Are You Overweight? Can it lead to Varicose Veins?

Are You Overweight? Can it lead to Varicose Veins?

Posted by ABC

Posted on 14th April, 2023 at 1:43:32 AM

Shoaib Padaria
Shoaib Padaria

A person is said to be obese (overweight) when his or her body weight is more than 20% of the ideal body weight. BMI (Body Mass Index) is an index of obesity and is calculated from the height and weight of the concerned person. People who have a BMI above 25 but below 30 are considered overweight whereas patients with BMI greater than 30 are known to be suffering from obesity.

Obesity is usually caused by:

  • Sedentary Lifestyle
  • Slow Body Metabolism
  • Genetic Factors
  • Certain medicines
  • Some medical conditions like Hypothyroidism

Obesity can lead to many medical problems such as diseases of the heart, kidney, liver, brain, and joints.

Can Be Overweight lead to Varicose veins?

Excessive body weight places additional pressure on the veins of the legs and makes it difficult for them to pump the deoxygenated blood back to the heart against gravity. Over time, this leads to failure of the vein valves, due to which the blood flows back into the legs, causing an increase in the vein pressure. This leads to dilatation of the veins, and these enlarged and dilated veins will be seen as bulging veins in the legs.

I am obese? But I can’t see any Bulging Veins. Can I still have Varicose Veins?

In patients who are overweight, the varicose veins are often masked under numerous layers of fat, especially in the legs, and this is the main reason they are unseen and untreated for a long period of time. Often the first sign is a swelling or a pigmentation of skin around the ankles. This should alert the patient to the underlying disease. The easiest method of confirming this is a special ultrasound test of the veins called a Venous Doppler test.  Treatment of these veins at the right time is important to prevent long-term complications such as blood clots and venous ulcers.

Will it help my varicose veins if I lose weight?

With a decrease in weight, the pressure on the veins is decreased, and some symptoms such as heaviness of legs, itching around the ankles, and swelling of the feet may be relieved to some extent. It will also prevent the development of new varicose veins. However, once the venous valves have started leaking, it is unlikely they will heal, and therefore the varicose veins which are already present may need to be treated if they are severe or have caused complications.

What treatment modalities would be ideal for obese patients with Varicose Veins?

Endovenous procedures such as laser, RFA, or Glue therapy would be ideal treatment procedures for overweight patients. Since there are no cuts or stitches, and only local anesthesia is used, the post-procedure complications are significantly reduced with these techniques compared to open surgery.

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