If you’ve recently gained weight and noticed you now have varicose veins, you may wonder if it’s a coincidence or if there is a connection. Can varicose veins improve or go away with weight loss? And why did you get varicose veins in the first place? Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are a sign that the valves in your veins are weakening. They struggle to pump blood as efficiently as they should, and the blood sits in the veins, which causes the blue, bulging look you can see in your skin.
You may develop varicose veins when you gain weight because the veins come under more pressure. The valves in the veins can become damaged, leading to more significant weakness.
Varicose veins can ache and feel uncomfortable, though they remain a cosmetic issue for most people. You may experience cramps or swelling where the veins pop up, and sometimes they itch.
Can Varicose Veins Go Away With Weight Loss?
If your varicose veins emerged when you gained weight, you might assume they will go away if you lose weight. Unfortunately, varicose veins generally don’t disappear. You can get treatment for them, but once you have them, getting rid of them can prove challenging.
While your varicose veins may have arrived at the same time you gained weight, other factors may have played a role as well. All of the following can impact your chances of getting varicose veins:
- Genetics: If you have a family history of varicose veins, you may be more likely to experience them.
- Pregnancy: Many women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. The amount of blood in the body rises, which can enlarge the veins in the legs. Hormones produced during pregnancy can also spark varicose veins.
- Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to get varicose veins. The valves that regulate blood flow experience wear over time, which can impact their function and allow blood to go back into the veins instead of going to the heart.
- Sex: Many more women than men develop varicose veins, possibly because fluctuations in hormones can loosen the valves in the vein walls and let blood gather. Women on birth control pills can also be at heightened risk for varicose veins.
Obesity can contribute to varicose veins, and so can being sedentary. While losing weight is not guaranteed to reduce your varicose veins, it can decrease the pain associated with them. Adopting a better diet and exercising more can lessen the effects of the condition as well.
Get Treatment for Varicose Veins
You can seek treatment for varicose veins to lessen their appearance and address any discomfort they may cause. Get in touch with Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center to learn more. We can discuss your condition and how long you’ve had it and get you the treatment you need.