwarranted turmoil to your life.

 

New Advances in DVT Treatment: What You Need to Know

 

Exploring modern treatment options for DVT can be fascinating. Nowadays, there’s a range of convenient methods to aid in the healing process. Here’s a short and sweet guide to modern DVT treatments:

 

  • Apixaban, rivaroxaban, and dabigatran: These medication maestros have quite the reputation as top-notch oral anticoagulants. Don’t be intimidated by their tongue-twisting names; they’re experts at keeping those blood clots in check. No constant monitoring or dose fussing is required! Plus, they play nice with other drugs and food, so you don’t have to worry about unexpected health complications.
  • Catheter-directed thrombolysis: This nifty procedure involves sneaking a catheter into the trouble zone of your DVT. Catheter-directed thrombolysis goes straight to the source, breaking down clots and restoring the harmonious flow of blood. Talk about a minimally invasive rescue mission! With symptoms alleviated and post-thrombotic syndrome and pulmonary embolisms kept at bay, catheter-directed thrombolysis is here to save the day.
  • Genetic testing: Sometimes DNA can be a bit mischievous. It might sprinkle factor V Leiden mutations, prothrombin gene mutations, or deficiencies in Protein C, Protein S, and antithrombin into your genetic mix, upping the odds of DVT. But fear not! The clever doctors have a secret weapon: genetic testing. They can decode your genetic blueprint and uncover these sneaky inheritances. Armed with this knowledge, they can unleash a legion of preventative measures for DVT.

 

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Your Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis

 

Before you dive into a sea of worry about Deep Vein Thrombosis, take a moment to embrace the rarity of this condition. And fear not, for you hold the power to reduce its chances!

 

Add daily movement to keep your blood circulating at its finest. And when it comes to fashion, bid adieu to tight-fitting clothes and welcome the companionship of compression stockings. Hydrate like a champion, maintain a healthy physique, and kiss your smoking habit goodbye. By wholeheartedly adopting these measures, you’ll be a force to reckon with, diminishing the impact DVT can have on your life.

 

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Wondering why bulging veins have suddenly taken up residency on your skin? It could be an indicator of many different venous conditions. Two of the most prevalent being hemorrhoids and varicose veins.

 

Both of these conditions are caused by malfunctioning venous valves. But they impact different body parts and require different treatments.

 

Though annoying to deal with, both hemorrhoids and varicose are common and treatable. Hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll be able to give these nuisances the boot and live your best bulging vein-free life.

 

Bulging Veins: A Symptom of an Underlying Problem?

 

When you have bulging veins, the blood pressure within your veins has increased. The veins have become dilated and stretched out, making them more apparent to the naked eye. And making it so you don’t want to wear anything that reveals the venous protrusions on your legs.

 

Let’s get into the differences between hemorrhoids and varicose veins and why they provide such a breeding ground for bulging veins.

 

What You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids

 

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum. They cause pain, itching, bleeding, and are just generally awkward to talk about. Probably why you’re reading this article rather than describing your swollen anal veins to a doctor. Hemorrhoids can be internal, inside the rectum, or external, under the skin around the anus.

 

Hemorrhoids can be accompanied by a variety of unpleasant side effects. External hemorrhoids, in particular, can provoke bleeding due to the strain and irritation they incite during bowel movements. They can also cause the rather embarrassing condition of a protruding or prolapsed anus. Unfortunately, this also means that sitting down can be a royal pain in the behind.

 

Common causes of hemorrhoids include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Straining during a bowel movement
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Overweight
  • Eating a low-fiber diet

 

Are Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins the Same?

 

There are several distinct differences between hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Mainly in the way they look and where they reside. Varicose veins pop up like blue and purple party favors on your legs and feet, complete with a twisted, tangled venous pattern. Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, prefer to keep it low-key in the down-low region. So, while they may cause similar itchy, painful sensations, the main difference is that one is out there for everyone to see, and the other is a closeted condition.

 

Hemorrhoids and varicose veins have the same root cause but require different treatments. Varicose veins can be treated with procedures like sclerotherapy or radio frequency ablation. However, there are many methods for treating this condition, all dependent on the type of venous disease you’re dealing with.

 

Your relief from hemorrhoids could be just a wipe away. In fact, there are numerous low-maintenance treatment options for the condition:

  • Over-the-counter creams
  • Pads containing witch hazel or numbing agents
  • Regular soaking in a warm bath
  • Taking oral pain relievers to control inflammation
When to Seek Medical Treatment

 

Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are fairly liveable conditions. But you should still be wary of worsening symptoms. After all, you don’t want your legs, feet, or anal cavity to look and feel any more unpleasant than they already do.

 

Notify a doctor if you notice the following hemorrhoid issues:

  • You are experiencing blood in your stool or rectal bleeding
  • Your hemorrhoids are painful and not healing

 

See a doctor for varicose veins when:

  • You have a sudden increase in pain
  • You experience calf swelling
  • You develop leg sores, throbbing, fever, or red/discolored skin
  • Your leg feels warm to the touch

 

Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins: A Tale of Two Vein Problems

 

While equally annoying to deal with and look at, hemorrhoids and varicose veins are separate conditions both linked to bulging veins. What they have in common is that they are both treatable. Whether you decide to visit your trusted vein specialist or just hit up your neighborhood pharmacy, relief from those unsightly bulges and all the other irritating symptoms that come with hemorrhoids and varicose veins is within reach.

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Having venous insufficiency can impact your life on a daily basis. Yes, it changes the way you look. But it can also cause serious discomfort, chronic pain, and potential long-term health issues if untreated. But what are the causes of venous insufficiency? And what do the symptoms of this condition do to your veins and body?

 

Close up on a leg with venous insufficiency.

Venous insufficiency happens when the veins within your legs cannot properly transport blood back to your heart. This subsequently weakens your valves and causes blood to pool up in your veins. A domino effect of pain, fatigue, swelling, and skin changes then occur. Clearly, this is not something you want to experience on an everyday basis. 

 

Today we’ll explain how to recognize the initial symptoms of this condition. We’ll also elaborate on the six phases of chronic venous insufficiency and why you should seek medical intervention when they come about. Our hope is that you can detect a case of this condition before it worsens so that you can return to a life of comfort and venous health.

 

What are the Initial Symptoms?

 

The symptoms of venous insufficiency can be different for everyone. But most cases are accompanied by the following symptoms: 

  • Ankle, feet, and leg swelling
  • Pain or aches that cause legs to feel heavy
  • Itchiness, dryness, and altered color of skin—often a reddish-brown tone
  • Developed varicose veins
  • Leg fatigue, cramping, or muscle spasms

In addition to knowing the symptoms, you should also be aware of the different types of veins. Your body is made up of deep veins, superficial veins, and perforating veins. When these veins do not operate properly, they can have varying impacts on venous insufficiency. 

 

Deep veins play a large role in transporting generous amounts of blood to your heart. They reside near the arteries and surround themselves with muscles. Superficial veins, on the other hand, are closer to the skin’s surface. Their job is to drain blood from your skin and tissues. Superficial veins can become noticeably enlarged, resulting in varicose veins. Perforating veins connect the other two types and allow blood to flow between them. They have one-way valves that stop blood from flowing in the opposite direction. When the valves of perforating veins are impaired, venous insufficiency occurs. 

Understanding the Six Stages of Venous Insufficiency

 

There are multiple stages of chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. Though six phases exist, the Clinical, Etiologic, Anatomic, Pathophysiologic (CEAP) classification system numbers them as 0-5. As you might assume, each stage represents a higher severity of the condition. Let’s explain what happens in each one:

 

Stage 0: This is basically an undetected stage of venous insufficiency. No clinical symptoms or signs have popped up yet. But nevertheless, being in this stage means you are at risk of developing CVI.

Stage 1: This is when the real symptoms of CVI start to surface. Visible signs like telangiectasias or spider veins start to appear. This indicates a need for medical attention and intervention. 

Stage 2: This phase is characterized by the development of varicose veins. You’ll experience greater discomfort and pain than in the previous phases. 

Stage 3: Patients in stage 3 will experience swelling in their ankles and legs. This is called edema. It happens when excessive amounts of fluid get trapped within the body’s tissues.

Stage 4: In this stage, patients may develop skin ulcers or sores that recur frequently and do not heal. 

Stage 5: This stage is considered severe. It may involve the development of a condition called lipodermatosclerosis. This condition is characterized by hardened, fibrotic tissue in the skin and subcutaneous tissue.

 

Not all patients will experience every stage of CVI. And the progression and severity will vary from person to person. Nonetheless, it’s ideal to recognize CVI at an early stage and seek immediate treatment. 

What Are the Major Side Effects of CVI?

 

Venous insufficiency can lead to tissue inflammation and damage. This is caused by the accumulation of blood and fluid in the area affected. Since the veins are unable to transport blood back to your heart, pressure builds up. This releases inflammatory mediators. Their job is to induce blood vessel dilation, thus causing inflammation and damage to occur. 

 

Venous insufficiency can also cause your skin and underlying tissues to break down. This can result in venous ulcers on your lower legs. These ulcers are painful, recurrent, and take a long time to heal. Your skin may start to develop lipodermatosclerosis, causing dryness, itching, and scaling of the skin. 

What Are the Consequences of Untreated Venous Insufficiency?

 

There are several serious and unpleasant consequences of leaving venous insufficiency untreated. Here are some of the most prevalent ones:

  • Blood Clots: This is one of the most life-threatening side effects of venous insufficiency. Blood clots can form in your deep veins, causing a condition called deep vein thrombosis. Serious health issues like pulmonary embolism can then occur.
  • Infections: Venous insufficiency ups your risk of infection. This is especially true for the skin around your affected veins. There is a greater potential for fungal or bacterial growth. 
  • Impaired Mobility: You may have a harder time standing or walking for extended periods of time. This is due to the pain and blood pooling caused by this condition. Consequently, your ability to fulfill everyday activities may be hindered.
  • Lower Quality of Life: Swelling, changes in skin texture, and chronic pain caused by venous insufficiency can really take a toll on your life. Your ability to socialize, work, and pursue leisurely activities is compromised. This can cause you to develop a disability and inevitably impact your level of happiness. 

Recognize the Signs and Treat the Symptoms

 

Taking action in the early stages of venous insufficiency can prevent unpleasant cosmetic damage to your legs and skin. But more importantly, recognizing it from the start can help you impede the major physical and mental health issues that can accompany this condition. Luckily, there are surgical treatments for alleviating the pain and preventing CVI from worsening. 

 

Sclerotherapy, venous ablation, and other types of vein surgery can be used for treating the condition and are all available at Delaware Advanced Vein Center. Our vein specialists can also provide medications, non-medical treatments, and lifestyle plans to help with venous insufficiency. Whatever stage you’re at, know that there are solutions for treating and living with CVI. So there’s no reason to wait—seek solace from this venous condition today! 

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Illustration of hands with bulging veins.

Our blood moves through the body via blood vessels with the goal of reaching our heart. But when blood has a hard time being transported, it can pool up in our veins. This can manifest itself as bulging in legs, hands, and feet. These swollen veins can look unappealing and really show off our age.

 

The good news is most bulging veins aren’t actually a sign of poor health. But there are instances where they may arise from an underlying disease. Whatever the cause or effect, let’s discuss everything you need to know about bulging veins.

 

8 Common Causes of Bulging Veins 

 

Bulging veins can be identified by their rope-like shape and bluish-green tone. While they’re not an inherent health threat, none of us want to have them on our skin. So why are my veins popping out? Here are some of the reasons why they appear:

 

  • Aging: As we age, our skin gets thinner and less elastic, making our blood vessels more visible. While not particularly desirable, it’s all part of the aging process.
  • Genetics: Having family members with bulging veins increases your chances of getting them.
  • Hot Weather: Heat can make veins more prominent and enlarged. Because they have to work harder in high temperatures, veins become more visible.
  • Hormone Imbalance: Pregnancy or menopause can lead to a hormone imbalance. One of the symptoms is bulging veins. Pregnancy may also put pressure on veins, making it harder for blood flow to get back to the heart.
  • Exercise: Heavy lifting for long periods of time can make blood flow increase. The muscles harden, causing more visible blood vessels. Over-stretching can also play a role in making veins pop out.
  • Blood Clots: Also known as thrombophlebitis, this condition can cause swollen veins that feel tough.
  • Body Fat Loss: Our skin has a layer of fat that serves as an insulator. When you lose weight, that layer thins, making veins more visible.
  • Health Conditions: Underlying heart problems can cause a chronic increase in blood pressure. This weakens the veins and can cause popping.

 

The causes of bulging veins differ from that of varicose veins. Varicose veins are often caused by damaged or weakened valves. Not all bulging veins are varicose veins, deeming them generally harmless. But if they cause pain and discomfort, it may be an underlying problem from untreated varicose veins. Let’s explain.

 

Are Bulging Veins the Same as Varicose Veins?

 

There are a few ways to tell the difference between a regular bulging vein and varicose veins. The first is where the vein is located. Bulging veins can pop up in various places. But varicose veins usually show up on your legs. This is where blood has to work the hardest to travel back to your heart.

 

Though similar in appearance, varicose and bulging veins have a slightly different look to them. They both have a rope-like structure. But varicose veins are generally larger and more twisted. Bulging veins are smaller with a green-blue hue. Varicose veins have a more purple-blue color.

 

Symptoms can help you identify whether you’re dealing with bulging or varicose veins. Bulging veins can be purely aesthetic and may have no real symptoms. Varicose veins; however, come with pain, discomfort, swelling, changes in skin texture, and even ulcers.

 

Can Bulging Veins Go Away?

 

Usually, bulging veins will go away on their own. Especially ones that are caused by exercise or hot weather. But if popping veins run in your family or come from underlying conditions, you may need treatment to help them go away. Here are some options:

 

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can help decrease the swelling of bulging veins.
  • Sclerotherapy injects a chemical solution into targeted veins and makes them close.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy is the removal of the targeted veins via small incisions. While you’re under general anesthesia, your doctor will make an incision, tie off the vein, and remove it. The blood that used to run in the vein is automatically shifted and the closed vein eventually fades away.

 

What Can You Do To Prevent Bulging Veins From Forming?

 

As we’ve learned, bulging veins often have genetic causes. So while we can’t always stop them from forming, there are things we can do to lessen the appearance of bulging veins or prevent new ones from popping up.

 

Improve Your Heart Rate, Reduce Your Weight

 

Routine exercise improves circulation, prevents blood from pooling in veins, and helps with weight loss. Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins. This increases your chances of developing bulging veins. So maintaining a healthy diet and workout routine is an advantageous step in treating or preventing bulging veins.

 

Sport a Pro-Vein Wardrobe

 

Wearing tight clothing could actually be the cause of your vein problems. Overly fitted garments restrain blood flow, which can then cause bulging veins to form. Sporting a loose-fitting, free-flowing wardrobe can help. And to further reduce your risk, compression socks can even out the pressure on your veins and prevent blood pooling.

 

Switch up Your Position

 

Refrain from standing, sitting, or crossing your legs for extended periods of time. Doing so can cause blood to pool in your veins. Elevating your legs to a position higher than your heart can also improve blood flow. Taking periodic breaks and stretching are both helpful ways to prevent and lessen bulging veins.

 

Trade Bad Habits for Healthy Ones

 

We all know that smoking is bad for us. It damages our blood vessels and restricts blood flow. This enlarges your veins and can cause them to bulge out. If you don’t want this to happen, stop smoking and start drinking—water that is. Getting lots of hydration keeps the blood flowing. This reduces pressure on your veins and can even help with skin elasticity.

 

When All Else Fails, Bulging Veins Can Be Fixed

 

Bulging veins are not a serious medical issue for the majority of people. But if you’re concerned that your popping veins are something serious (or if you just don’t like the way they look) make an appointment with a vein doctor.

 

If there’s a serious problem with your veins, a doctor can recommend treatment. And if you want them removed for cosmetic purposes, they can also make a suggestion for the best procedure. If bulging veins are a sign of a more serious condition, your doctor will offer specific medical treatments.

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Anyone can get gout. But it’s certainly more common in men and older people. So if you’ve found yourself in this little corner of the internet, you must be wondering why you’re spotting signs of gout at such a young age.

Indeed, having gout in your 20s is pretty early. But there’s no need to worry—it can be cured with simple lifestyle changes. Read on to learn how you can take control of your gout and reduce your chances of flare-ups.

What is Gout?

 

Gout is a type of arthritis that causes inflammation of the joints due to excess uric acid, usually in the big toe. Uric acid is a waste product that dissolves into your blood. The human body makes it by breaking down chemicals called purines found in certain food and drinks.

 

Uric acid goes through the kidneys and exits the body when you urinate. But sometimes the body produces too much uric acid or the kidneys don’t do a good job of handling it. When the body has high levels of uric acid, crystals can concentrate in the joints. These sharp, needle-like crystals cause gout.

What Are the Signs of Gout?

 

You are also more likely to develop gout at a young age if you:

  • Consume a diet high in animal proteins like red meat and seafood
  • Consume a significant amount of alcohol
  • Have a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, or are overweight.
  • Have a sedentary lifestyle

If you have a developing case of gout, you may be experiencing the following symptoms.

Joint Pain and Discomfort

 

Gout doesn’t just affect your big toe. Aches in your knees, elbows, fingers, wrists, or ankles can also occur. You’ll feel this most intensely when you’re having a gout attack. As the initial pain lessens, you’ll feel residual joint discomfort for days or weeks. Sudden surges of intense joint pain can pop up again, even spreading to other joints.

Inflammation

 

Swelling, redness, and inflammation may be signs of gout. These symptoms are caused by the crystals that form in the joints. Swelling will be at its peak within the first day of a gout flare-up. Like a newly formed bruise, the affected joint will also feel tender and warm.

Restricted Range of Motion

 

When you twist an ankle or pull a muscle, that part of the body becomes less capable of movement. This likewise happens when you have gout; however, the injured joint can be impaired long after the initial flare-up. Gout can cause long-term limited range of motion in your joints.

Health Risks of Gout in Young Adults

 

One of the biggest misconceptions about gout is that it only affects the joints. In actuality, it causes a variety of health problems throughout your body, including your heart and blood vessels. Gout risk factors include:

  • Cardiovascular Disease: A 2019 study found patients diagnosed with gout at age 40 or younger have an increased risk for heart disease and recurrent gout.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis: Another study shows that gout increases the risk of developing DVT by 50%.
  • Blood Clots: Gout patients of all ages have a 25% greater risk of developing blood clots, but the risk is 79% higher in gout patients ages 50 and under.

Gout isn’t just a pain in your foot, it’s an inflammatory disease. And inflammation is a major contributor to any type of cardiovascular health issue.

How to Prevent Gout Flare-Ups

 

If you’ve developed gout at a young age, you need to focus on reducing uric acid levels and other sources of inflammation. Here are some tips for keeping your gout at bay.

Stay Hydrated

 

Drinking lots of water is especially important for people with gout. That’s because it helps keep the pH balance of your urine at a neutral level. This makes it easier for your body to flush out uric acid, thus making it harder for crystals to form.

 

Drinking water can also decrease the regularity and severity of gout attacks. We’d recommend drinking 8 to 12 cups of water a day. When attacks occur, increasing your daily intake to 16 cups can also help with symptoms.

Up Your Vitamin C

 

Vitamin C may be one of the best nutrients for people with gout. That’s because studies have shown those who consume more vitamin C tend to have lower levels of uric acid in their body. Vitamin C supplements have also been found to reduce uric acid in the blood.

 

Strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cruciferous vegetables, and citrus are all rich in Vitamin C. By eating more of these healthy foods, you can reduce the amount of uric acid in your body and help prevent gout flares.

Avoid Alcohol

 

Keeping alcohol intake low is a wise practice for everybody. People with gout may want to consider cutting it out altogether. Alcohol, especially beer, is purine-rich. And as we’ve learned, this breaks down into uric acid and can cause gout flare-ups. So if you’ve been struggling with frequent gout attacks, limiting alcohol may help.

Eat Less Seafood and Red Meat

 

Like alcohol, red meat and certain types of seafood can be high in purines. Anchovies, sardines, salmon, and mussels are particularly purine-rich. If you want to stop gout attacks from happening, cut back on these foods that trigger gout. Instead opt for a low-purine diet with proteins like nuts, seeds, and eggs.

Keep Your Gout Under Control

 

Having gout in your 20s is not a fun undertaking. But it can serve as a wake-up call to improve your health. Diet changes, lowered alcohol intake, better hydration, and doctor-prescribed medications can help defend you from gout attacks. So while early onset gout may feel like you’ve hit health rock bottom, consider it an opportunity to set things right with your body.

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orange leaf person wearing a winter hat looking at reasons for varicose veins in winterDo you have varicose veins, spider veins, or any other form of venous disease? If so, you know that the colder seasons can take a toll on your legs. So why do people experience leg pain due to cold weather? Today we’re going to explain what happens to your veins in the wintertime and how it affects their overall function.

Effects of Cold Weather on Your Veins

 

Believe it or not, cold weather can be beneficial to your veins in some ways. For example, the colder it gets, the less likely you are to suffer from swelling and pain in your ankles. This is because as our bodies heat up, we expand. And when circulation decreases as temperatures lower, these valves function better. This means fewer cramps or other discomforts.

Despite this, venous diseases usually come with more negatives than positives during the wintertime. Here are some of the inconveniences that pop up when it’s cold:

Circulatory Problems: When the temperatures drop enough for it to snow, the atmospheric pressure changes. Your circulatory system can become less efficient which aggravates vein problems.

Vein Constriction: Your body’s reaction to cold weather is to protect your internal temperature. Veins constrict and blood rushes to your organs, conserving their warmth. This is why your fingers and toes feel so cold in the winter.

Dry Skin: Dry winter air can irritate the skin on your legs. Rashes, dryness, itchiness, bleeding, and even ulcerations can occur around your veins. This can cause even more discomfort to your venous condition. 

Weight Gain​: Gaining a few extra pounds is common during the holiday months. This can put more stress on your legs to pump blood back to your heart. So despite the cold weather, try to workout often and keep the weight off.

Decreased Exercise: Another reason to stay active is to keep the valves pumping blood through our veins. When we’re sedentary, our ability to sustain efficient blood flow is limited. Moving, walking, cycling, and running can help keep venous insufficiency under control.

thermometer showing how temperature affects your vein health

How to Maintain Vein Health in Winter

 

Here are a few ways to keep the symptoms of venous diseases in check during the colder months:

  • Elevate your legs for 30 minutes before you go to sleep.
  • Eat high-fiber foods like avocados, beans, and berries for good circulation.
  • Try some light stretching in the morning, midday, and before bed.
  • Massage your ankles and lower legs when possible.
  • Apply lotion to your legs to prevent skin and vein irritation. 
  • Focus on exercises that workout your legs.

See a Vein Specialist

 

If you are experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of varicose veins or other venous conditions, there is no need to suffer. As soon as a vein has become damaged, repair it with immediate medical attention. Seeking help will give your legs back their youthful appearance and prevent future complications.

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