Cold Weather and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins occur when the valves inside them become weakened or damaged. As a result, blood cannot flow efficiently from the extremities back toward the heart. Instead, blood pools inside the vein, causing bulging, ropy, painful, varicose veins. If you suffer from painful varicose veins, cooler temperatures could give them a leg up. As temperatures drop, veins tighten, which allows for better blood flow.

Colder weather has a soothing effect on the painful symptoms of varicose veins, but it doesn’t cure them. Unfortunately, the positive correlation between cold weather and varicose veins is temporary, so it’s important to learn how to keep your veins healthy throughout the year.

Why do vein valves malfunction?

Vein valves become damaged or weakened for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Heredity
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Leg injury or trauma
  • Sitting or standing for long periods without moving

How to keep your veins healthy

Start these practices during cold weather months, and varicose veins won’t get the better of you in hotter weather:

  • Eat more fiber
    You probably know fiber is a key nutrient for maintaining a healthy digestive system. A healthy digestive system helps keep pressure from building up in your abdomen, supporting healthy blood flow in your veins. Try nourishing, fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, avocado, and lentils.
  • Drink more water
    Water is the elixir of life. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it also helps increase energy levels, improves skin, aids in weight loss, and prevents cramps. It is also great for maintaining healthy veins. Why? The more hydrated you are, the thinner your blood is, which means it flows more easily.
  • Move your body
    A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of varicose veins. Get creative and think of ways to move your body throughout the day. The skilled specialists at Carolina Vein Specialists recommend at least 2 minutes of movement for every 30 minutes of inactivity throughout the day. We also recommend alternating between sitting and standing every 20 minutes to promote healthy blood flow to the extremities.
  • Eat healthy foods
    In addition to fiber, incorporating healthy foods into your diet will help you maintain a healthy weight, which will keep excess pressure off your veins. Try things like broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower, pineapple, Brussel sprouts, oranges, bell peppers, and a variety of nuts and seeds.
  • Wear compression stockings
    If you’re susceptible to varicose veins or other vein problems, we highly recommend wearing medical-grade compression stockings regularly. These socks help contract leg muscles surrounding your veins and encourage blood flow back toward your heart, and they are recommended when flying or traveling long distances. Sitting for long periods can cause your blood to pool, which can exacerbate vein problems.

If you want to eliminate the painful symptoms of varicose veins and restore the natural beauty of your legs, call Carolina Vein Specialists at 336-536-6522. Our vein care specialists will treat your varicose veins with safe, effective treatments to help your legs look and feel their best all year long.