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Can Varicose Veins Affect Your Heart?

Varicose veins affect your blood vessels and circulation system, so many people naturally wonder if varicose veins can affect their hearts.

What Are Varicose Veins?

The human body has at least 34 major veins, with dozens of smaller veins throughout. Sometimes, a vein becomes twisted and enlarged. This process is the description of “becoming varicose.”

Varicose veins can happen anywhere in your body, but they are usually in the legs. In most cases, this is because walking and standing increase pressure in your lower body, resulting in varicose veins.

Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?

In the majority of cases, varicose veins are not dangerous. They can be cosmetically inconvenient but usually do not pose a risk to your overall health and wellness.

Can Varicose Veins Damage Your Heart?

Although varicose veins indicate an issue with circulation (moving blood to and from your heart for oxygenation), varicose veins do not typically put you at risk for cardiac problems.

The reason is that heart disease and poor circulation are associated with your arterial system, while varicose veins align with your venous system.

However, this does not mean that your venous system doesn’t affect your cardiac system. For example, a patient with varicose veins and heart disease could be at higher risk for swelling and infection.

Varicose Veins and DVT

DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis, an uncommon complication from varicose veins. This condition happens when a clot loosens, breaks free from the varicose vein, and travels into the lungs. In severe cases, this can result in a pulmonary embolism.

In other cases, the loosened clot may restrict blood flow elsewhere in your body, leading to other potential health issues.

The good news is that both your venous and arteria systems respond well to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

A Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

A heart-healthy lifestyle consists of three main elements: a healthy diet, adequate hydration, and exercise.

Exercising for a Healthy Heart and Veins

You may feel disinclined to pursue exercise with varicose veins, especially if they cause you pain. But exercise can help improve symptoms from varicose veins.

When exercising with varicose veins, stick to low-impact activities. Just because the exercises are low-impact doesn’t mean you won’t reap cardiovascular benefits.

A good example is swimming. Swimming is a low-impact exercise that, when done correctly, can certainly boost your cardio activity.

Adequate Hydration

Did you know that around 70% of American adults are dehydrated? Chronic dehydration is one of the most easily treated yet persistent health conditions in the United States.

To ensure you’re meeting your daily water needs, you should aim to drink one ounce of water per one-half to one pound of body weight.

So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking anywhere from 75 to 150 ounces of water daily.

A Heart-Healthy Diet

Focus on a heart-healthy diet rich in fiber and whole foods and low in processed and salty foods.

Salty foods — foods high in sodium — are not suitable for your heart and contribute to water retention, which can put further pressure on your legs.

Try to have at least one meal a day that contains leafy green vegetables.

Addressing Varicose Veins

If you are concerned about the overall state of your varicose veins, consider scheduling a consultation with the experts at Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center for help and counseling.

For Cardiology services you can find us on Zocdoc