Heat in itself does not cause varicose veins. They develop due to a complex interaction between aging, genetics, and lifestyle factors like obesity. Excessive heat, however, can contribute to the development and aggravation of existing vein conditions. If you’ve previously developed or feel you’re at risk of developing varicose veins, this post exists to educate our patients on how to keep their veins healthy this summer.
What effect does heat have on varicose veins?
Excessive heat leads to the dilation of veins, causing stress and making it harder for them to work. When they slow down, it’s easier for blood to pool in the vein. Varicose veins are uncomfortable as it is. Extra heat adds to this discomfort, making an already uncomfortable vein condition even harder to manage.
Understanding the effect of heat on varicose veins starts with knowing what causes varicose veins in the first place. Every vein in your body has valves whose job it is to push the blood from one part of the body through to the others. Over time, via aging and other factors, these valves wear out and become damaged, making it harder for them to achieve their purpose correctly.
This issue is especially common to the lower leg, where your veins need to be strong enough to push blood against gravity most of the time.
When valves lose their strength, blood can end up pooling in the veins. These veins then swell, becoming what we know as a varicose vein.
So, what can we do to manage vein issues as temperatures rise? Staying cool and away from heat is the natural assumption, but who wants to stay inside all summer? Instead, try keeping some of these tips in mind:
Tips for managing vein issues like varicose veins throughout the summer months
It is weakened valves in the veins that lead to varicose veins in the first place. Strengthening of those valves helps relieve the discomfort they cause. Allow some time in your day to daytime exercises like walking or even jogging to alleviate swelling and congestion caused by sedentary lifestyles.
Planning some simple evening exercise gives you added benefits, as it helps you address venous congestion that builds up throughout the day.
At times exercise can seem contradictory to avoiding the heat, but not all activity has to happen in the heat of the sun.
Swimming is an excellent example of low-impact exercises to strengthen your legs, and the cool water is refreshing on a hot day. A short walk in the evening improves your vein health while avoiding the overwhelming afternoon sun in the summertime.
Eating healthy foods always offers benefits vein health and otherwise. Some specific foods reduce inflammation and offer relief from swollen veins. Try mixing some fresh herbs and salad green into your diet where appropriate. These foods can help with swelling and increase your blood circulation.
Magnesium deficiency can be a critical factor in your blood pooling. Eating high magnesium foods can give your vein valves and added boost that they need to stay healthy or become healthy. Minimize magnesium deficiency by including avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens like kale and spinach in your diet.
Some foods can cause harm, as well as some do good for your veins. Try to limit the intake of sodium. Excess salt in a diet leads to water retention, which results in leg swelling. Try swapping out the chips for fresh fruits. They taste just as good and will help your blood flow rather than harm it!
Compression therapy is an easy way to minimize swelling. Applying gradual amounts of pressure did the legs, compression socks help guide the blood upward in the proper direction rather than pool. As a result, this is a good option for relieving tired and swollen legs under stress due to the heat of summer. You can check with us to see whether compression therapy would work in your case. The level of compression you need depends on your specific situation, so it is best to come and be evaluated rather than borrow some from a friend.
Extra fabric over the legs might seem like it would be inappropriate for the summer months, but this is not the case—compression leg where is often not thick and warm. There are many new fabric options and more seemingly every day that provide the level of healthy compression for your legs without the need for excess heat and discomfort. Dri-Fit is an excellent example of this.
Simple changes can impact keeping your veins comfortable and healthy during the summer. On top of these recommendations, do your best to stay cool in the shade throughout the summer months. Try to choose water over alcoholic beverages during summer barbecues. If the temperature starts to get unbearable, relax inside and enjoy the cool air of the air conditioning. Varicose veins are certainly annoying at times, but with these small Lifestyle Changes, you can keep your veins healthy without ruining your plans.
Set up a treatment plan today with Five Clinics
If you are dealing with varicose veins and are interested in seeking treatment, visit Five Clinics. You don’t need to deal with heavy aching legs anymore. It would help if you were enjoying your summer, not dreading it. Varicose veins cause you to feel self-conscious when looking at their legs, leading them to cover up, making you more uncomfortable than you should be when it’s hot outside. It is time to address your varicose veins. We will set up a treatment plan so you can feel confident and pain-free this summer!