varicose veins

Is High Stress Putting Your Vein Health at Risk?

High stress levels can be caused by various factors, including work, school, finances, family, and more. Not to mention, all of the stressors people typically experience have been exacerbated in 2020 by the global pandemic. Therefore, it’s no wonder that excessively high stress may be a more prevalent problem nowadays than it’s been in years past.

If you’ve experienced periods of high stress, you’ve probably noticed the toll it can take on your mental and physical health. In fact, stress can create all sorts of negative symptoms, including hair loss, weight fluctuations, and insomnia, to name a few. Another unwanted sign of stress that many people may not recognize right away is the effect it can have on vein health, namely the creation of varicose veins.

Stress and Vein Health: How Are They Connected?

Before you understand the connections between stress and vein health, it’s essential to understand the underlying cause beneath varicose veins. Venous insufficiency, also known as vein disease, manifests itself through twisting, dark-colored veins typically seen on the legs, ankles, hands, and feet. Many people avoid varicose veins for aesthetic reasons alone, but the presence of these veins can also carry some dangerous implications for your health, such as the threat of venous ulcers and blood clots.

When you’re under stress, your blood pressure spikes, which increases the pressure on your veins. The longer you remain under extreme stress, the more your veins become weakened, making it more and more difficult for blood to be pumped effectively throughout your body, particularly when the blood is fighting gravity to return to your heart. Over time, your veins will become less and less able to pump blood upwards, and it will begin to pool in the veins in your lower extremities, i.e., your legs, feet, and ankles. This is what creates the appearance of the dark-colored veins in the lower body we call varicose veins.

How Stress-Related Behaviors Can Worsen Your Varicose Veins

Though stress itself can negatively affect your vein health and create varicose veins, certain behaviors that are often caused by stress can also exacerbate the problem. One of the most common behaviors in this category is stress eating, which affects a considerable portion of the population today.

Some people depend on the temporary mood boost they get from certain foods, exceptionally high sugar or high sodium foods, in order to cope with their stress. However, regularly eating these foods can lead to higher blood sugar levels, higher blood pressure, and weight gain, all of which weakens your veins over time and can eventually create varicose veins.

How Can I Manage Stress and Avoid Varicose Veins?

In today’s world, stress is inevitable. However, there are many effective ways to help mitigate your stress levels so that you can maintain good vein health and avoid the development of varicose veins.

Create an exercise routine full of activities that you enjoy to keep you moving throughout the week. This will help to keep your heart strong and healthy. Additionally, make sure your diet is mostly made up of whole foods like fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. Keeping a regular sleep schedule can also help to reduce stress levels and diminish strain on your heart and veins.

New York Metro Vein

Want to learn more about how to keep your veins healthy and to avoid varicose veins? Contact Metropolitan Vein & Aesthetic Center today to schedule an appointment. 

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