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The Connection Between Stress and Varicose Veins

Patient Care, Safety, and the Ever-Changing World Of Healthcare Amidst The COVID-19 Pandemic.

Reviewed By: Anthony Giauque, MD

 

The situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic has everyone feeling stressed. School closures put extra demands on parents, business closures jeopardize your financial security, and concern over your own health or that of loved ones increases general anxiety levels. Unfortunately, all of this added stress can impact your health and may lead to issues resulting in varicose veins. At Advanced Vein Therapy, we provide safe, effective treatments to eliminate those unsightly blue, red, or purple lines that often appear across the legs and feet. Find out more about the role stress plays in the development of varicose veins and how you can address this common problem.

 

The Effect of Stress on Your Body

All of us experience some form of stress on a regular basis. There are the routine stressors in life, such as dealing with the demands of your job and making sure your family is protected. There are also additional stresses that periodically come up that have more serious impacts, such as divorce, job losses, natural disasters, and the death of loved ones. All of these can have a significant impact on your health. Particularly during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, it is important to be aware of stress and how it may be affecting you.

Stress can result in conditions that make varicose veins more likely to occur. [1]These include:

  • Circulatory problems: Spikes in blood pressure impact blood flow. Poor circulation is a common risk factor in developing varicose veins.
  • Obesity: Stress affects hormones in your body, which impacts your metabolism. Sudden weight gain and obesity make varicose veins more likely to occur.
  • Reduced activity: Due to being stressed, you may not be engaging in some of your regular activities, such as walking, bicycling, or practicing yoga and other exercises. You are more likely to retreat into more sedentary activities, such as watching television for long hours or sleeping more than usual. This lack of movement can increase varicose vein risks.

 

Varicose Veins: What They Are and How to Prevent Them

Varicose veins are those swollen, twisting lines that appear just below the surface of the skin, most commonly on the legs and feet.[2] They result from damage to valves within blood vessels that regulate blood flow. When these valves fail to work properly, blood can back up within the vein, making them visible through the skin.

Varicose veins are generally painless, but in severe cases can result in swelling, throbbing, pain, and pressure in the region. In addition to stress-related factors, they frequently occur during pregnancy, among people who stand or sit for long periods, and among those with a family history. The following steps may help to reduce your risks:

  • Eating a healthy diet;
  • Maintaining a reasonable weight;
  • Getting regular exercise;
  • Not standing or sitting for long periods;
  • Elevating your legs while resting or when watching television.

Reducing your stress levels is essential in maintaining your general health and in managing varicose veins. Getting out in nature, practicing meditation, talking with friends, or even seeking out professionals for support are all activities that prove helpful. However, it is important to note that while all of the above may reduce your risks of varicose veins, they will not eliminate them once they do appear.

 

Varicose Vein Treatments at Advanced Vein Therapy

At Advanced Vein Therapy, we have been providing treatment options for varicose veins to people throughout our area for more than ten years. If you are concerned that stressful situations in your life or those that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic have caused varicose veins or worsened their appearance, it is important to consult with our team of trained interventional radiologists and PA’s. As specialists in the advanced treatment of venous disorders, we can help assess your condition and recommend the type of treatment that is right for you. Varicose vein treatments available at Advanced Vein Therapy include:

  • Venaseal: This involves injecting a medical glue into varicose veins, closing them and encouraging blood flow to other areas;
  • Endovenous Laser Treatments (EVLT): This involves inserting a thin fiber to send light waves into the vein, causing is to close and seal.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): This involves using radio waves to collapse varicose veins.

 

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

At Advanced Vein Therapy, our goal is to eliminate your varicose veins and prevent them from returning in the future. To discuss your case or to request additional information, call or contact our Boise office today.

 

[1] Mayo Clinic: Varicose Veins: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/symptoms-causes/syc-20350643

[2] National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: Varicose Veins https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/varicose-veins