Here's How Your Weight Affects Your Veins

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70% of American adults age 20 and older are overweight, and nearly 40% of these men and women are obese. Carrying too much weight comes with a variety of health risks, and one you may not be aware of is how your weight affects your veins in several different ways. 

Here at Humble Cardiology Associates in Humble and Houston, Texas, our interventional cardiologist, Dr. Madaiah Revana, can help you manage your weight and your vein health. A number of vein-related health conditions are influenced by your weight. Take a few minutes to learn how your weight affects your veins and the steps you can take to get both back to a healthier state. 

Coronary artery disease

Being obese or overweight is linked to factors that increase your risk of coronary artery disease, a form of heart disease. Carrying extra pounds often means you have high blood pressure, which takes a toll on your veins as it pushes against the walls of your arteries. You’re also more likely to have high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome — all conditions that increase your risk of heart disease. 

Stroke

When you have high blood pressure, like many people who are overweight, it can lead to a stroke. A stroke happens when the blood flow to your brain stops, typically as a result of a blood clot that blocks an artery. You can also have a stroke if a blood vessel bursts in your brain. 

Added body weight increases your blood pressure and makes it harder for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. This added pressure on your veins can increase your chances of a stroke. 

Hardening of the arteries

Years of having high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and inflammation — another health issue associated with obesity and being overweight — can cause your arteries to thicken and become stiff. This means your arteries become narrower and aren’t able to transport blood to your organs and other tissue as efficiently as they should. This poor circulation can lead to heart failure or a heart attack, or even a deadly stroke. 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) 

Although doctors aren’t exactly sure why, deep vein thrombosis affects more people who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher than people who aren’t overweight. DVT is when you develop a blood clot deep within a vein. 

People who are overweight tend to lead less active lives, which makes your blood flow slower than if you get regular exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle. When your blood flow is sluggish, you may develop a blood clot more easily. Additionally, extra fat around your midsection stops blood from flowing easily through deep veins. 

If you’re obese, it actually changes the chemical makeup of your blood and leads to chronic inflammation throughout your body. Both of these factors make your blood more prone to clotting and forming DVTs.

Varicose veins

While there’s always been a belief of the connection between obesity and varicose veins, recent studies indicate that obesity is a positive risk factor for varicose veins in both men and women. Varicose veins, also called venous insufficiency, can lead to leg pain, swelling, and discolored skin. You can get varicose veins even if you’re not overweight, but you may be more likely to have them if you’re above your ideal body weight. 

When you have varicose veins, it’s because the valves in your veins — typically in your legs — become damaged or weak. Blood flows backwards and pools in the affected vein, making it harder for the blood to return back up your leg and to your heart. 

How we can help

Dr. Revana and our compassionate team at Humble Cardiology Associates can help you lose weight and improve your vein health. We offer the following related treatments and services:

We create a treatment plan that’s specific to your individual needs — one that supports improving your overall health and wellness. 

If you’re overweight or obese, and you’re concerned about your cardiovascular health, give the office closest to you a call. Or you can request an appointment anytime night or day through our convenient online booking system.

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